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Motto: Libertas omnia vincit
Liberty conquers all
Anthem: Aucurian name here
Political map of Aucuria
Location of Aucuria in Kylaris
and largest city
|Recognised regional languages||Runanca|
|Government||Federal constitutional parliamentary republic|
|Independence from the Rudolphine Confederation|
• Current constitution
|1,513,433.6 km2 (584,340.0 sq mi)|
• Water (%)
• 2021 estimate
• 2014 census
|29.221/km2 (75.7/sq mi)|
|GDP (PPP)||2015 estimate|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2015 estimate|
• Per capita
|Gini (2015)|| 42.6|
|HDI (2015)|| .782|
|Currency||svaras (₺) (AKS)|
|Date format||dd/mm/yyyy (CE)|
Aucuria (Ruttish: Aukurija), officially the Aucurian Republic (Ruttish: Aukurijos Respublika; Runanca: Awkuriya Republika; Kirua: Ripublika Aukuriya) is a sovereign state in Kylaris. Located on the Arucian coast of Asteria Inferior, Aucuria borders Nuvania to the west, Belmonte to the south, and Satucin to the east, and shares sea borders to its north with Imagua and Carucere. Its capital and largest city is Kalnaspilis.
The earliest evidence of human habitation in Aucuria dates back to 12,500 BCE. The Pativilkas civilization, which existed from 3,700 BCE to 1,500 BCE, was the first civilization in Asteria Inferior and one of the cradles of civilization in Kylaris. In the following 2,700 years, a litany of subsequent cultures developed, such as the Kiljakoljas, Piura, Tirakvas, and Kulkinčas cultures. The Runanca and Kirua appeared in the 1200s; a series of wars between the two resulted in the establishment of the League of Five Cities, or Cutinsua, by the Runanca in 1324; this polity ultimately came to control much of northern Aucuria. Ruttish explorers first arrived in 1525, and established control over the region in 1530. As the economy of colonial Aucuria shifted from the mining of precious metals towards cash crop agriculture, the area became increasingly populated by Euclean immigrants.
After the end of the Ten Years' War in 1721, Aucuria was transferred to the personal control of the Rudolphine emperor. The Rudolphine Confederation attempted to impose upon the colony's mostly-Ruttophone population, which provoked widespread discontent; after several decades of rising tensions, Aucuria declared independence in 1785. The ensuing Aucurian Revolution ended in 1794 with the signing of a treaty confirming its existence as an independent republic. Initially a liberal presidential republic, the country slipped into dictatorship under President Fridrikas Dabrauskas until his assassination. A subsequent return to liberal republican governance lasted until the 1880s, when Aucuria's defeat in the War of the Arucian led to the Aucurian Civil War. The country was occupied by the Entente for much of the Great War, but an organized resistance force aligned with the Grand Alliance was able to liberate the country during the closing months of the war. After the war, a democratic government was briefly reestablished before being overthrown in a 1949 military coup. The ensuing military regime lasted until 1980, when it was overthrown in the Velvet Revolution and democratic governance was once again reestablished.
Aucuria encompasses a variety of biomes and terrain, including tropical rainforests along the Juoda River, large stretches of savanna known as pakraščiai, the highlands of the Vaskaranas Mountains, and the alpine tundra of the South Asterian Range. As much of the country's south is dominated by the western reaches of the Sythe Rainforest and the South Asterian Range, most of the country's population lives in the north. Aucuria is home to diverse wildlife, and for this reason is often listed as a megadiverse country.
Aucuria has an estimated population of 49 million people as of 2021; this population is ethnically and racially diverse and includes populations of Euclean, creole, indigenous Asterian, Bahian, Rahelian, and Coian origin. Solarian Catholicism is the predominant religion in the country, though the country's history and ethnic makeup have resulted in a diverse array of syncretistic practices within the Solarian umbrella and the presence of a litany of minority faiths. The country's official and main spoken language is Ruttish, but a significant number of indigenous Aucurians continue to speak native languages such as Runanca and Kirua, which have some degree of official recognition.
A developing country, Aucuria nonetheless boasts a high score on the Human Development Index and a diversified economy. The country's economy has long been based heavily on the export of agricultural products (such as coffee, sugarcane, cocoa, citrus, pineapples, bananas, soybeans, corn, potatoes, and tobacco), meat and fish, minerals (including copper, gold, silver, tin, zinc, and iron), and forestry; however, the country also has substantial light and heavy industrial sectors, which account for roughly a third of the country's GDP, and has seen substantial and rapid growth in the service and tourism sectors in recent decades.
Since the Velvet Revolution, Aucuria has been a federal parliamentary republic, and is widely regarded as having successfully constructed a thriving multiparty democracy after decades of political turbulence and dictatorship; however, the country continues to suffer from issues of economic and ethnic inequality. The President of Aucuria, currently Žygimantas Barauskas, acts as the country's head of state while the Chancellor, currently Petras Uspelevičius, acts as the country's head of government. Aucuria has a unicameral parliament, the Saeimas, and an independent judiciary headed by the Supreme and Constitutional courts. The country is a member of the Community of Nations, the Organization of Asterian Nations, and the Asteria Inferior Common Market.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Politics
- 5 Economy
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Culture
The etymology of "Aucuria" is disputed. Folk etymology relates the name to a supposed incident involving užkariautojas Jurgis Leikauskas during the Ruttish conquest of the region; following the conquest of a Cutinsuan town, Leikauskas supposedly rededicated the town's temple as "the altar of Jesus Soter", and proclaimed the surrounding land to be "the land of the altar of Jesus Soter" (Ruttish: Jėzaus Soterio aukuro žemė) to Ruttish explorers; this was subsequently reduced to "the land of the altar" (aukuro žemė) and, eventually, simply "Aucuria" (Aukurija). Historians agree that the story about Leikauskas is likely apocryphal, but "aukuro žemė" is attested to in maps from the period beginning in the mid-1530s, lending credence to the hypothesis. If this hypothesis is true, Aucuria's name would ultimately derive from the proto-Eucleo-Satrian "h₂ewg-", literally "to grow" or "to increase", but more metaphorically "to honor" or "to exalt", via the old Ruttish auka (modern Ruttish augti).
Some scholars reject the aukuras hypothesis as too improbable, noting that aukuras is used far less in Ruttish than the more-common altorius, and argue that it is more likely that the country's name derived from a native term. Most scholars in this camp argue that "Aucuria" derived from the Runanca awqa, literally "hostile" or "enemy", possibly given to Ruttish užkariautojai by the indigenous population and then unknowingly adopted by the former group as an appellation for the country; some, however, propose a link to the Runanca and Kirua term awkisuyu, roughly translatable as "the principality" or "the territory". Critics point out, however, that these hypotheses struggle to explain how awqa or awki- became "Aucuria".
Proposals of an etymological link between Aucuria and the name of the Arucian Sea are heavily debated.
The term "Aucuria" was first applied officially to the region in 1561; before this point, Aucuria had been formally known as the Colony of New Ruttland from 1525 to 1530 and the Colony of New Ruttland and Cutinsua from 1530 to 1561.
Prehistory and Pre-Asterian Aucuria
Human presence in Aucuria can be dated as far back as 12,500 BCE, with human remains and stone tools in the Čiklajus valley providing some of the earliest discovered evidence of human habitation in Asteria Inferior. The domestication of the potato occurred in Aucuria some time between 8,000 BCE and 5,000 BCE; the cultivation of corn and cotton spread to the region between 5,000 and 4,000 BCE, and the domestication of quinoa occurred in roughly 2,000 BCE. Indigenous Asterians also domesticated the llama, alpaca, and guinea pig in Aucuria in roughly 6,000 BCE.
The Pativilkas civilization, the first civilization in Asteria Inferior and one of the cradles of civilization in Kylaris, emerged in central-western Aucuria in 3,700 BCE. Pativilkas sites are marked by the presence of central pyramids and monoliths, irrigation systems, and terraced farms; these features suggest a relatively high degree of centralization and social complexity. They are also marked by an unusual absence of visual arts, which archaeologists have struggled to explain, and by an absence of ceramic pottery in favor of bags of woven reeds, wool, and cotton. Pativilkas sites also contain knotted strings that some archaeologists argue are early examples of khipus. The Pativilkas civilization continued to thrive for centuries before steadily declining from 1,800 to 1,500 BCE.
The Pativilkas civilization was succeeded by the Kiljakoljas culture, which thrived from 1,300 to 300 BCE. The Kiljakoljas people developed more sophisticated systems of irrigation and social stratification, as well as more refined masonry, textiles, and metalworking of copper and gold, and the first widespread, recognizable artistic style from an Aucurian civilization; archaeologists also believe that this period saw an increased prominence for religious rituals and figures, which would sharply influence subsequent cultures. Following its decline and collapse, the Kiljakoljas culture was succeeded in western Aucuria by the Piura culture and in east-central Aucuria by the Tirakvas culture, both of which existed roughly from 100 BCE to 800 CE. The Tirakvas are famous for their vibrant works of pottery, patterned textiles, and ornate metalworking, while the Piura are known for their construction of geoglyphs, monumental structures, and subterranean aqueducts. Turmoil in the 9th century led to the collapse of both cultures and the rise of the Kulkinčas culture, which descended directly from the Tirakvas; the Kulkinčas culture thrived from the 800s to the 1200s and oversaw a further flourishing of textiles, metalwork, and monumental construction, as well as the development of distinctive monochromatic pottery and large murals.
The disappearance of the Kulkinčas culture in the 1200s corresponds with the appearance of groups clearly identifiable as the Runanca and Kirua peoples. The links between the Runanca, Kirua, and preceding cultures are disputed among archaeologists and historians; many scholars have argued that the Runanca and Kirua migrated to Aucuria from a different part of Asteria Inferior, linking their arrival to the collapse of the Kulkinčas culture, but others have stated that certain cultural continuities make it more probable that the Runanca and Kirua evolved organically from and eventually superseded the Kulkinčas culture. The Kirua Kingdom of Oruras is known to have existed historically by 1252, and, in the subsequent decades, came to control a large area of western Aucuria. This rapid expansion worried several Runanca city-states near Oruras's borders, who were becoming the next targets for Oruran expansion. In 1324, five of these city-states - Andavaila, Čačapojas, Suljanas, Lambajekė, and Akarajas - formed a defensive alliance formally called the League of Five Cities, and commonly known as Sunquntinsuyu (literally "the middle territories" in Runanca) or Cutinsua, to resist Oruran expansion; in a series of subsequent conflicts, Cutinsua repelled and ultimately conquered Oruras.
Though nominally an equal alliance between the five cities, Cutinsua was largely dominated by Andavaila, as it was the richest and most populous of the five. Following the conquest of Oruras, Cutinsua embarked on its own campaign of expansion under leaders such as Mankojupankis, Atokjupankis, Ljokėjamaras, and Čapatipomas. Cutinsuan leadership sent envoys to cities and towns encouraging them to become members of the League of Five Cities in exchange for luxury goods and local elites being allowed to retain their titles; subsequent members of the League held a lesser status than its original five members, but nonetheless could count on benefitting from Cutinsuan infrastructure and protection from Cutinsuan armies. Cities which refused to join willingly were conquered and plundered, with local leadership deposed or executed and replaced by appointed "stewards", typically chosen by Andavaila. Through this method Cutinsua came to control the majority of northern Aucuria by the 1500s.
Conquest and colonial period
While Hennish explorer Johannes van Twiller had travelled along the Aucurian coastline in the 1510s as part of his efforts to determine if Asteria Superior and Asteria Inferior were separate continents, the region saw little further contact with Eucleans until 1525, when a party of 168 užkariautojai led by Jurgis Leikauskas landed at the mouth of the Pautė River, establishing a fortified settlement they named Apvaizda. Finding the soil to be fertile, Leikauskas dubbed the area "New Ruttland" and ordered word sent back to Ruttland that the land was suitable for settlement; the first settlers sent by the Ruttish Asterian Company arrived two years later, in 1527, alongside military reinforcements.
In 1528, Leikauskas met with envoys sent by Cutinsua, who invited him to Andavaila; Leikauskas made the trip, accompanied by 350 užkariautojai. In addition to meeting Javarjupankis, the qhapaq of Andavaila and hanan qhapaq of the League, Leikauskas met envoys from Čačapojas, Suljanas, and Akarajas and learned that the leaders of these cities resented Andavailan dominance. He arranged a subsequent meeting with their leadership in Suljanas; here Leikauskas formed alliances with the three city-states and agreed to aid them in a rebellion against Andavaila. After defeating Andavailan forces at Laurikočas, the allied forces seized and brutally sacked Andavaila in October of that year. Some surviving Andavailan forces fled south to Oruras and attempted to continue the fight, but were defeated at Kulkapirvas shortly thereafter. In March of 1529, after their victory at Kulkapirvas, the forces of Leikauskas and his allies moved to return to Andavaila. On the way there, near the town of Kailjomas, a dispute emerged between Ruttish and native forces over the alleged disrespect of each others' religious symbols; the dispute escalated into a battle which saw the bulk of the native armies destroyed and the qhapaqs of Suljanas and Akarajas murdered. Following this, the Ruttish conquered and plundered their former allies, seeking to ensure their control over the region; by 1530, the Ruttish conquest of Cutinsua was complete and the entirety of northern Aucuria was under Ruttish control.
The colony was officially renamed as the Colony of New Ruttland and Cutinsua in 1530. News that the colony was rich in gold and silver triggered a flood of fortune-seekers and explorers known as vėliavininkai, who increased the colony's Euclean population and expanded its colonial frontiers. To further encourage settlement, the Ruttish government provided manorial grants called dvarai; dvarai were ruled through the patikėtinis system, in which the settlers, known as pradininkai, were granted indigenous people to use as forced laborers and to educate in the Ruttish language and Sotirian religion. This system proved immensely lucrative and the colony quickly became a major producer of cash crops such as sugarcane, coffee, and chocolate; it also proved effective in Sotirianizing the area's population. The severe abuses associated with the patikėtinis system, and the introduction of epidemic diseases from Euclea, decimated the indigenous population; because and in spite of this devastation, there were several native rebellions against Ruttish rule, the largest of these rebellions - and the last major one - being the Great Cutinsuan Revolt of 1608-1612.
Prosperity attracted further immigration, and coastal or near-coastal settlements such as Apvaizda, Naujoji Šilokrautė, Biržuventis, Kalnaspilis, Velykopolė, and Katniava quickly grew in size. The colony was officially renamed the Colony of Aucuria in 1561. Seeking to further expand Aucuria's population and the wealth it brought to Ruttland, the colonial government tacitly permitted intermarriage between white settlers and indigenous women and began to import Bahians as slave labor. A caste system developed in the colony, with perjūrai (Eucleans born in Euclea) at the top, iškeltai (Eucleans born in the Asterias) below them, maišytiai (individuals of mixed race or ethnicity) below them, and indigenous Asterians and Bahians at the bottom. With the growth of local institutions, the colony's increasingly large iškeltai and maišytiai populations began to develop a uniquely Aucurian identity. Aucuria was granted its own saeimas, albeit a largely symbolic one, in 1667 by governor Silvestras Žukauskas. In 1693, the United Kingdom of Ruttland and Aucuria was proclaimed, placing Aucuria on even political stature with Ruttland and allowing for the further expansion of local social and governmental institutions.
In 1721, following the conquest of Ruttland by Kirenia in the Ten Years' War, Aucuria was placed under Rudolphine control and declared the personal colony of the Rudolphine Emperor. Many Ruttish nobles fleeing the mainland's fall headed to Aucuria, bringing their wealth with them. During this period, the Rudolphine colonial government undertook a variety of policies unpopular with the Aucurian population, including reducing Aucuria back to colonial status, dissolving the Aucurian saeimas, increasing taxes on several goods, encouraging Weranian settlement and providing favorable treatment to Weranian settlers, and trying to suppress the Ruttish language in favor of Weranian. The colony's traditional Ruttophone elite was further antagonized by Rudolphine efforts to establish a new, Weranian-speaking elite in Aucuria, and feared marginalization and a loss of their position. In addition, the severing of political ties with Ruttland left Aucurians feeling less connected to Euclea and led to a rise in republican sentiments.
As the 1700s progressed, Rudolphine efforts to impose unpopular policies on Aucuria were met with increasing hostility, and, following the 1783 Velykopolė Massacre, intermittent violence. In 1785, rumors that the Rudolphines were preparing to implement another round of taxes on goods imported to Aucuria from Euclea and issue a total ban on Ruttish language publications provoked a series of riots, commonly regarded as the start of the Aucurian War of Independence, and the formation of a "Revolutionary Saeimas" based in the city of Kalnaspilis. The Revolutionary Saeimas ratified the Declaration of the Rights of the People and petitioned the Rudolphine monarchy for the restoration of the colonial saeimas and the granting of legislative autonomy; these petitions were denied and, after the colony was formally declared to be in rebellion, the Revolutionary Saeimas formally declared Aucuria's independence from the Rudolphine Confederation in February 1786 and organized colonial militias into an army headed by Juozapas Kairys.
Rudolphine forces were better-trained and better-armed than their Aucurian counterparts, but Aucurian forces had better knowledge of local terrain and proved capable of using guerrilla tactics to inflict attrition on Rudolphine armies. Additionally, the simultaneous Weranian Revolution wreaked havoc on Rudolphine forces, as the newly-established Weranian Republic had no interest in providing supplies or reinforcements to the royalist troops stranded in Aucuria. Rudolphine forces won initial victories at Pakasmajos and Širvintos, but were forced to fall back after the Aucurian victory at Daujėnai. A subsequent Rudolphine offensive saw the Aucurians suffer a serious defeat at Suljanas, which allowed the Rudolphines to threaten Kalnaspilis; they proved unable to capitalize on this opportunity, however, and ultimately fell back again after Aucurian victories at Tokepalas and Laižuva. Combat largely ceased following the 1792 Battle of Čavajtiris, and the regime of Balthasar Hötzendorf formally recognized Aucurian independence the following year.
Aucuria's first constitution was written in 1792, establishing the country as a federal presidential republic, with suffrage extended to property-holding males. The young republic was dominated by two political factions: the Federalists, who emphasized limited government, free trade, and agrarianism, and the Republicans, who favored centralization and modernization through protectionist policies. The Federalists rallied around figures such as Bendiktas Klimantis, Izoakas Poškus, and Antanas Endrijauskas, while the Republicans rallied around Klemensas Brazauskas and Juozapas Kairys. Intense partisan acrimony between the Federalists and Republicans hampered the establishment of democratic norms and allowed for the steady proliferation of corruption and patronage systems within national and state governments alike, weakening the early republic's political system. An 1828 auto-coup initiated by Fridrikas Dabrauskas, Kairys's military and political protégé, saw the country slide into a period of presidential dictatorship; Dabrauskas banned participation in the international slave trade in 1825 and abolished property requirements for suffrage in 1828, but corruption and a period of recession sapped his popularity and he was assassinated by members of the army sympathetic to his opponents in 1843.
Following Dabrauskas's death, his opponents reorganized the country as a parliamentary republic, hoping this political reorganization would prevent the centralization of power into one person's hands. This new government oversaw a flourishing of political freedom and economic development, and abolished slavery in 1873, but also permitted the development of large-scale patronage systems at all levels of government. Tariff policy, the power of the Solarian Catholic Church, land grants and land reform, endemic corruption, and endemic inequality were major points of political controversy during the period. This period also saw increased Aucurian efforts to explore and control the hinterland regions of the country beyond the Vaskaranas Mountains, including the pakraščiai and the Sythe-Juoda Rainforest. The pakraščiai proved agriculturally valuable, particularly for ranching, and attracted many settlers and immigrants hoping to establish their own homesteads; while the start of a rubber boom in the 1870s attracted some settlers to the Sythe-Juoda region, the hostility of its environment to settlement meant that the rubber boom ended up relying far more heavily on forced indigenous labor.
The country's alliances with Ardesia and Gapolania saw Aucuria enter the War of the Arucian alongside them in 1883; in spite of some initial victories, however, the war proved a disastrous miscalculation and was ultimately a humiliating defeat for Aucuria, which was forced to cede territories rich in saltpeter and rubber to Nuvania and Satucin, respectively. Blaming civilian leadership for the country's defeat, a large portion of the military led by Eimuntas Lukauskis initiated the Aucurian Civil War in 1885. The country's civilian leadership ceded power to General Žygimantas Ramanauskas, granting him dictatorial powers to defeat the revolt. Ramanauskas exploited increasing factionalism within Lukauskis's forces, and Lukauskis's murder in 1888, to end the civil war in 1891; he refused to fully cede political power until 1895, however.
Economic growth was restored after the civil war by high international demand for Aucurian cash crops and intentional efforts at infrastructural expansion, but weak political institutions, endemic corruption and clientelism, partisan polarization, and widespread economic and inequality precluded any return to political stability. The Great Collapse further worsened the situation, as any serious response to the crisis was delayed for nearly three years due to political conflict between the country's leading political parties, and the response ultimately adopted in 1916 proved too limited to have a substantial effect. The country changed course abruptly with the 1919 election of Leandras Naraškevičius, who pushed for large-scale reforms including debt relief, unemployment benefits, land reform, economic nationalization, and social reform; these efforts were highly controversial, however, and the country was on the verge of descending into violence by the mid-1920s.
At the outbreak of the Great War Aucuria aligned itself with the Grand Alliance, hoping to reclaim the territories it had lost in the War of the Arucian. Aucurian forces struggled, however, and the country quickly found itself being pushed back on both the Nuvanian and Satucine fronts. Civilian leadership once again ceded power to a general, this time Karolis Tarvydas, who capitulated to the Entente and was subsequently permitted by Entente forces to establish a collaborationist regime with the help of domestic functionalists. Opposed to Tarvydas's regime was the National Redoubt Government, a coalition between portions of the army that refused to surrender, left-wing and indigenous organizations, and other resistance forces, which led a campaign of guerrilla warfare throughout the Great War, exploiting the shelter offered by the Vaskaranas Mountains, Sythe Rainforest, and South Asterian Range. As the tide of the war turned in favor of the Allies, the National Redoubt - led by Colonel Feliksas Lupeikis - launched a successful nationwide liberation campaign in 1934 and, following the formal end of the conflict, oversaw the transition back to civilian rule.
Aucuria's government was returned to a presidential system by the 1934 constitution. While a series of important reforms - including anti-corruption efforts, the implementation of a minimum wage, and the extension of suffrage to women - were made by Liberal Democratic leader Dominykas Dabrickas, endemic inequality, widespread corruption, and partisanship soon resurfaced. A coalition between the Social Democrats and DIAS saw Adrianas Volpis elected in 1945; Volpis's push for further large-scale social, economic, and political reforms to address these issues antagonized military leaders and the economic elite, and Volpis was deposed and murdered in a 1949 coup d'etat. This coup established an authoritarian military regime under Albertas Kalvaitis; Kalvaitis's repressive actions provoked a prolonged low-level insurgency against the government, which was exacerbated by the 1964 Sugar Crash. Kalvaitis was eventually succeeded by Martynas Sprogys, whose intensification of anti-insurgency efforts and neoliberal economic reforms seemingly restored stability; this stability proved ephemeral, however, evaporating as a result of the 1979 Coian economic crisis, and military rule was ultimately ended in 1980 by the Velvet Revolution.
Since the Velvet Revolution, Aucuria's government - once again based around a parliamentary system - has focused heavily on strengthening the country's democratic institutions and enshrining political pluralism in order to prevent a backsliding into dictatorship, a goal formally shared by all of the country's major political parties, and the country has seen further economic growth and diversification. Nonetheless, issues persist with corruption and with social and economic inequality into the present.
Aucuria's mainland is located on the northern coast of Asteria Inferior, spanning a stretch of land between the Arucian Sea and the South Asterian Range. It sits astride the equator, with roughly equal portions of the country located in the northern and southern hemispheres. Aucuria also encompasses the islands of Saint Casimir and Saint Catherine, located in the Arucian Sea. The country has a total area of 1,513,433.6 km2 (584,340 sq mi). The country, including its territories in the Arucian, lies roughly between latitudes 8°N and 7°S and longitudes 74° and 99°E. It shares land borders with Nuvania to the west, Belmonte to the south, and Satucin to the east, and sea borders with Imagua and Carucere to the north.
The country has traditionally been divided into six geographic regions:
- Pakrantė, "the coast": The coastal region consists of a mixture of flatland and rolling hills, and is wide in the country's western and central regions before narrowing to the east. Once dominated by jungle, the region has been heavily deforested since the 1500s, with as little as 18% of the native vegetation cover remaining intact and habitat fragmentation similarly widespread. This region was the first to be colonized and remains far and away the most heavily-populated region of the country today. It is home of the country's most fertile land, valuable for producing both food and cash crops, and also plays host to most of the country's industrial and commercial activity.
- Aukštumos, "the highlands": The highland region, located immediately behind the coastal region in the western and central regions of Aucuria, is dominated by the Vaskaranas Mountains, which are mostly between 2,500 and 3,500 meters (8,200 to 11,400 feet) in height but reach up to ~4,900 meters (~16,000 feet) at their highest point. Several major rivers and tributaries - including the Daulė, Pautė, Čančamaja, Valjaka, and Apurimakas - have their sources in the Vaskaranas. This region was the center of many Aucurian indigenous cultures, including the Cutinsuans, and continues to have substantial Runanca and Kirua populations. The soil in the highlands is not as rich as it is along the coastal plain, but remains valuable for producing food crops; the highlands are also rich in precious metals and mineral resources.
- Pakraščiai, "the hinterlands": Commonly known domestically and internationally as the pakraščiai, the hinterland region is located on the inland side of the Vaskaranas Mountains and consists mostly of semiarid savanna, though the region is also home to the Džukija, a large and highly diverse region of flooded savanna. Though not as highly populated as the coastal regions, the region is regarded as particularly valuable for ranching due to its geographic and climactic conditions.
- Miškai, "the forests": This region, which borders the pakraščiai to the west and the pakrantė to the east, is the largest of the regions. It is dominated by the vast western stretches of the Sythe Rainforest that follow the Juoda River, the largest tributary of the Sythe. Largely flat, this region is sparsely populated beyond a handful of major population centers and is home to a vast number of species of plant and animal, though deforestation linked to the timber industry threatens this in some regions. Much of the forest region is formally protected as national or state parks, or as reservations for indigenous tribes such as the Šuaras, Ašaninka, Jaminava, and Varanis.
- Kalnai, "the mountains": Located in the country's far south, this region is the least-populated geographic region of Aucuria. It is dominated by the South Asterian Range, which serves as the origin for the Juoda, Isana, and Sorimanas rivers. The tallest peak in the Aucurian section of the South Asterian Range, Mount Valeška, reaches a height of 6,768 meters (22,205 feet) and is the highest point in Aucuria. As with the Sythe-Juoda Rainforest, much of this region is located within national parks.
- Salos, "the islands": Consisting of the islands of Saint Casimir and Saint Catherine in the Arucian Sea, this region is mostly flat and, like the coastal region, was heavily dominated by jungles that have since been removed due to the expansion of cash crop agriculture. The islands are notable for their fertile soil, beaches, and many wetland regions.
The main rivers of Aucuria are the Šventasis Steponas (and its tributary the Daulė), Pautė, Čančamaja, Valjaka, and Juoda (and its tributaries the Žavaris, Apurimakas, Isana, and Sorimanas), all of which ultimately drain into the Arucian Sea.
Because of Aucuria's latitude, geography, and topography, the country comprises a wide variety of climates and weather conditions which vary drastically across the country's ecoregions. Following the Köppen system of climate classification, Aucuria is primarily dominated by the tropical, semi-arid, and subtropical climactic groupings, though some regions of the country exhibit desert and mountain climates as a result of topographic factors. In general, the country's climate is wetter in the pakrantė, salos, and miškai regions, drier in the pakraščiai as a result of the rain shadow effect, and colder in the higher altitudes of the aukštumos and kalnai regions.
Because of its location astride the equator, most of Aucuria sees little seasonal variation in weather and climate, though certain regions of the country, particularly the pakraščiai, do see seasonal variations in rainfall. For the same reason, Aucuria experiences little change in the hours of daylight, and accordingly in the time of sunrises and sunsets, throughout the course of the year.
Environment and biodiversity
Due to its geographic and climactic diversity, Aucuria is home to an immense variety of both flora and fauna; as of 2018, roughly 54,000 species are registered in the country, more than 9,000 of which are endemic. Accordingly, Aucuria is typically listed as a megadiverse country.
Aucuria is home to several thousand species of plants; while much of this biodiversity is located within the Sythe-Juoda Rainforest, home to some of the greatest species diversity on the planet, many more species can be found in microbiomes produced by the topography of the Vaskaranas Mountains and the South Asterian Range. Trees native to Aucuria include mahogany, rubber, brazilwood, Satucin nut, Sythe grape, and cashew trees, as well as the country's national tree, the pink ipe. Iču, a type of feathergrass found above the tree line in the Vaskaranas Mountains, was historically used as fodder by indigenous Aucurians. The country is also home to many species of flowering and fruiting plants, including the passionfruit, titanka bromeliad, tamarillo, feijoa, guava, cantuta, patuju, and vanilla; in particular, the country is famous for having the most species of orchid in the world. The country is also home to as many as 1,200 species of fern and 800 species of fungi. Domesticated crops which originate and were domesticated in Aucuria include potatoes, quinoa, cassava, coca, common beans, oca, ullucu, and the chili pepper species Capsicum baccatum and Capsicum pubescens.
The country is also home to a massive number of animal species, including at least 1,600 bird species, 500 mammal species, 500 amphibian species, and 400 reptile species. Carnivorous and insectivorous mammals native to Aucuria include the jaguar, puma, ocelot, spectacled bear, maned wolf, culpeo, kinkajou, giant otter, giant anteater, armadillo, and coati; herbivorous mammals native to the country include the tapir, capybara, chinchilla, viscacha, vicuna, marsh deer, and pakrashchia deer. The country is also home to more than three dozen types of primate, including the capuchin monkey, tamarin, and marmoset. Birds native to Aucuria include the harpy eagle, condor, caracara, Asterian barn owl, Vaskaranan goose, Vaskaranan flamingo, tunki, potoo, frigatebird, Aucurian booby, and rufous hornero, as well as several species of macaw, hummingbird, vireo, and toucan. Reptile species native to Aucuria include the green anaconda, boa constrictor, fer-de-lance, iguana, Asterian crocodile, black caiman, red-footed tortoise, and gold tegu. With regards to amphibians, Aucuria is particularly famous as the home of more than two dozen species of poison dart frog, most of which are endemic to the country. The country is home to more than 1,200 species of freshwater fish, mostly concentrated in the Juoda River and its tributaries, and as many as 2,000 species of saltwater fish in its territorial waters. The country is also known for its many species of butterfly and beetle. Domesticated animals which were domesticated in Aucuria include the llama, alpaca, and guinea pig.
Environmental degradation is an issue in many parts of Aucuria, and poses a threat to the country's biodiversity. Deforestation has resulted in massive loss of habitat and habitat fragmentation in the coastal regions of the country, and increasingly poses a threat to the Sythe Rainforest as the region's timber industry expands; the expansion of cattle ranching and monoculture agriculture in the pakraščiai poses a similar threat to the natural ecosystem of that ecoregion. Other threats to biodiversity include increased water and air pollution as a result of economic development, infrastructural expansion into previously remote regions, runoff from mining operations, oil exploration efforts, overfishing in the country's waters, and several proposed hydroelectric dams.
In response, the Aucurian government has moved to bolster environmental protection regulations, increasing fines for violations, expanding the country's national parks, national preserves, and wildlife refuges, implementing stricter rules for operations in sustainable use areas, and pausing several controversial infrastructural projects for review. It has also implemented stricter emission regulations and subsidies for companies which can prove their adherence to principles of sustainable development, and some Aucurian states have banned fracking, though federal initiatives to ban fracking have thus far been unsuccessful. While these efforts have been praised, activist organizations and environmental monitoring groups have stated that their implementation and enforcement has been subpar.
Aucuria is a federal parliamentary democratic republic with a multi-party system. The current liberal democratic system was established by the Constitution of 1980, implemented after the Velvet Revolution overthrew a thirty-year-old military regime; the fundamental principles of the constitution include respect for civil liberties and human rights, rule of law, political pluralism, equality before the law, and separation of powers. Amendments to the constitution require the assent of both the president and the chancellor, a two-thirds majority of the national legislature, and the assent of at least half of the country's states.
The President of Aucuria serves as the country's head of state. While the presidency has some tangible powers and responsibilities - the president accredits foreign diplomats, must sign treaties in order for them to be ratified, must sign laws in order for them to be passed and has the right to veto laws which they consider unconstitutional, and has the ability to grant pardons - it is mostly symbolic in nature, with the president typically approving any treaties or legislation that are approved by the Saeimas and granting pardons at the recommendation of the chancellor or legislature. By and large, the president is expected to serve first and foremost as a unifying figure and a symbol of the legitimacy and unity of the state. In practice, it is also common for the president to use their position to influence public debate by highlighting causes and policies they consider important, beneficial, or necessary, though the nature and extent of this advocacy varies from president to president. The president is elected for a six-year term, and is limited to two terms in office. The thirtieth and current president is Žygimantas Barauskas of the Social Democratic Party, who is the first president to be successfully elected to a second term under the 1980 constitution.
The Chancellor of Aucuria is the country's head of government. While the president holds the authority to formally nominate the chancellor, law dictates that the nominee must be a member of, and should be the leader of the largest party or coalition of parties within, the country's legislature. The nominee then becomes chancellor with the support of a majority of the legislature. The chancellor then nominates a cabinet, typically drawing a majority of its membership from the Saeimas, which must also be approved by majority vote. As the head of government and chief executive, it is the chancellor who oversees the day-to-day business of running the country and attending to governmental affairs. The chancellor is also the commander in chief of the Aucurian Armed Forces. The chancellor serves for a three-year term corresponding to the terms of the Saeimas, though they can be removed earlier by a vote of no confidence, with a legal term limit of four terms and an informal term limit of three terms. The twenty-fifth and incumbent chancellor is Petras Uspelevičius, who heads a coalition between the Social Democratic Party, of which he is a member, the New Liberals, the Democratic Convergence for Freedom, the Republican Left, and the Green Party.
Aucuria has a unicameral legislature, the Saeimas, which holds all legislative authority at the national level. The Saeimas consists of 396 members directly elected for a three-year term using a mixed-member proportional representation system, in which half of its members are elected for smaller single-member constituencies and the remainder are elected for party-list seats corresponding to Aucuria's states. The day-to-day proceedings of the Saeimas are managed by the Speaker of the Saeimas, currently Sulislova Petraitytė, chosen from among its membership by a majority vote. Twelve political parties are currently represented in the Saeimas: the Social Democrats, New Liberals, National Renewal Alliance, Workers’ Party, Democratic Convergence for Freedom, Republican Left Party, Sotirian Democratic Union, Democratic Front for the Liberation of Cutinsua, Citizens’ Movement, Force of Aucuria, Casimiran Democratic Alliance, and Green Party.
The Aucurian federal judiciary is constitutionally established as independent from the other branches of government, and generally follows the precepts of the civil law system. Aucuria is comparatively unique among civil law countries in that it routinely and primarily utilizes trials by jury rather than bench trials. Civil and criminal laws are codified at the national level by the Civil Code and Penal Code of Aucuria, respectively. Aucuria has two apex courts; the Supreme Court of Aucuria acts as the highest court of appeal for the overwhelming majority of criminal and civil cases, while the Constitutional Court of Aucuria holds extensive powers of judicial review and rules on matters pertaining to the interpretation of the constitution. The Supreme Court and Constitutional Court have eleven members each; members of the court are nominated by the chancellor and approved by a two-thirds majority of the Saeimas, and serve until they voluntarily retire, reach the age of 70 and are legally required to retire, or die.
Aucuria is divided into nineteen states (Ruttish: valstijos, sing. valstija). As Aucuria is a federal republic, these states have some degree of autonomy in administration; they have their own constitutions, can collect their own taxes, and have the ability to pass their own civil and criminal laws (though state laws are constitutionally established as subordinate to federal law). The governments of Aucuria's states are generally modelled on the structure of the national government - each Aucurian state has its own directly-elected unicameral saeimas, its own governor and cabinet, and its own judiciary headed by a supreme court - but there are some distinctions; state governors are directly elected rather than appointed by the state saeimas, and most have no institution equivalent to the Constitutional Court, with the state supreme court serving as the highest court of appeal in all situations.
Aucuria's states are ultimately descended from the provinces established by Ruttland in the 1560s, when the Colony of New Ruttland and Cutinsua was restructured as the Colony of Aucuria. On independence, the country had eleven states - Bendrieji Laukai, Cataris, Kajapas, Kestutia, Magdaliete, New Ruttland, Sidabria, Suduva, Šventasis Silvestras, Šventasis Steponas, and Šventoji Elžbieta. The states of Chanchamaya, Chucisaca, and Leikauskas were split off from existing states for political reasons by Fridrikas Dabrauskas; Juoda, Kunturiri, Oroncota, Pakrashchia, and Tucatia were constituted as states at later dates as Aucurian settlement spread further inland.
Each state is further subdivided into counties (Ruttish: apskritys, sing. apskritis), which are further subdivided into municipalities (Ruttish: savivaldybės, sing. savivaldybė). Counties and municipalities have some limited powers of legislation and taxation, but primarily exist to provide certain necessary administrative or public services at the local level. Counties are typically headed by a county council, with municipalities run by a mayor and municipal council. The lack of power accorded to county and municipal governments has been criticized by some, who have argued that devolving more power to county and municipality governments could allow them to act as a source for grassroots initiatives responding to local problems, though there has been little talk of altering the current situation at the state and federal levels.
Largest cities or towns in Aucuria
Aucuria's 1980 constitution states that the government should be committed to the principles of "coexistence and cooperation between states, the fostering of good relations with other countries, the international promotion and protection of fundamental rights, and support for the generally-recognized principles of international law" in the conduct of its foreign affairs. While the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs is accountable to the chancellor, who is thereby de facto in charge of the country's foreign policy, the Saeimas does exercise powers of oversight and must approve of any diplomatic appointments and of any accession to an international treaty, while the president formally accredits foreign diplomats and ratifies those treaties approved by the Saeimas.
Aucuria is a member of several regional organizations in the Asterias, including the Organization of Asterian Nations and the Asteria Inferior Common Market; it is also an observer of the Arucian Cooperation Organization. The country is also a member of the International Trade Organization, an active member of the International Council for Democracy, and a founding member of the Community of Nations; Aucurian professor and minister of foreign affairs Vytautas Šeduikys served as the tenth Secretary-General of the Community of Nations from 1994 to 2003.
The country is typically considered to be historically friendly towards Belmonte, Gapolania, and Ardesia, though the actual status of relations has varied in the past as a result of regime changes in these countries and in Aucuria itself. Similarly, Aucuria has historically been considered a rival of Nuvania and Satucin, though relations between these countries are by and large pleasant in the modern day. It is also commonly described as a friend, partner, or ally of Rizealand, and has built strong, though mostly informal or cultural, ties with Ruttland. Many analysts consider Aucuria to be generally if informally aligned towards the North Vehemens Organization and Euclean Community on the international scene.
Since 1980, the Aucurian government has been known for its support for human rights groups and non-governmental organizations - human rights groups based in the country include the Feliksaitys Institute, Barauskas Foundation, Volpis Foundation, and Sergėtojai International - and its policies on political asylum.
Military and law enforcement
The Aucurian Armed Forces consists of three branches - the Aucurian Army, Aucurian Navy, and Aucurian Air Force - and is formally tasked with preserving the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Ministry of Defense handles the day-to-day operation of the army while the chancellor serves as the formal commander in chief of the armed forces. While the country's constitution contains provisions permitting the conscription of male citizens between 18 and 25, the military currently operates as an all-volunteer force. The country is a signatory of the Treaty of Shanbally.
The Aucurian military tradition dates back to the Aucurian Revolution, when various colonial militias were organized into a formal army capable of meeting and defeating the forces of the Rudolphine Confederation in combat. Military figures and the army itself have historically played an outsized role in Aucurian politics; several military leaders, including Juozapas Kairys, Fridrikas Dabrauskas, Aleksandras Vilkauskas, Žygimantas Ramanauskas, Feliksas Lupeikis, Albertas Kalvaitis, and Martynas Sprogys have acted as the country's head of government, and the armed forces or a portion thereof played leading roles in the 1828 Aucurian self-coup, the Ides of July, the outbreak of the Aucurian Civil War, and the 1949 Aucurian coup d'etat. Following the overthrow of the Kalvaitis-Sprogys regime in the Velvet Revolution, Aucuria's civil government undertook a substantial program of restructuring the army in order to depoliticize it and prevent any future interference in civilian politics by the armed forces.
The country's gendarmerie, the National Guard, and National Police are under the authority of the Ministry of the Interior. Aucuria's primary intelligence agency is the National Intelligence Bureau, though the Aucurian military also operates its own intelligence service.
Generally considered a developing economy, Aucuria has a GDP PPP of $695.149 billion as of 2015 and an above average Human Development Index score of .782. The country has been historically dependent upon exports, mostly of agricultural or mineral goods; while these exports provided hard currency and substantial revenues in times of international prosperity, they left Aucuria dependent upon volatile global market trends, limited self-sustaining economic growth, and resulted in a highly unequal distribution of income. As a result, many Aucurian governments have sought to expand the country's industrial and commercial sectors, efforts which have been aided by a general trend towards increased urbanization. While the economic situation in Aucuria has generally trended positively in recent years, inequality in the country remains high, with an estimated Gini coefficient of 47.6 in 2015; the Global Institute for Fiscal Affairs estimates that, as of 2018, roughly 21.6% of Aucuria's population lives on less than $5.50 a day. The country's unemployment rate was estimated at 3.8% in 2018; however, this figure fails to account for underemployment, which is also a severe issue in the country. Aucuria has a mixed market economy, having generally though not exclusively trended in this direction due to the perceived failure of neoliberal policies adopted by the Kalvaitis and Sprogys regimes between 1950 and 1980.
As of 2019, it is estimated that roughly 54.3% of Aucuria's gross domestic product comes from the country's service sector, which employs roughly 51.1% of the Aucurian workforce. Agriculture now only makes up 8.2% of the country's GDP, but still employs 23.8% of the labor force; manufacturing and industry compose 37.5% of the GDP and provide employment to 25.1% of the Aucurian workforce.
Aucuria's currency is the svaras.
Agriculture has traditionally been Aucuria's most important economic sector, with the country's geographic and climactic diversity permitting the rearing of a wide variety of plants and animals. The overall importance of agriculture to the Aucurian economy has shrunk consistently over the past several decades as the country has industrialized and diversified economically, with agriculture now only representing 8.2% of Aucuria's GDP, but it continues to provide more than a fifth of the country's jobs and constitutes 28.5% of the country's exports as of 2018.
Aucuria is a major producer of several lucrative cash crops, including sugarcane, coffee, cocoa, cotton, and tobacco, and of important staple crops such as potatoes, soybeans, corn, and cassava. The country is also a major producer of bananas and plantains, citrus fruits (including oranges, tangerines, lemons, and limes), and pineapples. Other crops produced in Aucuria include beans, chili peppers, onions, asparagus, rice, grapes, mangoes, guavas, papayas, melons, acai, wheat, barley, quinoa, garlic, cashews, peanuts, Satucin nuts, and coconuts. Livestock and animal products also represent an important sector of Aucurian agricultural production, particularly in the country's inland savanna areas, which are greatly conducive to ranching. Poultry, beef, fish, shellfish, and pork are all produced in Aucuria, as are eggs, dairy products, wool, and leather.
A noteworthy portion of Aucurian agricultural products continue to be produced by family farms, particularly with regards to the raising of staple crops and livestock, but the proportion of Aucurian agricultural production controlled by foreign and domestic agribusiness has grown in recent decades. This has sparked concerns as to the livelihood of family and traditional farmers, as well as environmental concerns related to habitat destruction, monoculture, and the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.
Mining and forestry
Mining is a major sector of the Aucurian economy, rivalled only by agriculture for most of the country's history; precious and non-precious stones represent roughly 14% of Aucuria's exports and minerals represent roughly 17.5%, with the mining sector as a whole constituting approximately 31.5% of the country's exports as of 2018. Aucuria is a leading producer of gold, silver, and copper, and an important producer of zinc, lead, and tin. Other minerals and precious metals produced in Aucuria include tungsten, iron, platinum, and molybdenum. There are proven reserves of both petroleum and natural gas within Aucuria; combined they represent about 15% of the country's mineral exports. The country also exports emeralds, tourmaline, slate, granite, plaster, ceramics, glass, feldspar, chalk, phosphates, potash, petroleum coke, and quicklime.
Forestry, in particular the felling of trees for timber, is also economically important for Aucuria; the country's geographic diversity allows for the growth and harvesting of a variety of trees, though many of the most valuable types - such as mahogany and brazilwood - are found exclusively within the Sythe Rainforest. The felling of trees to produce charcoal is economically relevant in some rural regions, and Aucuria is also a noteworthy producer of pulp and paper. Efforts to expand the country's timber industry further are contentious, with opponents arguing that these efforts would result in serious damage to Aucuria's natural environment.
The expansion of Aucuria's domestic industry has been a goal of many Aucurian governments since the country obtained its independence, though this was often accompanied by efforts at protectionism and the industrialization of the country did not truly take off until the 20th century. Aucuria's industrial sector currently comprises 37.5% of the country's GDP and provides employment to 25.1% of its workforce. While the growth of industry in the country has been linked to economic development, concerns exist about the links between Aucuria's industrial sector and both water and air pollution in the country.
The industrial sector in Aucuria is highly diversified between several forms of light and heavy industry, including textiles, furniture, refined metals, chemicals, vehicle manufacturing, production of heavy machinery, and electronics manufacturing. Aucuria's natural mineral wealth means that metalworking - including the refining and working of copper, zinc, tin, lead, iron, and steel - represents a particularly important area of Aucurian industry; however, it by no means predominates. Similarly, Aucuria's status as a major producer of agricultural goods means that food processing composes a noteworthy proportion of Aucurian industrial production. By sector, textiles represented roughly 2% of the country's exports, metals roughly 7%, chemicals roughly 5.5%, vehicles roughly 6%, machinery roughly 4.5%, and electronics and consumer goods roughly 1.5%.
Commerce and finance
Commerce and finance have traditionally represented a relatively small portion of Aucuria's economy, though the substantial expansion of the country's service sector in the past four decades, enabled by general positive economic performance since the end of the 2005 economic crisis, has changed this. Financial services represented just over 20% of the country's GDP in 2016. The country's premier stock exchange is the Kalnaspilis Stock Exchange; certain Aucurian governments, notably the government of Chancellor Daumantas Lapinskas, have campaigned to increase the prominence of the Kalnaspilis Stock Exchange as compared to other Asterian stock exchanges, though these efforts have met with mixed results.
Media and telecommunications
While some parts of Aucuria's print-based media can be traced as far back as the country's war of independence, the modern state of the country's media largely emerged after the Velvet Revolution, when the overthrow of the Sprogys regime and new protections for press freedom resulted in the diversification of the country's media. The broadsheet Žinia Respublikos, one of the oldest newspapers in Aucuria, is widely considered to be the national newspaper of record; other major newspapers in the country include Žibintas, Aukurija Šiandien, Aušra, Kurjeris, Radikalas, Tvirtovė, Kalnaspilio Rytas, Apvaizdos Šauklys, and Katniavos Vėliavininkas; major newsmagazines in the country include Tautos Savaitrašti, Žvaigždė, and Ekspresas.
The country's public broadcaster for both radio and television is ANRT, which was founded as a radio broadcaster in 1925 and began television broadcasts in 1954. Major privately-run radio networks in the country include Aukurijos Balsas and Aulaira, and other major television broadcasters include ANT, Aukurijos Dažnis, and Vaskarano Televizijas. In addition, a large number of local radio and television broadcasters operate within the country.
Most media in Aucuria is printed or broadcast in Ruttish. As a result, indigenous activists have long called for an increase in the amount of Runanca and Kirua media produced in the country. Legislation passed in 2007 and backed by then-chancellor Eugenijus Vamanas mandated that ANRT provide Runanca and Kirua subtitling for its programs, and many private media operators have taken similar actions or created Runanca- or Kirua- language channels. There are also newspapers printed in the Runanca and Kirua languages and aimed at indigenous audiences. Historically, Aucuria also had many newspapers printed in the languages of immigrant populations to the countries; as these populations assimilated, however, many of these newspapers closed, and comparatively few survive today.
Telecommunications infrastructure is unevenly distributed in Aucuria, with modern broadcasting, telephone, and internet infrastructure relatively widespread in the country's populated north but even basic infrastructure often lacking in rural regions of the country's sparsely-populated interior. Many Aucurian governments have promised to fix this situation, but efforts to expand infrastructure in the country's rural interior have met with varying degrees of success and controversy.
Roads serve as the primary carriers of passenger and freight traffic in Aucuria. Large-scale investment in the country's road and highway systems in the automobile age began with the presidency of Dominykas Dabrickas in the 1930s, but intensified sharply during the 1950s at the behest of the Kalvaitis regime. Despite these historical investments, only about 12.5% of the country's roughly 205,000 kilometers (~127,300 miles) of roadways are paved. The national highway system, which measures roughly 9,500 kilometers in total, is managed by the country's Ministry of Transport and Communications and patrolled by the National Police. Expansion of the country's road network is a regular topic of political debate in Aucuria at both the state and national levels, with expansion of paved roads in rural areas acting as a primary campaign promise of former chancellor Daumantas Lapinskas; concerns of habitat destruction and fragmentation, particularly in the pakraščiai and Sythe Rainforest, have bogged down many efforts in this area.
Aucuria has 3,172 kilometers (1,970 miles) of railway as of 2016. While rail was a crucial form of transit in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the Aucurian rail network has declined since the prioritization of highway construction in the 1950s, and at least 400 kilometers of the country's rail network are no longer in use. The country's railways have always been dominated by freight traffic, which constituted a majority of rail traffic during the system's heyday and represents more than 90% of rail traffic as of 2020; much of this freight consists of minerals and ores. Most railways in the country are narrow-gauge, as it was easier to construct in mountainous regions of the country. Aucurian Railways is Aucuria's national railway company; having previously been dissolved by the Kalvaitis regime in 1950, it was reconstituted in 2006 as part of a broader effort to revitalize Aucuria's railway system. Three Aucurian cities - Kalnaspilis, Apvaizda, and Katniava - have metro systems.
Seaports handled roughly 80% of Aucuria's international cargo as of 2012, with the country's primary seaports being located in Kalnaspilis, Apvaizda, Velykopolė, and Piliukas. The Aucurian merchant marine totals thirty-six ships as of 2007; the country also has seven ships registered in other countries. Navigable waterways have historically been an important means of transport in Aucuria, particularly in the country's interior. The Juoda River and its tributaries serve as the most prominent example of this, providing a means of transport between the cities of Oruras, Vykintopolė, Molėtai, and Pabradės Fortas; disputes over access to the Sythe River, of which the Juoda is itself a tributary, helped provoke Aucuria's entry into the Great War, and river access remains an important point in Aucuro-Satucine relations into the present.
As of 2008, Aucuria had 662 airports, 103 of which had paved runways and 26 of which are built to accommodate jet aircraft; the country also has two heliports. The country's primary airport is Bendiktas Klimantis International Airport in Kalnaspilis; other major airports are located in Apvaizda, Katniava, Andavaila, Velykopolė, Vykintopolė, and Molėtai. Aucuria's flag carrier is Aerolaivynas, originally founded in 1923 as an airmail service.
Aucuria is well-endowed with energy resources, and has been a net energy exporter since 2006. Domestically, the country's primary power utility is the publicly-owned Elektraukurija, which controls roughly 60% of the country's market either directly or through subsidiaries. Aucuria has vast hydroelectric potential, in particular along the Juoda River and its tributaries the Žavaris, Apurimakas, Isana, and Sorimanas rivers; 62.7% of the country's energy generation was hydroelectric in 2019, and the country has been internationally praised for its commitment to green energy. Additionally, in spite of the construction of several major dams, most famously the Atamantas and Milakras dams, most analysts believe that Aucuria's full hydroelectric potential remains unexplored. The construction of further dams has run into intense controversy, however, with environmental groups pointing to the disruption of riverine and jungle ecosystems and indigenous groups objecting to the further displacement of indigenous tribes by reservoirs. In recent years, Aucuria's government has also investigated expansions of wind and solar power, which could allow the country to expand its green energy sector without the issues associated with hydroelectric power.
Aucuria does have domestic fossil fuel reserves, primarily of petroleum and natural gas; exports of oil and natural gas combined represent about 15% of the country's mineral exports, and fossil energy represents 27.7% of the country's electricity generation. However, Aucuria's domestic refining capability cannot meet demand, and so the country has to import fuel oil, gasoline, and diesel, primarily from Euclea and Rahelia. The Aucurian government has also encouraged investment in the production of ethanol from corn & sugarcane and biodiesel from soybeans, which would allow the country to take advantage of its agricultural sector for energy production.
Tourism is one of the fastest-growing sectors in Aucuria, with approximately 11% of the national labor force employed in tourism as of 2015; tourist revenues composed roughly 9.5% of total exports when expressed as such as of 2018. This rapid growth has been fueled by the variety of options presented to tourists by Aucuria as a result of its geography and heritage, and by deliberate efforts to promote the sector's growth with advertising and improvements to tourist infrastructure. The tourism sector's rapid growth was negatively impacted by the 2020 Pico de Sangue eruption, but is expected to recover.
Natural areas are a major attractor for tourists to Aucuria as a result of the country's geographic diversity, allowing for a variety of leisure and recreational activities. Beachgoing is extremely popular for domestic and foreign tourists alike, with the country boasting a variety of fantastic beaches along its Arucian coastline; the islands of Saint Casimir and Saint Catherine in particular have been heavily promoted as an alternative to Imagua, Carucere, and Sainte-Chloé for international tourists by the Aucurian Ministry of Tourism in recent years. The Vaskaranas Mountains provide ample opportunities for hiking and similar activities. Ecotourism and environmental voluntourism are important parts of the Aucurian tourism sector, especially in the Juoda-Sythe Rainforest and Džukija, as a result of the country's immense biodiversity and many national parks. The country also provides many opportunities for adventure tourism.
Cultural tourism is also a major sector of the Aucurian tourism industry as a result of Aucuria's remarkable historic and cultural patrimony. The indigenous civilizations of Aucuria left a rich archaeological and cultural impact upon the nation, and many pre-colonial sites are now important tourist attractions. These include the archaeological sites at Pativilkas, Kiljakoljas, and Kulkinčas, as well as the famous Piura geoglyphs, the citadel of Vamanmarkas, the Uskulvilkas royal palace, and the temple of Tupakančas. Tourists also come to see preserved Ruttish colonial architecture, most of it in the famous Vaskaranan Baroque style, with the historic centers of Apvaizda, Andavaila, and Kalnaspilis all home to famous examples of preserved colonial buildings. Kalnaspilis is also known for its many museums. Gastrotourism is a noteworthy subset of cultural tourism within Aucuria, with tourists attracted to the unique synthesis of indigenous, colonial, and immigrant traditions offered by Aucurian cuisine.
Aucuria has a population of approximately 44.2 million people as of 2020, making it the third most populous country in Asteria Inferior, behind its neighbors Satucin and Nuvania. The country has an overall population density of roughly 27.5 people per square kilometer, or 71.3 people per square mile; however, population distribution is highly uneven, with the vast majority of the country's population living in the country's northern regions. While population growth in the country remains positive, at roughly 1.7% as of 2014, it has slowed gradually but continuously since the 1970s as Aucuria undergoes the process of demographic transition.
Traditionally a rural nation, Aucuria has seen widespread urbanization in recent decades, and at least two-thirds of the country's population now lives in urban areas. Aucuria is also a comparatively young country, with roughly a quarter of its population estimated to be 15 years old or younger as of 2020. Life expectancy in Aucuria is estimated at 74.4 years of age as of 2020. The country has an overall literacy rate of 94.7%, with illiteracy rates higher among the poor, the elderly, and the inhabitants of rural areas.
The Aucurian government, through the Aucurian Institute of Statistics and Geography, carries out a national census every 10 years. The first Aucurian census was taken in 1814; the most recent instance of a census not occurring at the regularly-scheduled time was 1934, when the census could not take place due to the occupation of Aucuria during the Great War and was instead performed in 1936. The country's most recent census was taken in 2014.
The Aucurian population is very ethnically diverse, having been shaped by multiple waves of immigration over successive centuries of habitation, with the country's modern population descended from various populations of indigenous Asterians, Ruttish colonists and settlers, Bahians brought over as slave labor, and various Euclean and Coian ethnicities that immigrated to the country in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As a result of this diversity, Aucuria is commonly considered a multicultural society. Aucuria's census, conducted by the Aucurian Institute of Statistics and Geography, or ASGI, does report ethnic data; however, ASGI has cautioned that the percentages reported are based upon self-identification and, therefore, a noteworthy degree of ambiguity enters the data it obtains and publishes.
Roughly 7.0% of the Aucurian population identifies as iškeltai, or white Aucurians. The term "iškeltai" emerged during the colonial period and originally referred to ethnic Ruttish who had been born in the Asterias, in contrast to the perjūrai, ethnic Ruttish born in Euclea. While most modern iškeltai are descended from these original Ruttish colonists, the term's use has been broadened in subsequent centuries to refer to all Aucurians of Euclean origin; as a result, the term now also encompasses Asterianers and Satucinais who found themselves living in Aucuria due to the border changes that followed the Great War, as well as the descendants of 19th- and 20th-century Euclean immigrants to Aucuria. These Euclean immigrants came from a variety of countries, including Werania, Etruria, Miersa, Amathia, Soravia, Piraea, and Emessa, and while most have at least partially assimilated into the broader iškeltas population, many do retain unique features of their cultural heritage.
Maišytiai, or individuals of mixed ethnic origin, make up approximately 58.6% of the Aucurian population, or 25.9 million people, making them the largest ethnic group in the country. While most associated with individuals of mixed Euclean, indigenous Asterian, or Bahian descent, the term "maišytias" can and regularly does refer to any person of multiracial or multiethnic descent, including those of partial Coian, Rahelian, and Satrian descent. Historically, maišytiai were vernacularly subdivided into "color categories" as a result; this terminology is usually regarded as offensive nowadays, however, and is no longer widely used. Information on subgroupings within the maišytiai population is not collected by the Aucurian census, and results from surveys on the topic can vary widely due to self-identification and successive generations of ethnic admixture within the maišytiai population. The combined populations of iškeltai and maišytiai, representing 65.6% of the Aucurian population, are sometimes referred to as "ethnic Aucurians", though this is deeply contentious.
Roughly 24.1% of the country's population, or 10.6 million people, are indigenous Asterians. Most indigenous Aucurians belong to either the Runanca or Kirua peoples, who make up 15.2% and 8.5% of the country's population respectively. Both the Runanca and Kirua are associated with complex pre-Asterian civilizations, having been the primary ethnic groups within the League of Five Cities. In many rural parts of the country's aukštumos region, they continue to constitute a majority of the population, and their languages, culture, and traditions remain relatively strong as a result. Another 0.4% of the Aucurian population is composed of other indigenous groups, including the Kanjaris, Šuaras, Ašaninka, Jaminava, Varanis, Orarinas, and Majorunai, the vast majority of whom are located in the Sythe-Juoda Rainforest. The National Aboriginal Foundation estimates that there may also be eight to twelve uncontacted tribes located within the Sythe-Juoda region. Aucuria was also historically home to Nati, Mutu, Tairona, and Marai populations.
Approximately 7.8% of the Aucurian population, 3.4 million people, identifies as Bahian Aucurian. Descended from Bahians imported to serve as slave labor on plantations, most Bahian Aucurians reside in the country's coastal regions; a particularly large percentage of the Bahian Aucurian community resides on the islands of Saint Casimir and Saint Catherine, where they compose a majority of the population. Bahian Aucurians have their own distinct culture, derived from the synthesis of a variety of Bahian and Euclean traditions. Many Bahian Aucurian inhabitants of Saint Casimir and Saint Catherine speak a creole language known as Casimiran, which has received some formal recognition at the state level.
Coian Aucurians represent roughly 1.8% of the Aucurian population. Nearly three-quarters of Coian Aucurians trace their ancestry back to Senrian, Shangean, or Dezevauni immigrants who arrived in the country in the late 1800s and early 1900s; Aucuria also has Ansene, Kuthine, Siamati, Nainanese, and Kabuese communities. Roughly 200,000 Aucurians trace their ancestry to the gowsa migrations of the 1800s, though the true number of gowsa descendants is likely higher. Approximately 0.6% of the Aucurian population identifies themselves as Rahelian Aucurians or Satrian Aucurians; of these, the vast majority are ethnic Rahelians, though Aucuria also has Pardarian, Kexri, and Satrian communities.
The largest religion in Aucuria is Solarian Catholicism, which is practiced by 73.8% of the country's population, or 32.6 million people. Brought by Ruttish colonists, and imposed by them on indigenous populations and imported slave labor, Catholicism has been a dominant force in Aucurian society and culture since. The Solarian Catholic Church was a major landholder and provider of public services through the 1800s, and while the church's societal and political role has generally declined since independence, it nonetheless retains a uniquely prominent position within the country.
Adherents of the various Amendist churches make up 16.8% of the Aucurian population, or roughly 7.4 million people. While Aucuria has long had a small Amendist population, mostly of Weranic or Nuvanian origin, Amendism has grown substantially in the country in the past two decades, primarily at the expense of Solarian Catholicism. Another 2.2% of the population belongs to the Brethren Church, which spread to Aucuria from neighboring Satucin. 1.3% of the population is officially classified as "other Sotirian" by the Aucurian census; this grouping includes Episemialists, restorationist sects, non-denominational Sotirians, and members of other Sotirian churches.
Aucurian Sotirianity is marked by a high degree of syncretism, especially in rural areas, a tendency which emerged from colonial efforts to suppress the religious traditions of the indigenous population and Bahian slaves. Many Aucurian religious festivals and aspects incorporate rites and iconography from a variety of sources, and the practice of folk religion in Aucuria can vary widely from region to region depending on which cultures and ethnicities influenced the syncretistic process.
Many other religions were brought to Aucuria by 19th- and 20th-century immigrants, and retain presences, if comparatively minor ones, within Aucuria today; religions within this group include Zohism, Badi, Irfan, Tenkyou, and Atudism. Atheism, agnosticism, and irreligion are concentrated in urban areas and have grown slowly but steadily in Aucuria in recent years; they collectively compose 3.8% of the Aucurian population as of 2014.
The Constitution of Aucuria guarantees freedom of religion for all residents of the country, explicitly declaring protections for freedom of conscience and worship and for the independence of churches, and establishes the country as a secular state, prohibiting the establishment of a state religion and declaring that the state "shall [not] show favor or disfavor towards any church or religion". However, it also contains a clause acknowledging the "unique role of the Solarian Catholic faith" in Aucurian history and culture.
The Aucurian education system begins at the pre-primary level with crèches and preschools for children under the age of six. These are optional and aim to assist the development of cognitive, social, and motor skills of young children. Primary and secondary schooling are compulsory, with primary school lasting until age 12 and secondary school lasting until age 16. Grading is typically done on a ten-point system, with grades below three considered as failing grades. Primary school is sometimes further subdivided into two "stages" - a four-year "first stage" in which students are taught primarily by one teacher and a three-year "second stage" in which students have different teachers in each subject, as is the case in secondary school. At the end of their secondary education, students take a matriculation exam known as the abitūra.
Tertiary education in Aucuria is optional, and divided between universities and vocational colleges, both of which typically follow four-year academic programs. University graduates receive a baccalaureate upon graduation; individuals with a baccalaureate may choose to pursue a further post-graduate degree. The country is home to many universities; some of these universities, such as the National University of Saint Michael the Archangel in Apvaizda and the National University of Saint Isidore in Andavaila, date back to the 16th century and are among the oldest operating universities in the Asterias.
While the federal government of Aucuria operates multiple public universities and retains certain powers regarding school curriculums and examinations, much of the organization of the country's education system - most significantly the organization of public primary and secondary schools - is ultimately left to state and municipal governments, with the funding for public schools coming from all three levels of government. In addition to the public education system, private schools exist at all educational levels in Aucuria. While parochial schools are not as widespread or powerful as they were historically, many remain in operation today.
Multiple issues face the Aucurian education system. Many schools are underfunded, which detracts from the quality of education. Schools in urban areas are often overcrowded, which compounds this issue. Many rural areas, by contrast, do not have enough schools, limiting access to education in these regions. Additionally, the tendency of higher-income families to send their children to church or private schools contributes to the de facto segregation of the education system along economic lines, which limits social mobility.
Aucuria's publicly-funded healthcare system, the National Healthcare System, is managed by the country's Ministry of Health and serves as the primary healthcare provider for a majority of the Aucurian population. Its services are offered all citizens and long-term residents of the country free of charge. The public healthcare system is supplemented by private healthcare systems playing a complementary role. The government of Petras Uspelevičius has made health equity and expansion of healthcare infrastructure a political priority, seeking to end Aucuria's longstanding issues with lack of access to medical care in poor and rural parts of the country.
In addition to the country's formal healthcare system, traditional medicine - including indigenous shamans and traditional medicines such as ajavaska - continues to play an important role in medical caregiving for many Aucurians. This has traditionally been associated with poor access to modern medicine in many parts of the country, particularly rural areas with high indigenous populations, but recent analyses have suggested that many Aucurians practice "medical pluralism", utilizing modern and traditional medicine simultaneously. Still, this practice is controversial, with detractors linking it to poorer quality of health and supporters describing it as a form of "cultural resistance" against assimilation.
Aucurian culture is the synthesis of a variety of cultural influences which arrived in the country throughout the centuries. The core of modern Aucurian culture is derived from Ruttish culture, brought by Ruttish settlers during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries; these settlers brought the Ruttish language, the Solarian Catholic Church, and their unique styles of art, architecture, music, dance, and folklore. This Ruttish-based culture was subsequently shaped by a variety of factors, including Aucuria's climate, history, and ethnic diversity. One of the strongest influences upon Aucurian culture has been the traditions of the region's indigenous Asterians, most notably the Runanca and the Kirua; some indigenous traditions can be traced as far back as the dawn of civilization in Asteria Inferior. Traditions of Bahian origin, brought over as a result of the trans-Vehemens slave trade, are a particularly strong influence in the country's north. Additionally, Aucurian culture has been shaped by the cultural contributions of immigrants from a variety of origins, including Werania, Etruria, Miersa, Senria, Dezevau, and Rahelia, who arrived in the country during the 19th and 20th centuries.
The Aucurian artistic tradition can trace its origins to the Kiljakoljas culture, which existed from 1,300 to 300 BCE and saw the development of the first widespread, recognizable artistic style in the region. Much of Kiljakoljas art is believed to have been religious in nature, and is known for its complex iconography, frequent depiction of animals, and use of contour rivalry. The Piura and Tirakvas cultures, which succeeded the Kiljakoljas, developed their own unique artistic traditions; the Tirakvas are known for their portrait vessels, while the Piura are known for their painted pottery and vibrant textiles. The Kulkinčas culture, which thrived from the 800s to the 1200s, are remembered for their richly-colored textiles and ornate metalwork and inlay, but are perhaps best known for their unique monochromatic pottery, produced by firing clay at high temperatures in a closed kiln. During the Cutinsuan period, the Runanca and Kirua synthesized the artistic styles of the cultures that had preceded them, resulting in an explosion of works in a new, eclectic style.
Ruttish colonization brought the Euclean artistic tradition to the region. While the art from the earliest years of colonial period drew primarily from the Renaissance and Mannerist styles, Aucurian colonial art is most heavily associated with the Baroque style, which dominated from the 1600s to the mid-1700s. The Apvaizda School, established in 1583, taught Euclean artistic techniques in the Asterias, which paved the way for the syncretization of Euclean and indigenous Asterian styles and the development of a unique artistic tradition. Defining characteristics of the Apvaizdan style include a heavy focus on religious subjects, the depiction of local wildlife and landscapes, a lack of perspective, the widespread use of gold and silver leaf, and the application of watercolor on top of metal leaf to provide a distinctive sheen. Following Aucuria's annexation by the Rudolphine Confederation, the Rococo style gained increasing traction within the country. Famous artists of the colonial period include Kazimieras Meizys, Soterijonas Časka, Modestas Penkauskas, Izoakas Kurikujluras, and Adomas Jurgevičius.
After Aucuria obtained its independence in 1794, there was a turn in the country towards the neoclassical style, as many revolutionaries admired ancient Piraea and Solaria, whose democratic and republican ideals they considered precedent for their own. Much of the art from the early years of the Aucurian republic - produced by individuals such as Petras Romeika, Vytautas Glazauskas, and Jokūbas Jonaitis - was history painting and portraiture that sought to construct a narrative of Aucurian history and identity. As the 1800s progressed, neoclassicalism was increasingly overshadowed by romanticism and realism; a strong nationalistic bent to artwork persisted, however, with works often depicting the country's history, landscapes, and leading figures. Emblematic of this tendency was paprotizmas (literally "custom-ism"), which spanned both romanticism and realism and focused on scenes of everyday life and local traditions in Aucuria. Major artists of this period include Juozapas Vitkus, Nikiforas Katauskas, Liudvikas Šalenbergas, Danielis Malinauskas, Žygimantas Ceida, and Fridrikas Eidukevičius.
The social instability arising from modernization and the country's defeat in the War of the Arucian provoked an increased interest in non-traditional, transgressive, modernist styles. Impressionism thrived in the country during the 1880s and 1890s, spearheaded by artists such as Hektoras Vilkaitis and Juozapas Stroika. The focus on Aucurian customs and traditions embodied by paprotizmas transformed into vietinizmas, or indigenism, which focused primarily on indigenous customs & history and overlapped heavily with the muralist movement of Leandras Kymantas, Metjūs Endrijauskas, and Aivaras Tukris. In the early 20th century, the expressionist, cubist, and surrealist movements gained traction in the country; noteworthy Aucurian painters of these movements include Eduardas Stauskas, Mykolas Skaletas, Beatričė Tamulaitė, and Artūras Džinas.
Abstract and contemporary art spread to Aucuria following the Great War. These movements were suppressed by the Kalvaitis and Sprogys regimes, which associated them with political radicalism and instead emphasized more traditional artistic styles, but have thrived in the country since the Velvet Revolution. Prominent contemporary Aucurian artists include Feliksas Valaitis, Teodoras Uskulkusis, Zunitiras Gauvadizis, Laima Balsienė, and Daumantė Vyšniauskienė.
Many of Aucuria's pre-colonial civilizations left behind impressive works of monumental architecture which survive into the present. These include the step pyramids of the Pativilkas, aqueducts of the Piura, megalithic structures of the Tirakvas, and adobe brick structures of the Kulkinčas. Cutinsuan architecture is among the most significant pre-colonial architecture in the Asterias, and many examples of it are well preserved; it is known for its mortarless stonemasonry, which has proved remarkably durable, and for the road system the Cutinsuans used to connect their domains. Among the most famous examples of Cutinsuan architecture are the Uskulvilkas royal palace and Tupakančas temple in Andavaila, and the citadel of Vamanmarkas in the state of Oroncota.
Colonialism saw the Renaissance, Gothic, and Baroque architectural styles, all well-established in Ruttland, brought over to Aucuria. Of these, Baroque architecture predominated, and a local variant known as Vaskaranan Baroque developed. Vaskaranan Baroque preserved the rich ornamentation of Euclean Baroque, but blended it with uniquely Aucurian features, including indigenous motifs, representations of native flora and fauna, and rustication modelled after Cutinsuan stonework. Ruttish colonizers also implemented a philosophy of urban planning, placing buildings which invoked Ruttish rule - such as forts, missions, and churches - in prominent or central locations to maximize their visibility.
Neoclassical architecture arrived in Aucuria in the 1780s and 1790s, and rapidly became a popular and enduring architectural style; it was sometimes referred to as "republican architecture", as it was heavily associated with the newly-established Aucurian Republic. Beginning in the mid-1800s, Aucurian neoclassicism drew increasing influence from the Beaux-Arts school of architecture, which was itself primarily derived from the principles of Gaullican neoclassicism. While some other architectural styles - particularly the Gothic revival and Baroque revival styles - were able to establish themselves in the country during the period, the neoclassical-Beaux-Arts style remained functionally unchallenged as the predominant architectural style in Aucuria until the Great War.
Art Deco architecture flourished in Aucuria during the 1930s and 1940s. Modernism and internationalism began to appear in the country during the late 1940s; however, these styles, alongside the subsequent styles of postmodernism and neo-futurism, were regarded with suspicion by the Kalvaitis and Sprogys regimes, which tightly controlled them and promoted more traditional architectural styles. Since the Velvet Revolution, the neomodern and contemporary styles of architecture have become increasingly prominent within Aucuria.
Aucurian cuisine is known for its diversity, the result of the country's varied geography and its heterogeneous population. Many of the plants typical to Ruttish cuisine, suited to the cool climates of northern Euclea, could not be grown in Aucuria or could be grown only at higher altitudes; nonetheless, Ruttish colonizers brought over several crops, herbs, and animals, including wheat, barley, rice, beef, pork, chicken, onions, asparagus, beets, grapes, horseradish, dill, garlic, coriander, caraway, and oregano. Ruttish settlers also brought over a culinary emphasis on dairy products (including milk, buttermilk, cheese, and sour cream), and fresh fruit. These foodstuffs and culinary tendencies mixed with those of the Cutinsuans, who had their own, centuries-old culinary tradition. Native crops such as potatoes, corn, quinoa, beans (including black, red, and lima beans), cassava, chili peppers, and caigua quickly became integrated into the cuisine of Ruttish settlers, while some other native crops - such as oca, ullucu, mashua, tarwi, and maca - persisted mainly among indigenous populations. The country's cuisine also features a great variety of tropical fruits (including bananas, plantains, oranges, pineapples, mangoes, guavas, and papayas), nuts (such as cashews, peanuts, and Satucin nuts), and other agricultural products (including coffee, chocolate, and sugar).
Breakfast (Ruttish: pusryčiai) is typically the largest meal of the day in Aucuria, with lunch (pietūs) only slightly smaller and dinner (vakarienė) typically the lightest meal. Small meals in the morning (ryto užkandis, "morning snack") and afternoon (popietės užkandis, "afternoon snack") might also be taken throughout the course of the day, though these are secondary and many individuals forgo them.
There are numerous regional variations within Aucurian cuisine. The cuisines of the pakrantė region and the country's Arucian islands have a traditional bent towards the use of poultry and seafood, while the cuisine of the aukštumos region tends to rely more heavily on native crops and animals, and the cuisine of the pakraščiai places greater importance on red meat, often grilled or smoked. The cuisine of Saint Casimir and Saint Catherine shows a particularly pronounced Bahian influence, while the cuisine of the aukštumos has heavy indigenous influence and the cuisines of the pakrantė and pakraščiai often show influence from the cuisines of immigrant cultures.
Vėliavininko pusryčiai ("vėliavininkas's breakfast"), a breakfast dish consisting of red or black beans, white rice, ground meat or sausage (such as kabanas, aičatikas, or dešrutis), a fried egg, a piece of fried plantain, pakepintiai, and a kotokai, is sometimes considered to be the Aucurian national dish. Other dishes regarded as distinctly Aucurian include kibinai, fried turnovers filled with meat, vegetables, and cheese; vankajo bulvės, sliced boiled potatoes topped in a spicy cream sauce; nugarinė su kiaušiniu, beef tenderloin served with a fried egg and french fries; idaryti rokota, spicy red peppers stuffed with ground meat and cheese, fried in egg batter or masa, and topped with cheese; and vištienos čili, a stew prepared with chicken, onion, garlic, yellow peppers, cheese, and bread soaked in evaporated milk.
Aucurian dishes which are of Ruttish origin include lašiniai, cured pork backfat; didžkukuliai, potato dumplings stuffed with meat, cheese, and mushrooms; šaltibarščiai, cold beet soup with a distinctive pale pink color; and juka, a poultry blood soup. Dishes traditional to the Runanca and Kirua include karapulkras, a stew of meat, čiunja, peanuts, peppers, garlic, and cloves, sometimes served with rice or cassava; uliukas su čarkis, ulluco served with diced pieces of čarkis; antikučas, skewered and grilled cubes of meat, commonly seen today as street food; and humitai, corn masa stuffed with sweet or savory items and then boiled in a cornhusk. Bahian-origin dishes include karuras, a mixture of onion, okra, shrimp, and toasted peanuts & cashews; mokekvas, a stew of fish, shrimp, tomatoes, onion, garlic, lime, and coriander; takača, mashed plantain served with vegetables and sausage; and vatapas, a dish made of bread, shrimp, coconut milk, ground peanuts, and palm oil. Dishes derived from those brought over by immigrant cultures, or influenced by immigrant cuisines, include kotletai, breaded cutlets influenced both by Weranian schnitzel and Etrurian cotoletta; kibė, balls of fried dough stuffed with ground meat and onions, originally from Rahelian cuisine; gjozai, Senrian fried meat dumplings served with soy sauce; and šaufano ryžiai, rice, egg, scallions, meat, and soy sauce, stir-fried in the Shangean fashion.
Popular or emblematic desserts in Aucuria include šakotis, a type of cake prepared on a spit, originally from Ruttland; žagarėliai, fritters covered in sugar and cinnamon and sometimes filled with cheese, jam, or syrup; geltonelis, a custard dessert made with shaved coconut, known for its bright yellow color; gvajavosiai, confections made from guava pulp and cane sugar; and Kalnaspilio atodūsis, a dessert made of pannacotta or veršiukelis topped with meringue and flavored with vanilla, cinnamon, and port. While actually Etrurian in origin, many Aucurians consider tiramisu to be a characteristically Aucurian dessert due to its use of coffee and chocolate.
Coffee is widely considered to be the Aucurian national beverage, and is typically served with milk or cream and sugar. Hot chocolate, kullis (a beverage prepared from purple corn), čapas (a drink made from bananas or plantains, spiced with cinnamon and cloves), kvarapa (fresh sugarcane juice), and raspajas (a beverage made of shaved ice, condensed milk, and fruit juice or syrup) are also popular within the country. Certain domestic Aucurian soft drink brands, most famously Auksinė Kola and Estmeru Kola, have managed to retain their prevalence within the Aucurian market in spite of fierce competition from international challengers.
The most popular type of alcoholic beverage in Aucuria is beer; influenced by Ruttish brewing traditions, Aucurian beers tend to be malty and not particularly hoppy. Aucuria is also known for rum, particularly its light and amber rums. Other alcoholic beverages that are from or widely consumed in Aucuria include čiča, an indigenous alcoholic beverage typically prepared using corn; degtinė, a distilled spirit made from potatoes; piska, a local form of brandy; and otoronkinė, a distilled spirit made from sugarcane juice, akin to Belmontese cachaça.
Šaltibarščiai is known for its bright color.
Vištienos čili is considered an Aucurian comfort food.
Antikučas is a popular street food in Aucuria.
Vatapas is typical of the country's Arucian islands.
Šaufano ryžiai was originally developed by Shangean immigrants.
Kalnaspilio atodūsis served in a cocktail glass.
|Date||Estmerish name||Aucurian name||Day off?||Notes|
|January 1||New Year’s Day||Naujieji metai||Marks the first day of the Gregorian calendar year.|
|January 11||Day of the Revolution||Revoliucijos diena||Celebrates the start of the Aucurian Revolution and the end of the Velvet Revolution.|
|February X||Independence Day||Nepriklausomybės diena||Celebrates Aucuria's declaration of independence from the Rudolphine Confederation.|
|variable||Ash Wednesday||Peleninės||Marks the beginning of Lent.|
|March 22||Flag Day||Vėliavos diena||Commemorates the creation of the Aucurian flag.|
|April 7||Liberty Day||Laisvės diena||Celebrates the ratification of the Declaration of the Rights of the People.|
|variable||Good Friday||Didysis penktadienis||Commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Soter.|
|variable||Easter||Velykos||Celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Soter.|
|May 1||Labor Day||Darbo diena||Celebrates the international labor movement and the Aucurian working class.|
|first Sunday in May||Mother's Day||Motinos diena||Celebrates Aucurian mothers and motherhood.|
|variable||Pentecost||Sekminės||Celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles.|
|variable||Corpus Christi||Devintinės||Celebrates the Eucharist.|
|first Sunday in June||Father's Day||Tėvo diena||Celebrates Aucurian fathers and fatherhood.|
|June 24||Saint John's Day||Joninės or Rasos||Celebrates the nativity of John the Baptist and the summer solstice.|
|August 15||Assumption||Žolinė||Celebrates the ascension of the Virgin Mary to Heaven.|
|Month X||Day of Discovery||Atradimu diena||Celebrates the arrival of Jurgis Leikauskas and Ruttish užkariautojai in Aucuria.|
|Month X||Day of Čavajtiris||Čavajtirio diena||Celebrates the Battle of Čavajtiris, the last battle of the Aucurian Revolution.|
|Month X||Day of Resistance||Pasipriešinimo diena||Celebrates the establishment of the National Redoubt Government.|
|Month X||Victory Day||Pergalės diena||Celebrates the end of the Great War.|
|last Monday in August||Memorial Day||Pieminas diena||Commemorates the sacrifice of Aucurian soldiers who died while serving; created following the War of the Arucian and the Aucurian Civil War.|
|last Monday in September||Remembrance Day||Atminimas diena||Commemorates all persons who died fighting for liberty.|
|October 14||Day of the Republic||Respublikos diena||Celebrates the ratification of the 1792 Constitution of Aucuria.|
|November 1||All Saints' Day||Višventinės||Commemorates all Sotirian saints, known or unknown.|
|November 2||All Souls' Day||Vėlinės||Commemorates the souls of all deceased Sotirian faithful.|
|December 24||Nativity Eve||Kūčios||The day preceding Nativity.|
|December 25||Nativity||Kalėdos||Celebrates the birth of Jesus Soter.|
|December 31||New Year's Eve||Silvestrinės||The day preceding New Year's Day.|
The Ruttish language is the official language of Aucuria. Ruttish is the first language of the vast majority of the Aucurian population and is the primary language of business, education, media, and governance within the country. While Aucurian Ruttish is primarily derived from the Aukštaitian dialect, which also provides the primary basis for Euclean Ruttish, Aucurian Ruttish also inherited some features from the Samogitian dialect, including the loss of nasal vowels and the presence of additional long vowels; furthermore, the pronunciation and vocabulary of Aucurian Ruttish have diverged somewhat from Euclean Ruttish as a result of the language's evolution within the country. Aucuria is the only Ruttish-speaking country in the Asterias and, at present, the only independent Ruttophone country in the world; as a result, the Ruttish language is an important part of Aucurian national identity and culture.
In spite of the predominance of Ruttish, many other languages are spoken within Aucuria. The Runanca language is the largest indigenous language within the country, was the lingua franca of the League of Five Cities, and remains the mother tongue in some majority-indigenous rural areas, though the exact number of speakers is unknown; estimates vary widely between sources and census figures are regarded as potentially unreliable due to under-reporting. Runanca is typically divided into three dialects, of which Southern Runanca is the largest and most prominent. The Kirua language, while not as widespread as Runanca, also remains the mother tongue in some regions of the country. Runanca and Kirua have received some degree of recognition from the Aucurian government; education in Runanca and Kirua is permitted in those regions of the country where they are the primary language and public broadcasters are required to provide Runanca and Kirua subtitling for their broadcasts. Several smaller indigenous languages can also be found in Aucuria, though few of these have any recognition or use beyond the confines of indigenous reservations.
The Casimiran language is a Ruttish-based creole spoken on the islands of Saint Casimir and Saint Catherine. While its vocabulary and grammar are mostly derived from Ruttish, Casimiran also incorporates vocabulary from weRwizi, Sisulu, and Bahoungana as a result of its origin among enslaved Bahians. While Casimiran has received some recognition at the state and local level, it is not currently recognized by the Aucurian government, and concerns exist about its potential decline or decreolization.
Several languages have been brought to Aucuria by immigrants, including Weranian, Etrurian, Gaullican, Soravian, Miersan, Asteriaans, Senrian, Shangean, Ziba, and Rahelian. Communities speaking immigrant languages such as these persist in some rural areas and immigrant neighborhoods, but, generally speaking, the presence of these languages in Aucuria has faded due to the assimilation of immigrant communities into mainstream Aucurian culture.
The literary production of the Cutinsuan period, and of the preceding periods of Aucuria's pre-colonial history, is believed to have been primarily oral in nature; some have speculated that pre-colonial literature might also be preserved by khipus, though this is a point of contention and, as archaeologists are unsure of how to decipher khipus, cannot be conclusively proven or disproven. The two main genres of pre-colonial work were the harawi, a form of lyric poetry, and the haylli, a form of epic poetry. Harawi often focused on daily privations and rituals, unrequited love, and personal life, whereas haylli tended to relay Cutinsuan mythology and historiography. Much of this pre-colonial literary production has been lost, oftentimes as the result of deliberate destruction by colonial authorities; the oldest surviving works in either format are those of Kiprijas Sinčipomas, who lived during the colonial period and whose works, considered subversive by colonial authorities, survive in a largely fragmentary state.
During the early years of Ruttish colonization, Aucurian literary production consisted primarily of chronicles detailing the exploration and conquest of the region and documenting local flora, fauna, and indigenous peoples. Mindaugas Sidaravičius, the personal aide-de-camp of Jurgis Leikauskas, wrote the five-part Chronicle of the Settlement of New Ruttland and Conquest of Cutinsua between 1532 and 1551, documenting the appearance of pre-colonial Aucuria, the Ruttish conquest of the Cutinsuans, and the early settlement of the region. Other important Ruttish chroniclers include Kesgaila Česnaitis, Vaišvilkas Mykolavičius, Antanas Naveika, and Izaijas Viburys. Additionally, indigenous and maišytiai chroniclers such as Endrijūs Kička, Sebastianas Otoronkuvilkas, and Bendiktas Pakaris worked to record Cutinsuan mythology, traditions, & customs and provide a Cutinsuan impression of the conquest of Aucuria and colonial rule.
As the colonial period continued, a more explicitly literary tradition began to appear in Aucuria. Works from this period include the semi-mystical religious poems of nun Ieva Juknytė and the secular, often satirical works of Dominykas Raukevičius, as well as the neoclassical works of the "Asterian Academy", a collection of iškeltai writers and poets, including Vydūnas Dovydavičius, Daumantas Isiunas, Sekstas Petrauskas, Julijus Tamošiunas, and Veronika Žymantienė, who sought to prove that Asterian literature could rival or surpass that of Euclea, both in its imitation of classical styles and on its own merits.
The neoclassical style retained its dominance over Aucurian literature for several decades after independence, reinforced by the admiration of Aucurian revolutionaries for ancient Piraea and Solaria and melded with a nascent Aucurian nationalism; many works from this period sought to create a narrative of Aucurian history and identity, drawing heavily from the works of the Asterian Academy. Prominent authors and poets of the early republican period include Volframas Alekna, Gintaras Laukaitis, and Jozijas Veiverys.
Beginning in the 1820s, neoclassicism was steadily overshadowed by romanticism, emblematized by authors and poets such as Bendiktas Arbačiauskas, Paskalis Karolauskas, and Lysandras Teiberis, which was in turn overshadowed by realism, represented by the works of individuals including Aleirikas Maureris, Kazimiera Lisauskienė, and Tymonas Ulys. Many works of this period retained the nationalistic influences of the late neoclassical period. Paprotizmas, which focused on scenes of day-to-day life and local customs & rituals within Aucuria, also heavily shaped the literature of the period. Symbolism, typified by the works of Euvaristos Jonaitis and Leonardas Satrauskas, appeared in the country in the late 19th century as a reaction to the dominance of realism, but was not able to conclusively break its hold on Aucurian literature.
The sociopolitical instability that emerged as a result of modernization and Aucuria's defeat in the War of the Arucian provoked a turn towards modernism in Aucurian literature. Vietinizmas, or indigenism, and social criticism were influential trends in Aucurian literature during the early 1900s; famous authors from this period include Pilypas Cvirka, Tebaldas Feliksauskas, Eduardas Kačkauskas, and Juozapas Sereika. These trends continued into the mid-century, but the rise of the Kalvaitis regime saw a suppression of non-traditional literary styles and works perceived as dissident; seeking to bypass censorship, authors and poets like Goštautas Budrys, Pranciškus Pelegrinis, Augustas Naujalis, and Urpicha engaged in self-publishing, with book-smugglers known as knygnešiai distributing banned works. After the deposition of Martynas Sprogys in the Velvet Revolution, this censorship was ended, allowing for a return to openness in Aucurian literature and poetry.
Aucurian folk music draws from a variety of sources, reflecting the country's ethnographic diversity. The Ruttish-origin daina continues to serve as a basis for many Aucurian folk songs, encompassing wedding songs, work chants, and historical narratives, and sutartinės - syncopated polyphonic songs originally from northwestern Ruttland - form a similarly important part of the Aucurian folk music tradition. The kanklės, a box zither in the Rutto-Kirenian psaltery family, is sometimes considered to be emblematic of the Ruttish influence on Aucurian music; other instruments inherited from the Ruttish tradition include the dūdmaišis, skrabalai, and basetlė.
Certain tendencies inherited from Ruttish folk music were further reinforced by similar features of the country's indigenous music tradition. The rateliai circle dance, for example, synthesized easily with the k'antu of the Runanca and Kirua. Similarly, Ruttish woodwind instruments like the birbynė and lamzdeliai could easily serve as analogues to the indigenous qina and pinkillu, and both musical traditions provided an important role to panpipes, in the form of the skudučiai and siku respectively. Other instruments used in indigenous Aucurian folk music are the tinya, a type of leather drum; the vakrapukas, a trumpet-like instrument; and a local form of the ocarina. Important influence also came from Bahian music; several percussion instruments present in Aucurian folk music, including the dėžė, marimba, and atabakvė, are ultimately of Bahian origin. Aucurian folk music was further influenced by the music of neighboring Asterian countries - the lute-like čajvakas and valajčas are likely descended from the vihuela, which was brought to the Asterias by Paretian colonists in Ardesia and Belmonte - and by the musical traditions of immigrants, who brought instruments such as the concertina to the country.
Aucuria is known for its folk dances, which draw primarily from Ruttish, Cutinsuan, and Bahian dance traditions. Famous Aucurian folk dances include arklaiseniai, žingsnelietis, kulavada, vainas, skristaitys, kveka, iškilmėlis, aukuriškas valsas, and bombas.
Euclean classical music arrived in Aucuria during the colonial period; however, few records of musical activity from the first century of the colonial period in Aucuria survive. Those that do survive suggest that classical music was primarily backed by the church, which performed it in cathedrals and used it as a form of religious education. Classical music began to come into its own in Aucuria during the United Kingdom period; notable Aucurian composers from this time include Timofejaš Vizgirda and Juozapas Petravičius. Aucurian classical music waned during the Rudolphine period, but experienced a resurgence in the 1800s following the country's independence. The most famous Aucurian composer of the 19th century was Augustas Lankauskas, known for his opera Iserajta; other composers from the period include Antanas Čiukša, Klemensas Tylenis, and Elijas Simonavičius. Pransas Stabrauskas rose to international prominence during the fin de siècle period, performing across Euclea before his early death from pneumonia. Aucuria's most prominent contemporary composer is Rimgailė Kulveitienė.
Aucurian popular music emerged following the Great War, mixing Aucurian folk music with musical trends originating in other Asterian countries (such as cumbia, samba, salsa, rumba, mambo, and jazz). The legacy of early Aucurian pop stars such as Leonardas Kairys, Jonas Jasikevičius, Dolorė Petraitienė, and Ieva Kujmienė is kept alive today by individuals such as Aleksandra Nerienė, Gintautas Bernotas, and Martynas Tyla. During the 1960s and 1970s, Rock and punk artists like Mykolas Vilkaitis, Naktinės Žiurkės, Sparnai, Pyktis, and Kalnu Vabalai produced songs denouncing the country's military dictatorship while operating underground to evade censorship. In recent years, Aucuria has been home to a flourishing of electronic music (including groups like Hiperbolė and Miesto Inžinieriai) and hip-hop (embodied by artists such as TP Navalas, Antawayla, and Naumeistras J).
Theater and cinema
[theater - origins as a means of spreading sotirianity, development post-independence; major theaters and playwrights]
The history of Aucurian cinema begins with the 1899 exposition of the cinematograph in Kalnaspilis. The first Aucurian film, Žvejai Apvaizdos uoste, was produced in 1909. Film developed slowly in the country during the 1910s and 1920s, being largely limited to the urban rich due to the costs of production. It only took off more broadly after the Great War, with the post-war period representing a golden age for Aucurian cinema; major Aucurian films of the 1930s and 1940s include Tebaldas Lukauskas's Ribos, Euzebijos Jangas's Saulė virš Upės, Amadėjus Ruso's Šviesa ir Šešėlis, and Aivaras Kiprijauskas's Pasmerktieji. The country's first full-length talkie was 1936's Mergina ir Lakštingala, and its first color film was 1947's Kentaurai.
The censorship inflicted by the Kalvaitis and Sprogys regimes restricted Aucuria's cinematic output during much of the mid-to-late 20th century, with the government favoring inoffensive comedies such as Arukijos Šventė or Bananu Karalienė and patriotic epics like Kelias i Čavajtiri. In spite of this, the Naujas Kinas movement of the 1960s sought to produce works which addressed social and political themes using metaphor and allusion, resulting in works including Jonas Bukantas's Banditai, Eirikas Šileris's Velnias Lankosi Aukštumose, and Daujotas Gurevičius's Naktis be Žvaigždžiu. The Velvet Revolution ended this censorship, and Aucurian cinema is widely considered to have entered a second golden age during the late 1990s and 2000s, with movies such as Kirilas Kymantas's Urpičas, Nikiforas Leonas's Puma Tyko and Lapkričio Mėnesio Savaite, Sofija Miliauskienė's Iprastiniai, Kajus Danilevičius's Tegul Tauta to iš Manes Reikalauja, Ona Juodeikė's Vargo Verslas, and Leonardas Karaliunas's Iserajta gaining international attention.
The most popular sport in Aucuria is soccer. It is believed to have first arrived in the country in 1860, brought over by Estmerish merchants and expatriates; however, the sport did not begin to gain popularity in Aucuria until the 1890s, with soccer teams rapidly proliferating during the 1900s and 1910s and a national team being officially organized in 1923. The country's governing body for soccer is the Aucurian Soccer Federation, which was founded in 1920 and manages both the country's national team and the Aucurian Pro League. The Aucurian Pro League is divided into four tiered divisions, the Aucurian Superlyga, I Divizionas, II Divizionas, and III Divizionas. The country's national football cup is the Cup of the Republic; its super cup is the Aucurian Super Cup. The Aucurian Soccer Federation also operates a semi-professional league, the IV Divizionas; a women's soccer league, the Aucurian Women's Soccer League, and its tournament, the Women's Cup of the Republic; the country's women's national team; and a futsal league, the Aucurian Futsal Association.
Basketball first arrived in Aucuria in the 1910s. Its early growth was stunted by the Great War, but it gained popularity rapidly after the end of the war, particularly in Aucuria's growing urban areas. The country's men's national team was organized in 1937, and its women's national team was formed the following year. Aucuria's governing body for professional basketball is the Aucurian National Basketball Association, founded in 1940, which operates both the men's and women's domestic basketball leagues.
Like basketball, baseball arrived in Aucuria in the 1910s and, similarly, had its growth stunted by the Great War before growing in popularity afterwards. The Aucurian Baseball League was organized in 1939; its annual championship is the Aucurian Series. The Aucurian Baseball League also has two affiliated minor leagues, the Academy League and the Vaskaranas Baseball Association, and an affiliated women's softball association, the Aucurian Professional Softball League.
Cycling began to gain popularity in Aucuria with the 1947 establishment of the Tour of Aucuria, a multi-stage road race; the country is particularly famous for producing talented climbers and punchers as a result of its natural terrain. Aucurian cyclists first obtained widespread international recognition in the 1960s and 1970s with the accomplishments of Gediminas Arstikaitis, Andriejus Vileika, and Teodoras Karpičius, and has seen a renaissance in the 2010s, with high-profile riders such as Rudolfas Langauskas and Nikiforas Sunkuyuqas emerging in recent years. The country is also notable for its accomplishments in women's track cycling.
Other sports with professional leagues or governing associations in Aucuria include volleyball (National Volleyball League), gridiron football (Aucurian Gridiron Football League), tennis (Aucurian Tennis Federation), racquetball (Aucurian Confederation for Racquetball & Squash), and both rugby union (Aucurian Rugby Federation) and rugby league (Aucurian Rugby League Association). Track and field sports, weightlifting, winter sports (particularly skiing), martial arts (particularly boxing, karate, and taekwondo), sailing, and shooting all have some presence in Aucuria. The country has also produced a handful of notable chess players, including Martynas Čarneckis and Jurgita Lideikienė.
A niche sport particularly associated with coastal regions of Aucuria is ritinis, a traditional Ruttish sport brought over during the colonial period which sees players using curved bats and their hands to block and throw a hard rubber discus into the other team's goal. Since 1977, the International Ritinis Federation has organized periodic events and competitions between Ruttish and Aucurian ritinis teams. Čaza is a sport of indigenous origin in which two teams of four players hit a ball with their hands or a racket, scored similarly to tennis. Arucian football is popular in Saint Casimir and Saint Catherine, a legacy of their time within the Viceroyalty of the Arucian between the War of the Arucian and the Great War; an Aucurian team has been represented in the Arucian Football Association since the 1980s. Tejo has a presence in the regions of Aucuria bordering Nuvania, and pétanque and parilutte can be found in those areas near the border with Satucin.
Aucuria is a regular participant in the Invictus Games, having made its first appearance at the 1922 Verlois Summer Games. It won its first medals, including its first gold medal, at the 1954 Hammarvik Summer Games, and its first medal at the winter games at the 2008 Barnier Winter Games.