Sanmra

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The Nation of Sanmra
Adıfas ni Sanmra
The Sanmra national flag, or something
Flag
Capital
and largest city
Elten
Official languages Tirina
Recognized Dialects Sakaran Tirina · Elten Tirina
Demonym Losanmra
Government Representational democracy led by an elected dictator
 -  Sarda Tien'a ni Edara rıl Losa
 -  First Voters (Lun Nuoda) Talesın · Preli
Legislature House of Voters (Leten ni Nuoda)
Sovereign state
 -  Dalar tribes united by Tirina circa 470 BCE 
Area
 -  236,297 km2
91,235 sq mi
Population
 -  2016 estimate 6,665,423
 -  Density 28.21/km2
73.1/sq mi
Gini0.41
low
HDI 0.79
high
Time zone EBT (SCT-2)
does not participate in DST
Calling code +11
Internet TLD .sn

Sanmra (IPA: /ˈsan.mɾa/), officially the Nation of Sanmra (Adıfas ni Sanmra /ˈa.d̪ɪ.fas ni ˈsan.mɾa/), is a country located on the southern coast of Alpa, on the Dragon Sea. While small compared to many human-dominated nations, Sanmra is notable for being one of only two dalar-majority nations outside of Atsiq, the other being Tuanmali in Boroso.

Etymology

History

Prehistory

Archaeological and genetic evidence indicate that dalar split from humans approximately 200,000 years ago, migrating north from the birthplace of humanity in Baredina through Miraria to eventually settle in Alpa and Atsiq, likely using land bridges or island-hopping (though some fringe anthropologists hypothesize they had advanced boat technology; this theory is dismissed by most mainstream historians). The earliest Alpan dalar appear to have been largely nomadic, following animal herds and the changing seasons in a cycle north in the summer to winter in the south, along the much more hospitable southern coast.

By <date>, archaeological evidence suggests the dalar had begun to form distinct cultural groups, with finds such as cave art and hand axe design differing on the east and west sides of the <mountains in the middle of Alpa>. The Early East Alpan Ethnogroup, as the dalar on the eastern side of the mountains are called, spread quickly through the west half of the continent, with evidence of habitation found virtually everywhere save for the far north. In the hospitable heartland between Lake Ani and Lake Tenkal, a semi-nomadic, semi-settled pattern sprang up, with inhabitants following animal herds in the summer but settling into permanent camps near the lakes as the weather turned cooler.

Around the same time, another distinct group was emerging along the southern coast. Focusing on fish as a primary food source, they had no need to move north or inland, and instead traversed the coast following weather patterns, migrations, and perhaps a surprisingly complex understanding of astronomy.

The following dates may or may not be accurate:

Circa 15,000 BCE, the first humans arrived on Alpa. Though they initially appeared to coexist with their dalar neighbors, genetic evidence indicates a dalar population bottleneck occurred around 10,000 BCE followed by a small influx of human genes. A lack of written records or other direct evidence makes the situation open to interpretation, but this would seem to indicate large-scale conflict between humans and dalar; the much lower growth rate of dalar would not have been able to replace their population as quickly as humans could.

Dalar unification

After this heavy period of conflict, archaelogical evidence suggests the continent settled into repeated cycles of warfare and uneasy peace, with the dalar repeatedly unifying into short-lived confederations before splitting apart. The oldest Sanmran oral histories and myths date to this time period and indicate these alliances and rivalries were as much a result of internal divisions as external pressure, though their historical accuracy is debatable--most such stories focused on the relationship between the physical and spirit worlds, mentioning verifiable historical facts in passing if at all.

By 500 BCE, the dalar were scattered again, gathered in small groups or tribes of a few hundred or thousand at most, frequently under attack by humans, and their territory had been severely reduced to the areas surrounding Lake Ani and Lake Tenkal. At this time, the area along the Dera River was held by the Garsenians, a loose alliance of small villages and nomadic groups, led by a council of elders representing each group. Circa 450 BCE, with pressure from humans increasing again, the Garsenian elders selected a promising young military commander now known as Tirina to serve as their leader, believing unifying under a single leader was their best opportunity for survival, despite their traditionally independent ways. After impressive military victories against their human enemies, Tirina began to expand the Garsenian Confederation, first through economic and military alliances and later through overt military force.

Consolidation

The loose structure of the original confederation could not support the growing numbers of members, leading to extensive government reform around 400 BCE. Tirina and her husband took direct control of the military, transforming the council of elders from the ultimate authority into more of a council of advisors or cabinet. She also implemented cultural policies, making the Garsen language the official language of government and attempting to meld together the disparate dalar cultures into a single identity, as part of her goal to unify all dalar to drive humans from their territory. These policies were not uniformly well-received, particularly by recent non-Garsen-speaking additions to the confederation, but her expansion of legal representation on the council (previously, only the original members could participate) and establishment of free schools in major towns pacified many.

Tirina continued to personally participate in military actions throughout her life, leading to a severe injury in middle age. Concerned about succession, she established the precedent of the council of elders selecting candidates, from which she chose her second son, Dengel (Modern Tirina: Dinel), to serve as her heir. While she survived this wound, this pattern continued to be used for the next several hundred years. In 338 BCE, Tirina's husband died of unspecified medical problems, most likely a stroke. Tirina herself died shortly after, in 333 or 332 BCE (depending on the historian). As she intended, her son became the next leader; he ruled alone, as the modern tradition of two sarda had not yet been established.

By all accounts, Dengel was an able ruler and widely liked. Rather than continue the expansion of the Garsenian Confederation, he focused on consolidation, winning a number of victories against humans that solidified dalar hold on the territory surrounding the Sanmran Lakes, as well as the coastline near the mouth of the Dera River. In the course of this unification effort, he made a number of concessions to pacify the outer territories and nomadic groups that resented Garsenian rule, such as granting certain groups special permission to conduct government business in their native languages, but died of a lingering illness before fully satisfying them. His successor <some name>, while not a poor leader, was not as skilled as his two predecessors, and the protests turned into full-blown rebellion during his rule.

In 74 BCE, <some name died and passed the rule to Orsea (Modern Tirina: Orsi), a weak-minded, fickle man whose attempts to bring the rebels under control only deepened the divide between the "core" members of the confederation (the Garsens and their oldest allies) and everyone else. In 19 CE, the Ahčān Revolution began, an intense period of skirmishes named after one of the most famous rebel leaders, Ahčān (Modern Tirina: Arhan), dividing between the independence-minded northerners and the more settled southerners. Faced with a deeply unpopular war he wasn't sure he could win, Orsea chose to grant the northern territories independence (<some country name>), focusing his efforts on tightening power over those who remained (Garsen). The peace was a tenuous one. Without the north having a unified government for many years, border raids were common and difficult to quash, although their indiscriminate choice of targets meant they were a thorn in the side of humans as well.

While this arrangement satisified many, it did not resolve all conflicts. A notable group left out in the cold was ancestors of the Tuanmalis, historically nomadic fishermen along the southern coast of Alpa. Unlike most dalar, the Tuanmalis were tolerated by humans and eschewed settled living, leading to discrimination from Garsen. For obvious geographic reasons, they could not join <the other country>. Thus, in the face of extreme intolerance, many Tuanmali left Alpa altogether, immigrating first to Miraria, wandering restlessly until they reached Boroso, where they found a home on a continent comfortable with nonhumans.

Reunification

Over the years, Garsen and <the other place> fragmented and reformed repeatedly, occasionally trying to reunite before splitting up again, but never entirely collapsing due to the constant pressure from the human nations surrounding them. Eventually, (1500 AD or so?) the two nations finally became unified (probably as a result of more human wars, #ThanksHumanity), were formally called "Sanmra", and have remained together ever since.

Development into the modern state

Over time, the state of Sanmra slowly developed into its modern form. The council of elders was reformed several times before it became the democratic congress of today, with two representatives from each district or israd (a district generally consisting of a single large town or city, perhaps with smaller towns or villages nearby). The position of sarda also went through many changes, and in fact spent a good portion of time as nothing more than a figurehead before reclaiming power. Today, Sanmra is a stable, prosperous nation that lives peaceably with its human neighbors and believes trade is a better method of diplomacy than war.

Geography

The most obvious geographic features of Sanmra are its lakes--Lake Ani to the east and Lake Tenkal to the west. The two lakes are revered as the cradle of dalar civilization, and have always been the core of their territory. The Dera River leads from Lake Ani to the Dragon Sea, the UNNAMED RIVER connects Lake Tenkal and Lake Ani, and the Seodin River feeds into Lake Tenkal from the north.

Geology

Climate

Biodiversity

Tirina names for geographical features

Native names for various geographical features are as follows:

General Name Tirina Name Pronunciation and Meaning
Sahar Sahar [sa.'har]
Taanttu Gulf/Pođnae Doši Podana Dosi [po.ˈd̪an.a ˈd̪o.si] Borrowed from Nithalos
Isthmus of Meliku ıtali ni Meliku [ɪt̪.ˈa.li ni me.ˈli.ku]
Far northern parts of Asura Ocean Ado Kalusali [ˈa.d̪o ka.ˈlu.sa.ˌli] Icy Ocean, more or less
Asura Ocean Ado Ipari [ˈa.d̪o ɪ.ˈpa.ri] Western Ocean

Politics

The modern Sanmra state is a representative democracy headed by an elected dictator, if that makes any sense. Think, like, Roman dictator, except it's for life.

Government

There are two main divisions in the Sanmra government: the nuoda (Voters) and the sarda (the (pair of) supreme leader(s)). The nuoda pass/repeal laws, handle taxes, regulate interactions between districts, and take care of a number of administrative duties. The sarda technically have absolute control of government, but in practice mostly just confirm/veto laws, run the executive and judicial branches, and serve as the head of the military--the actual head, not just a symbolic one.

Nuoda

The nuoda are democratically elected from each district. By tradition, both two representatives are elected, one as the "inner" representative (Nuoda Tewa; their bailiwick is generally the main municipality of their district) and one as the "outer" representative (Nuoda Kade; they deal with matters outside of town, such as farms and roads). Often the inner representative is a woman and the outer is a man, but not always--sometimes the genders are reversed, or sometimes (rarely) both are male or female.

The nuoda are led by the lun nuoda (first voters); the current First Voters are Talesın ni ??? and his wife Preli ni ??? rıl ???.

Sarda

The sarda is a pair of leaders--always a man and a woman--who are the supreme leaders and representatives of the Sanmra government. It's a lifetime position, but not a hereditary one; the sarda are appointed democratically by the nuoda. The sarda may be members of the nuoda, but just as often are not. While the two have equal power and are due equal respect, one or the other tends to be the "head"; although nobody formally recognizes this, everybody knows it. Often, but not always, the two are a married couple; sometimes they've been brother and sister, very occasionally parent and child or cousins, and even more rarely two totally unrelated people.

The sarda is expected to moderate serious conflict between districts or among the nuoda, and in addition to political duties, is expected to fight alongside the military during times of war, physically defending their nation to their last breath. In today's era, however, this is unlikely, as the Sanmra attempt to avoid war rather than invite it.

The current sarda is Tien'a ni Edara and her husband Ledan rıl Losa.

Administrative divisions

Sanmra is divided into a large number of districts (known natively as israd), most of which consist of a single large municipality (a city or large town), along with the surrounding area and any small municipalities nearby.

Foreign relations

Sanmra has always been a more secluded nation, but in the previous few centuries has begun to participate more in the broader international stage. They are famously neutral and, thanks to their long lives and careful attitudes toward money, are respectably comfortable from an economic perspective.

Military

Modern Sanmra is a fairly insular country, rarely taking action beyond Alpa and Atsiq and attempting to remain neutral even in intra-Alpa or intra-Atsiq conflicts. Therefore, the military is not very "military", and is not strongly separate from other branches of government enforcement and defense. All branches of law enforcement, border defense, and navy are organized under the Tasen ni Sanmra (Army/Military of Sanmra), divded into four branches: the Kasti, the ENE, the Len, and the Puorn.

Kasti

The kasti, often translated as "police", make up the bulk of the Sanmran military. The kasti are further divided into fulltime military professionals (which certainly still do exist in Sanmra!), border patrol agents (including Sanmra's naval forces), and local law enforcement. Any species can become kasti, although non-dalar are rarely assigned outside of areas dominated by their species.

Despite formally being viewed as a single organization, the three organizations are operated almost entirely independently, save for the highest levels of government.

ENE

The Edaralni ni Enarlea (Office of Intelligence, often called ENE or Eda-Ena for short) are the Sanmra special forces and intelligence corps, an elite group of operatives that gather and analyze foreign intelligence, as well as carry out covert ops. Officially, the ENE is very small, solely dedicated to interpreting intelligence. Unofficially, the ENE has great power both within and outside of Sanmra's borders. It's sometimes said that the ENE are the reason Sanmra's army doesn't need to be very big--their work keeps Sanmra out of conflicts before they begin.

Both non-dalar and dalar are allowed in the ENE, although barriers to entry are high for non-dalar. Many ex-len (or those who aren't accepted into the len) are invited to join the ENE instead, to the point that many prospective ENE candidates explicitly seek out len training as a pathway to becoming an ENE officer.

Len

The len are a strictly structured, highly traditional paramilitary organization that has existed in one form or another in Sanmra for centuries. Members are primarily assigned as bodyguards for government officials, but are also responsible for certain types of federal investigations and performing some domestic intelligence work. While technically under military oversight, in practical terms they're an independent organization and are only truly answerable to their very strict code of honor. Widely respected within Sanmra, the len enact swift and harsh punishment on any member perceived as violating their honor code. In a real sense, the len are fanatics, but they have also historically served as a check to power-hungry politicians; the len cannot be bought and are expert bodyguards who will defend their charges to death.

Only dalar are eligible to apply to the len, and there are strict application requirements as well as a number of grueling tests before an applicant can be accepted as a candidate. Those who are accepted undergo five additional years of training; if they persist to graduation, they must swear a vow of asceticism and break all family ties. (Len are not obligated to be celibate or even unmarried, but cannot join a family even if they marry--a highly unusual status.) There have been various movements over the years for the len to accept non-dalar, but there is not much support for this, even among non-dalar.

Puorn

The puorn (courts) are the criminal justice branch of the Sanmra government. (Civil courts are handled separately.) They are tied to the kasti, yet remain an independent organization. Any individuals who are qualified to be civil judges, regardless of species, are also qualified to become criminal judges.

Economy

Most of Sanmra's economy is supported through export of natural resources, including food and other agricultural products. While strict laws limit the ownership and operation of commercial businesses by non-Sanmran citizens, many foreign companies have partnerships with Sanmran families to take advantage of the relatively low taxes and economic freedom of Sanmra.

Transport

Airports

The largest and busiest Sanmra airport is the Elten International Airport (Emroili ni Elten ıku Adıfas), the primary entry point for visitors to the country. The only other international airport is <airport name>, located in Orsili. Important domestic commercial airports can be found in Sakaran and <other cities>.

Seaports

The largest seaport is the Elten City Docks (Denekere ni Akoima ni Elten), the primary import/export hub for the nation. The second-largest seaport is <seaport name> in Orsili, which is known as a popular port for cruise vessels.

Waterways

The Dera River connects the Dragon Sea and Lake Ani. It is navigable through its entire length, although the construction of locks was necessary to allow modern shipping vessels to reach Lake Ani. It is a major shipping route into the interior of the country. Smaller ships are able to navigate the UNNAMED RIVER into Lake Tenkal as well.

The Seodin River is too shallow to allow large boats, but historically, shallow-bottomed ferries ran up and down its length to transport goods to the northwest of modern-day Sanmra. Today, some boats still run on the river to transport goods, but to a much lesser degree. In modern times, passenger cruises along the river are a popular and relatively inexpensive vacation option.

Shipping is also common on Lake Ani.

Energy

Science and technology

Tourism

Sanmra has a history of isolationism, but after the Northern War, it began to loosen restrictions on visitors not from Alpa. As a result, today tourism to Sanmra's southern coast and lakes is a rapidly growing industry.

Demographics

In 2010, the population of Sanmra was about 6.5 million people. While some human families have lived among the Sanmra for years, the majority are more recent immigrants and live in the major cities. Dalar are the primary inhabitants of Sanmra; the second-largest group is humans, and the third-largest is vodholk. Small populations of all other sentient species do exist in Sanmra, but are highly exotic sights outside of the busiest parts of the largest cities.

Life expectancy is good for dalar--barring deaths due to violence, the average life expectancy is about 200 years of age. And deaths due to violence are down in the past century or two.

As is common for dalar, about 50% of women have never given birth; this percentage has remained relatively constant for many years. However, among women who do have children, they on average have multiple children, which coupled with the slightly increased life expectancy has led to a very slowly growing population.

Families

The basic social and legal unit in Sanmra is the family, a term that refers to a government-registered extended family. Many legal rights and other laws are specifically written with regards to families; individuals who are not registered as part of any family suffer many hardships and legal difficulties. (for example, voting rights are actually extended to families, not individuals, although a registered member of a family could choose to submit an individual vote that differs from that of their overall family)

Ethnic groups

While Sanmra was originally founded by uniting disparate groups of dalar, the modern nation is remarkably homogeneous--over time, intermarriage has led everybody to look pretty much the same. There are a few small groups that have maintained a unique culture separate from the dominant Sanmra culture, but only a small number of the population--less than 10% total--belongs to any of them.

Urbanization

While the major Sanmra cities have certainly grown, many Sanmra still cling to the old ways of life--farming, hunting, fishing, and generally living in small communities of a few hundred or thousand, rather than big cities like Elten or Sakaran with hundreds of thousands of inhabitants.

Language

The official and by far most widely-spoken language is Tirina. Major dialects include Elten Tirina (spoken in, obviously, Elten, and generally associated with upper-class and political figures) and Sakaran Tirina (spoken primarily in, obviously, Sakaran). As it has been since the time of Tirina, it is the language of government and law (although concessions are now made for government-provided translators, if necessary).

A majority of the population has at least passing familiarity with a second language. About a quarter of the population is actually bilingual--fluent in at least one other language. Bilingualism is on the rise, especially among young Sanmra citizens who use the internet heavily.

Of human languages, the most commonly-known are ???.

Education

Basic education (both primary and secondary education) is both free and mandatory, resulting in a literacy rate of over 99%. Government-sponsored schools are located in every municipality (although some small villages may have a combined school district) and follow a broad curriculum developed by the federal Department of Education. "Kindergarten/pre-school" is provided starting at age 8 for dalar, but it is not actually mandatory for a child to attend school until age 10. This schooling lasts to when a child becomes a legal adult at 30, although most students complete their courses two or three years prior to this point. Private/independent schools and homeschooling are generally illegal, except under special circumstances (e.g. a student with disabilities that cannot be adequately served in a government school).

In municipalities with large non-dalar populations, separate schools or at least classrooms are generally provided for non-dalar, as other species mature at a faster rate. As most non-dalar in Sanmra are either human or Vodholk, non-dalar schools typically target these groups, with school beginning around age 6 for students and going through late teens. For areas where non-dalar schools or classrooms are not available, the Sanmran government provides mail-order homeschool courses and basic materials free of charge, one of the major exceptions to mandatory public schooling. Alternately, in some areas, registered tutors may privately teach a small number of non-dalar.

After grade school, many young adults move directly into the workforce. For certain careers, such as some technical fields, there are popular paid apprenticeship programs. However, there are also post-secondary institutions such as universities for very technical fields--medicine and law, for example--or simply for deeper, more comprehensive education on a subject, such as political science or history. Universities do have tuition costs, but in many cases, they are waived. If a student is from a large, wealthy, or powerful family, it is likely their family's endowments will make up for the tuition. If they are from a poor or small family, need-based scholarships are generally available.

Healthcare

Sanmra healthcare is privatized, I think.

Religion

Sanmra religion is dominated by traditional practices sometimes referred to as kowut 'rituals'. Kowut is not an organized religion, but rather a mass of diverse and often conflicting beliefs and mythology linked with certain rituals. Most dalar in Sanmra do not identify as religious, yet still participate in Kowut practices, even if they would otherwise claim to be agnostic or atheistic. A small number of dalar do belong to more "normal" religions, such as Iovism (maybe???), and most non-dalar are either religious in "normal" ways or are agnostic/atheistic.

Culture

Heritage

Architecture

Literature

Art

Music

Theater

Film

Cuisine

Sport

Symbols

See also