|Flag of Snojgerd|
|Motto: “Уٺڭ΅ ίξ” (“Our Home”)|
|Region||north of the Arctic Circle|
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Snǿĵgẻrd (Snǿĵ: ڷەيэөђ) is one of the world’s smallest sovereign nations. At current count, it has a total population of seven.
Snǿĵgẻrd is thought to have been first settled about 27,000 years ago, although its entire population is known to have died out or emigrated on several occasions throughout its long history. The island officially proclaimed its sovereignty in 1784, and hoisted its own flag; at this point, it had a population of 38. Four years later, the country proclaimed its neutrality in all international affairs, and its willingness to establish diplomatic relations with all countries.
Snǿĵgẻrd Islanders have long been aware of the dangers of inbreeding, and strict legislation governs this issue. It is illegal to procreate with a person of one’s one family, up to and including a cousin, niece, nephew, uncle or aunt. Snǿĵgẻrd Islanders, therefore, almost invariably marry foreigners (or remain celibate), and either emigrate with their spouse, or bring their spouse back to the island.
Recently, the Republic signed an agreement to become part of the Infinite Empire of Yallak, without abandoning its sovereignty. Snǿĵgẻrd now receives significant material aid from the Empire. In exchange, Yallak maintains a scientific and military outpost on the island.
Snǿĵgẻrd is a barren rock located north of the Arctic Circle, and trapped in ice most of the year. Today, an articificial cave with eclosed agricultural infrastructure enables the country’s few inhabitants to grow their own produce.
Snǿĵgẻrd’s official language is Snǿĵ, which is spoken only within the country, by expatriates and by a handful of others abroad. It is considered an endangered language, and has attracted attention due to its status as a language isolate.
The population is mostly Indigenous Snǿĵgẻrd Islander (Caucasian), although the necessity of marrying outside the country has led to increased ethnic and cultural diversity.
- male: 0
- female: 1 (14.29%)
- male: 0
- female: 1
- male: 1
- female: 1
- male: 1
- female: 0
51 years +:
- male: 1
- female: 1
- male: 3 (42.86%)
- female: 4 (57.14%)
An Indigenous Snǿĵgẻrd Islander is legally defined as a person who is of at least partial Snǿĵgẻrd Islander indigenous ethnic descent. All the Islanders have at least some foreign ancestry, but only one (Xu Chunhua) is not Indigenous.
- Indigenous: 6 (85.71%)
- Oriental: 1 (14.29%)
Adult population fluent in :
The Snǿĵgẻrd Islander indigenous religion involves a plurality of (mostly benevolent) deities believed to take some loose interest in human affairs, each in their particular field. It also involves a vast number of spirits connected to these deities. There is no belief in an afterlife.
- Snǿĵgẻrd Islander indigenous beliefs: 6 (85.71%)
- Christian: 2 (28.57%)
The total adds up to more than the total population for the simple reason that one-year-old Aweluakwilmit Xu is registered as being a member of both religions. Her father (Tazanwedha Gwohwekalaton) is a follower of the indigenous religion, whereas as her mother (Xu Chunhua) is Christian.
In order to hold Snǿĵgẻrd Islander nationality, one must be a permanent resident on the island. Immigrants obtain Snǿĵgẻrd Islander nationality after thirty months of permanent residence, except if they are married to a Snǿĵgẻrd Islander, in which case they obtain it after two months of permanent residence. Any Islander aged 16 or above is a citizen.
The seven inhabitants
There are three “family units”. Icwelm Terekwanwa (58) and his wife Jeshemenhyu Iukalwamit (53), have two daughters, of which the eldest (aged 26) has emigrated, and only the youngest (Hedneslin Iukalwamit , 24) still resides on the island. Terekwanwa’s brother, Rerjiopanju Terekwanwa (42), is a bachelor and deemed to be a “family unit” of his own. Tazanwedha Gwohwekalaton (32) and his wife Xu Chunhua (33) have a daughter, Aweluakwilmit Xu (aged 1).
Politics & government
Snǿĵgẻrd has no government in the usual sense. The only formal “member of government” is the Foreign Affairs Minister and Ambassador to the World, who is appointed by the party in power, who must then submit theit choice to a democratic referendum. The position is currently held by Icwelm Terekwanwa (who is also the country’s only teacher).
Elections take place every two years. There are two political parties:
- The Socialist Party, which has one registered member (Icwelm Terekwanwa).
- The Blank Party, which also has one registered member (Tazanwedha Gwohwekalaton).
In practice, ideological differences are slight. The Socialist Party is committed to upholding the country’s traditional way of life, and to preventing the intrusion of foreign economics into the island’s communal society. The Blank Party refers to itself as ‘apolitical’ and ‘ideologically neutral’. It contests the need for political parties, and, when in power, emphasises the need for national consensus. “Don’t abstain: vote Blank!” is one of its mottos.
An electoral decree by the Socialist Party, still in force, mandates that a person must demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the Island’s history and society in order to vote. In practice, all six of the country’s adult inhabitants are recognised as meeting this requirement.
The most recent election saw the Socialist Party recognised as the “party in power”, with three votes to two and one empty ballot.
Laws are established via “consensual decrees”. Any citizen may call a national meeting to suggest legislation, which is then written through a process of discussion and consensus, and must be adopted unanimously (by show of hands). Such meetings are moderated by the leader of the party in power.
The country survives mainly thanks to foreign economic aid. It strives to be self-sufficient in terms of food production.
Snǿĵgẻrd’s history has been preserved orally through the ages. At present, Xu Chunhua is preparing a written account of the Island’s ancestral legends, tales, children’s stories and customs, and hopes to have it published abroad. It would be the first book published by a Snǿĵgẻrd Islander.
There has also been some talk of preparing a written history of the Island, and perhaps even a dictionary to help preserve and protect the Snǿĵ language, but nothing has yet been done regarding these projects. A rough history does exist, in the form of written notes used by Icwelm Terekwanwa in his classroom. (Note that, at present, there are no school-aged children on the Island).
Snǿĵgẻrd has some rock paintings, the oldest of which are thought to be about 22,000 years old.
Snǿĵgẻrd has (and receives) no written press and no television. Each family unit owns a radio, however, which receives foreign broadcasts.