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and largest city
|Recognised regional languages||Lesiac|
|Government||unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy|
• 2019 estimate
|GDP (nominal)||2019 estimate|
• Per capita
The Finstrian Republic (Hesurian: Finstrische Republik), commonly referred to as Finstria (/ˈfɪn.strjə/; Hesurian: Finstrien [ˈfɪnstriən]), is a sovereign country located in south-eastern Hesuria. Finstria is bordered by Mascylla to the north, Krumlau to the west and shares a maritime border with Rotsir to the east.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Politics and Government
- 5 Economy
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Culture
The term “Finstria” comes directly from Hesurian Finstrien. Finstrien is derrived from Finsterey or Vinsterey, from finster (archaic spelling: finster “dark”), thus literally translating to “land of darkness”. It originally was used to describe the marshlands of the coastal region around Tanaus and Reßhaven. Occasionally, it was referred to as Diusterey, which gave rise to the modern name for that province; Distria (Hesurian: Düsterei (occasionally spelled as Düsterey)).
During the Continental War, Finstria supported Mascylla and Krumlau, aiding them with manpower, weapons and ammunition as well as sending aid for the civilian population, especially in Krumlau. Within the Finstrian Kingdom, a communist revolution started, although, after a few weeks, fighting stopped until after the end of the war, with the government and the revolutionaries largely tolerating eachother while persuading their own interests abroad.
After the Continental War, the revolution escalated into a civil war between monarchists, communist revolutionaries and republican separatists opposing both of them and seeking to create a Lesiac ethnostate. Fighting was largely confined to Lesiac and Finstrokrumlovian areas as well as to the region around Eickenloh and Tareshti (“Târôgrad/Тâрôград“), devastating these areas for years to come.
After having stayed mostly a liberal democracy throughout the 1930s and 1940s, the anti-communist stance in foreign policy started to become a part of internal policy, starting with anti-communist propaganda and then gradually becoming more aggressive during the 1950s. Although this cooled down after around 1965, it would play a big role in Eisenringism.
The 1970s were a period marked by social changes in Finstria, with large-scale student protests in major cities throughout the decade. Around 1975–1976, militant communists started to infiltrate the otherwise mostly peaceful protests, trying to hijack them to push their own political agenda. After several attacks by the RVF (Rote Volksfront, “Red People’s Front”), the FNFP (Finstronationale Freiheitspartei, “Finstro-National Freedom Party”) and the Separatism|Tharic Separatist Movement in 1977 and early 1978 with 231 deaths, mostly civilians, in spring 1978, Prime Minister Carl Ernst Eisenring started a massive campaign, blaming several groups, most notably communist protesters, for the country’s problems and portraying protesters as a threat to national safety.
On March 10 1979, Eisenring persuaded the Finstrian Parliament to give him emergency powers which allowed him to largely govern the country by himself. Between 1979 and 1981, Eisenring largely abolished the rule of law as well as monarchism, establishing an authoritarian dictatorship, the Eisenring regime.
In early August 1985, food shortages and an undersupply of most goods paired with brutal government action caused nationwide protests. After failing to end these by force in some cities, the initially peaceful protests escalated into riots and local coups. In the early morning hours of August 10 1985, Eisenring declared the state of war on top of the already existing state of emergency and on the evening of the same day, he fled from Tanaus to Westerfelde for several weeks before returning to Tanaus temporarily.
By October, the country was divided into several parts controlled by various different factions, the Finstrian armed forces rapidly losing control. On January 4 1986, Mascyllary, Krumlovian and Lavish units, under the supervision of the AN, simultaneously crossed the border into Finstria, facing limited to no resistence from Finstrian soldiers who mostly deserted. By January 11, coalition forces were able to take over Tanaus, continuing rapid advances. On March 1 1986, soldiers from the Free Finstrian Army captured Eisenring in Westerfelde, imprisoning him and executing him on March 10 on the Volksplatz in Tanaus infront of around seven thousand people on the place itself and several ten thousand people celebrating in surrounding streets. After that, there was only occasional and increasingly rare combat between coalition forces and the loyalists.
Between March 10 1986 and January 12 1988, coalition forces mainly fought against several separatist groups, most notably against the militias making up the Tharic Separatist Movement.
Politics and Government
Main page: Ethnic groups of Finstria
Finstria has always been ethnically diverse, having been a border region of the Ragucin Empire. As a rule of thumb, it can be said that parts of the country which used to be under Ragucin rule are either Lesiac or Hesurian, while regions that were besides its control, at least historically, are inhabited by ethnic minorities, such as the Tharic, Gaugasanic or Yerin peoples. However, since the Middle Ages, there has been a trend towards Hesurianization, with the Finstrohesurian culture and language spreading at the cost of minority cultures and languages.
While there are at least ten ethnic groups recognized by the Finstrian government as “[ethnic] groups native to Finstria”, around 92% of the population identifies as Hesurian, most of which either based on geographical or historical regions (e.g. Disterians from Disteria) or as broadly “Finstrohesurian”.
Main page: Languages of Finstria
There is a lot of linguistic diversity in Finstria, though its extent was much greater in the past. Besides various Hesurian dialects, Lesiac and Tharic are other major languages that serve as lingua franca in parts of the country.
Many of the smaller language groups to be found in Finstria are to some degree endangered. A prime example of language death in Finstria is the Kun language, which less than 50,000 Kun (ca. 1/5 of the Kun population of Finstria) have the ability to speak and much less than 10,000 are active speakers of, using the language on a daily basis. Of these, only a small part is under the age of retirement as the language had not been passed on from one generation to the other to a great extent in past decades.
The Finstrian education system can be divided into four phases: Vorschule, Primärstufe, Secundärstufe, Maturalstufe and Tertiärstufe. Of these, only Primärstufe and Secundärstufe are mandatory.
Vorschule is an optional kindergarten in Finstria. With the exception of a selected few kindergartens, children only go to it once they reach an age of four or five. Generally speaking, the Finstrian Vorschule is not free, although almost all municipalities as well as all the states offer subsidies for families below a certain household income which varies. While 71% of firstgraders in Reßviel were in a Vorschule prior to primary school, only 56% of firstgraders from neighbouring Thrayn had been in kindergarten. In other parts of the country, these rates also vary a lot, usually being somewhere between 35% and 70% in urban areas.
The Primärstufe is absolved in a Primärschule. The Finstrian Primärschule is the equivalent to Mascyllary Grundschule, though it goes from grade 1–6. Attending primary school is mandatory across Finstria, with primary schools being almost exclusively public and always free. As per law, Finstrian primary schools are not allowed to require students’ families to pay any expenses besides school trips. Books, paper and pencils are always provided in school, although a majority of parents buys the latter for their children. Since 1980, primary schools and secondary schools alike are not allowed to have school uniforms.
The Secundärstufe goes from grade 7 to grade 10, though going to a Secundärschule is only required until grade 9. The secondary education system in Finstria can be subdivided into two classes: Regelschulen for the majority of students and Specialschulen for students needing additional fostering. There is two types of Regelschulen: the Volksschule and the Maturalschule, the latter having a higher standard and offering students to absolve their Matura. Furthermore, the Specialschulen can be classified into schools for students who have exceptionally severe learning difficulties, the so-called Sonderschule, and elite schools for students that perform outstandingly well, the so-called Universalschule. Although attending a secondary school is mandatory for minors, it is estimated that, especially in rural areas, between 0.5% and 1% of students do not attend one.
From all secondary students, 64.7% of students to a Volksschule, 33,8% going to a Maturalschule. From the remaining 1.5% of students, the vast majority attended a Sonderschule, the remainder going to an Universalschule.
Similar as primary schools, secondary schools are almost exclusively public and are always free to attend. Schools provide books which are used for several years by different students before being replaced, though students or their families sometimes have to pay for additional learning materials, such as excercise books. Seondary schools are also not allowed to have uniforms, much like primary schools.
The Maturalstufe consists of the grades 11 and 12 as well as 12½ or 13 (terminology differing across states). Attending the Maturalstufe is optional, though free. Grades 11 and 12 are preparation for the Matura, the highest form of graduation from a secondary school. It is necessary for some professions and in order to get into university. Grade 13 consists only of several months with a few exams which are the Maturalexamen, hence why it regionally is referred to as “½ grade”.
The Tertiärstufe consists of universities as well as some of the courses in Hochschulen and Volkshochschulen. About a quarter of Finstrian adults went to university or are currently going to university. Generally speaking, university in Fistria is public, but not free. There is tuition subidies for students with exceptionally good grades.
The most important universities in Finstria are the Reichsuniversität Tanaus and the universities in Weissenberg, Lehmberg and Aschenbach.
Alternatively to going through the Maturalstufe, one can instead go to a vocational school, which about ¾ of Finstrian students do. The length of a vocational school, a Berufsschule, depends on several factors, such as the specific profession and an individual student’s grade.
Many professions are learned while going alternatingly to a vocational school and actually working in said profession as an apprentice. With the exception of some specific apprenticeships, one earns money during an apprenticeship.
Since 2004, lesson and break length is regulated in Finstria. Previously, every school could choose freely when to start and how long lessons should be. One lesson is 45 minutes long; A break is either ten minutes, or, much more commonly, fifteen minutes long; An afternoon break is either thirty, fourty, fifty or sixty minutes long. Schools start at 08:00 h — the only exceptions being evening schools. Regular classes are not allowed to be scheduled past the eighth lesson.
Primary schools have two lessons, a 15-minute-break and then end after two more lessons. Optional religion classes and mandatory P.E. clases are after another 15-minute-break on only one day per week each.
Secondary schools generally have a similar timetable layout, though there usually is a 5-minute-break inbetween the first and second, the thirf and fourth, and the fifth and sixth lessons. After the sixth lesson, there is an afternoon break followed by another two lessons on some days.
During the Maturalstufe, timetables are often scheduled in a way that leaves gaps inbetween two courses, these gap-lessons being called Freistunde. During Freistunden, students do not need to be in school, except for exams. If a student has to write an exam during a Freistunde of his, he has the right to not to attend other lessons equal in number to the number of exams or other school events during his Freistunden. Without being counted as a Fehlstunde (a missed lesson).
In most parts of the country, Finstrian Standard Hesurian is the language of instruction except for language courses. There are orthographic, grammatical and lexical differences between Finstrian and Mascyllary Hesurian and only the Finstrian variety of Hesurian is seen as correct. In areas with a significant ethnolinguistic minority population, many schools choose to instead have at least some of the instruction in the local language.
Primary schools in minority areas are often linguistically segregated according to students’ respective native language. In grades 1 and 2, education is exclusively in the native language with Hesurian being introduced as a foreign language either in the second semester of grade 2, or the first semester of grade 3. Starting in grade 5, the language of instruction in some subjects is switched from the native language to Hesurian in most schools. By grade 7, most subjects are taught in Hesurian.
While minority children in minority areas are instructed in their own language at first and learn Hesurian as a foreign language, Hesurian children are instructed in Hesurian and learn the local language as a foreign language. By grade 4, both demographics are instructed bilingually. Under some circumstances, Hesurian children might be put into a class where they learn the minority language as language of instruction, for instance when there is too few Hesurian children to form one class.
Besides the local languages, Finstrian students are allowed to choose to learn another two to three foreign languages, depending on their school.