Culture of Gylias
The culture of Gylias has evolved over millennia, developing a rich intellectual and artistic heritage. Significant forces that have shaped it include history, geography, demographics, and a variety of foreign influences.
Gylian culture is characterised by diversity, with a wide range of cultural and linguistic traditions present at the regional level, complemented by unifying elements at the federal level. Famous elements of Gylian culture include art, music, cinema, literature, and social norms.
Gylias is a modern, advanced society, shaped by a diversity of lifestyles and identities. It is highly progressive, and has a reputation as a regional leader in social experimentation.
Gylians have a strongly liberal outlook on social matters. Gylian society and culture have high levels of gender equality and minority rights. They are characterised by progressive attitudes towards gender and sexuality, and are shaped by extensive anti-discrimination laws. Social liberalism forms part of the Gylian consensus.
Key historical foundations of Gylian culture are geographic realities and a heritage of egalitarianism. Gylian society values egalitarianism, reciprocity, and cooperation. Gylians are known for their deep sense of community, with independence and self-sufficiency serving as important secondary ideals. Surveys reveal that 98–99% of Gylians believe they know someone they could rely on in a time of need, and only 4–5% report "rarely" or "never" socialising with others.
Owing to these elements, Gylian culture has a pronounced informal character. Gylians refer to each other by their given names. Social equality is very high. Income inequality is among the lowest in Tyran. The Constitution prohibits the enactment of an honours system. The family structure is dominated by extended and diverse family arrangements, and child-rearing is communal in character.
Gylias has a thriving civil society with an extensive network of institutions. These include associations, foundations, community organisations, consumer organisations, social cooperatives, sports clubs, salons, and scouting organisations. Volunteering rates are high. Civil society is a key factor in maintaining extensive rates of social engagement, civic engagement, and direct democracy among the Gylian populace.
Dating back to the Liúşai League, the gulf between the country's total area and its relatively low population has shaped Gylias' self-image. Gylians perceive themselves as a "small country", an element which has been used to consolidate support for radical experimentation in the Free Territories and Golden Revolution.
The image retains contemporary resonance in popular culture, politics, and influential social movements such as demopolitanism and environmentalism. It has also contributed to the popular conception of a "majority minority" country, composed of multiple ethnic groups of which none form a majority alone.
Gylias is famous for its ideal of socialised luxury. The notion largely emerged as a fusion of Alscia's stylish prosperity and the Free Territories' anarchist egalitarianism, was consolidated during the Liberation War, and took its modern form during the Golden Revolution.
Gylian notions of elegance are based on a synthesis of Miranian, French, and Italian ideals — with Kirisaki, Akashi, Cacerta, and Megelan having served as key historical influences. The transformation of the economy has been crucial to the combination of elegance and egalitarianism: the National Prices Board made what had been luxury goods available to Gylians at affordable prices.
The ideal of socialised luxury was influenced by anarchism and utopian socialism, and was embraced during the Golden Revolution as a visible manifestation of Gylias' radical transformation, from the conservative backwater of Xevden to a remarkably thriving social laboratory. The abolition of dress codes and former high–low distinctions in culture completed the effect.
Harnessing style and beauty in the service of egalitarian ideals has been a significant theme of modern Gylian culture, from the popularity of Art Nouveau and Art Deco in Alscia to the gauchic movement's enduring influence on art and society.
The best-known manifestations of socialised luxury in Gylian daily life are clothing and jewellery. The ideal of "private sufficiency, public luxury" is pervasive in public life, visible in architecture and infrastructure, lavish public amenities, and public organisations' focus on providing high service quality to all.
The aesthetics of Gylian elegance are adapted to ideals of practicality and egalitarianism. Certain subcultures have taken the reappropriation of things formerly associated with the upper class into the realm of aesthetic sensibilities and behavioural affectations, but these are done with explicit humour — the contrast between the mannered surface and cheerful informality provides the effect being sought.
One significant contributing factor to socialised luxury is complete transparency of Gylians' tax returns, made available for anyone to inspect through the National Tax Agency. Transparency of tax returns and donations incentivises rich Gylians to engage in prolific philanthropy, maintaining a positive reputation among the public.
Social norms are shaped by community-oriented perspectives on human rights. Historical experiences with anarchism and hatred of social control mean that norms and practices aim to maintain the minimum necessary level of common understanding to ensure social peace.
Gylias has a vast and well-developed network of cultural institutions. Conventional cultural–artistic infrastructure was a priority in the public works of the National Obligation period and Golden Revolution, while many existing or rebuilt facilities were repurposed and art colonies and communes were established.
Gylias is home to numerous libraries, museums, galleries, theatres, concert halls, arenas, monuments, fairs, festivals, and so on. Use of public space for cultural and artistic activities is common.
The visual arts have a long historical presence in Gylias, and have assimilated a wide variety of influences over the years.
Although Gylias has produced a relatively small number of internationally famous artists, Gylian art has found recognition in Tyran as a result of the Gylian Invasion and the gauchic style, which strengthened Gylias' association with socialised luxury.
As a result of egalitarianism and the Golden Revolution, Gylias makes little distinction between fine arts and decorative arts. This has enabled recognition and contribution to art from new and traditionally unrecognised fields.
Gylias is a significant film production country, and has been a popular location for filming. Gylian cinema has certain common traits, the most notable being liberalism and frankness in terms of subject matter and themes.
Compared to other countries, there is no perception of competition between film and television as pastimes. Instead, both are perceived as complimentary.
Movie theatres tend to be small, located in the vicnity of restaurants and similar public spaces that provide accessibility and ambiance. Outdoor cinemas are common, capitalising on Gylias' climate and the abundance of public and green spaces.
While Gylian film and television production tends to be smaller in terms of budget and revenues relative to Tyran (in part due to the þaler's low exchange rate), it tends to focus on quality of screenplay, cast, storytelling, and style as advantages.
A significant component of film and television is Gylias' robust animation industry.
Clothesmaking is a significant industry to the Gylian economy, and clothing has an important role in culture and society. As the main manifestation of the concept of socialised luxury, Gylias enjoys a strong reputation within the region for beauty and accessible luxury.
Staple foods include rice, bread, salad, seafood, noodles, meat, and tropical fruits. Soups are a common course. Meat mainly comes from fish, poultry, pigs, sheep, and goats, the latter also providing milk. Due to a ban on animal slaughter, Gylian meat is made from the flesh of animals that have died of natural causes, is cooked for longer periods of time, and every part of the dead animal is used as food.
Meals are served at the same time rather than in courses, and serving sizes tend to be small.
In contrast to other areas of culture, Gylian cuisine has preserved a strong orientation towards simplicity and frugality. There is a strong taboo against food waste — gleaning, food rescue, and freeganism are widespread. Strict animal welfare legislation, campaigns to restrain consumption in the 1990s, and similar public policies have further influenced cuisine.
The Gylian video gaming industry is noted for its diversity and experimentalism. Popular genres include platform games, stealth games, adventure games, role-playing video games, turn-based strategy, sports games, and simulation video games — particularly related to politics and economics.
Gylias has a reputation as a "literary culture", an image reflected in the high per capita publication and consumption of printed material.
Comics are widely accepted in Gylias as an art form, and generally considered a subset of literature.
Comic books represent an important subset of book distribution. Gylias is a major comics market in Tyran. Its comics tradition has mainly been shaped by two influences: Miranian manga and French bandes dessinées.
Gylian music includes a wide array of performers in distinct styles both traditional and modern. Gylias is a significant music market in Tyran, most of which is dominated by Gylian artists.
While Gylias has traditionally been absent in the field of classical music, its greatest strength and productivity has been in popular music. Through the Gylian Invasion, Gylias has been instrumental in the development of modern Tyranian pop music, and has produced a significant number of renowned pop and rock acts, as well as notable acts in other genres such as electronic music and hip-hop.
Sports and leisure
Sport forms an integral part of Gylian life. Gylians participate in a wide variety of sports, which contribute to Gylias' status as a healthy nation.
Gylian sport culture is known for its communal, largely amateur character and sportsmanship. There are no sports leagues, with all events being friendly matches, and scores are de-emphasised in favour of the enjoyment of the players and audience. Teams and fans have friendly relations with each other, and football chants are lighthearted and amiable. The majority of Gylian sports players last entire careers without being cautioned or sanctioned for unsporting conduct.
Gylias uses a variety of symbols to represent its various cultures, ethnicities, and regions.
At the federal level, there are three main symbols used to represent Gylias and Gylians collectively, as defined by the Law on National Symbols of 1959:
- The flag of Gylias, depicting a stylised sun in splendour on a white background.
- The seal of Gylias, depicting a stylised sun in splendour in a circle.
- The anthem of Gylias, an instrumental composition.
All official public holidays are established by government legislation. They are secular by law, and generally have historical significance.
The current federal holidays are:
|1 January||New Year's Day||The exact date is a day of rest. Every four years, it is also the day Parliament is officially dissolved and the federal election period begins.|
|2 January||Rememberance Day||Commemorates the end of the Liberation War.|
|8 March||Equality Day||Gylian-specific, gender-neutral observance of International Women's Day. One of the official holidays with a strong political character.|
|15 April||Tax Day||The day tax returns are due. Features celebrations of contributions to society through taxation, volunteering, and philanthropy.|
|29 April||Constitution Day||The date of the 1961 referendum that ratified the Constitution of Gylias. Due to proximity to May Day, 30 April is an unofficial holiday as well.|
|1 May||Labour Day||International Workers' Day. Commonly referred to as "May Day".|
|1 June||Summer's Day||Official beginning of summer vacation, which ends on 1 September.|
|31 December||New Year's Eve||The exact date is a day of rest.|
Various other holidays are observed regionally and locally.
Conventions of Gylian daily life include:
- Use of the International System of Units for measurements.
- Use of the long scale for large numbers. A million is followed by a milliard (109), while a billion is a million millions (1012).
- Use of the full stop to separate three digits (1.000.000) and the comma as a decimal separator (1,25).
- Use of the 24-hour clock to tell time.
- Use of the date–month–year format (with year–month–date notably common among Miranian Gylians), and slashes or full stops as separators in all-numeric forms.