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Commonwealth of the Vanir Islands
Lhedwinic: Foreningen af Vanirøerne
Vaniric: Whakaminenga o Toru Tihi
Anthem: Enhed vor Fødselsret/Unitas nos Iure/Ykseys Esikoistamme/Kotahitanga to Tatou Tika
"Unity Our Birthright"
|Official languages||Lhedwinic and Vaniric|
|Ethnic groups |
6% Mainland Asuran
|Government||Overseas country under a multi-party parliamentary democracy|
• Chief Director
• First Minister
• Lhedwinic Acquisition
• Crylantian Acquisition
|528 km2 (204 sq mi)|
• 2016 estimate
• 2014 census
|72.34/km2 (187.4/sq mi)|
|GDP (PPP)||2016 estimate|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2016 estimate|
• Per capita
|Gini (2016)|| 20.9|
|Time zone||UTC+8:15 (Vaniric Standard Time)|
|Date format||dd/mm/yyyy, CE|
The Vanir Islands (/veɪnɪər ˈaɪləndz/ Lhedwinic: Vanirøer, Vaniric: Toru Tihi), officially the Commonwealth of the Vanir Islands, are an overseas country within the Crylantian Federation located in the middle of the Jade Ocean, and composed of three main islands: Meria (Mera), Ambora (Ampura) and Flymenia (Whimena). It has an area of 528km2 and a population of 38,193, and it's largest settlement and capital city is St. Eysteinn, on Meria Island.
The United Kingdom of Lhedwin captured the island as a colony in 1824, using it as a trading post in the middle of the Jade Ocean, used for trading with the Catainese powers. A small amount of settlers from various areas in Lhedwin came, and a system was set up where a governor was sent to the island, advised by a council of Lhedwinic men. At the fall of the United Kingdom in 1900, the islands were given to the Grand Duchy of Lilledel as an overseas territory, and self-rule was granted to the islands in a system where all adults could vote. The islands stayed with the succeeding Principality of Crylante, and the Crylantian Federation.
Today, the islands are dependent on tourism to the beaches of the island for their economy, which is organized as a very social democratic system, providing free education, healthcare, transport and utilities to the populace, with very strong collective bargaining rights and many co-operative businesses. The nation's largest ethnic group are mixed-race people, consisting of a mix of Lhedwinic and native ancestry, and religiously, Au Maite Ara, a traditional pantheistic belief system of the native Vaniric, is the largest religion, with 39% of the population following it, followed by irreligious people, making up 38%, with 12% following Alydianism and 11% following Trúathi. There is a small-but notable independence movement on the islands, advocating a departure from being an overseas dependency and becoming an independent republic, replacing the ceremonial title of Governor (appointed by the National Council of the Crylantian Federation) with an elected president.
The native peoples of the islands gave them the name of Toru Tihi, which means three peaks in Vaniric, in reference to the three islands of Meria/Mera, Ambora/Ampura and Flymenia/Whimena, which jut up out of the water. When the United Kingdom of Lhedwin colonized the islands, they were named "the Vanir Islands", or "Vanirøerne" in Lhedwinic. Vanir is a concept in Lhedwinic folklore that refers to 'the east' and 'the forces of nature', which is contrasted by the term Æsir, which means 'the west' and 'the power of man', which the name for Asura in the East Crylantian dialect, Æsira, is derived from. These terms are reflective of a dichotomy in traditional Lhedwinic folklore and philosophy between nature and man. Therefore the name 'the Vanir Islands' either means 'the islands of nature', 'the eastern islands', or both.
Pre-colonial history (before 1824)
It is thought that the native Vaniric people arrived in the islands from mainland Yidao in the mid 14th century, fleeing persecution for their religious beliefs on the continent. They arrived in the islands, and the people were nomadic, moving around the islands as they pleased, taking only what they needed from the land and sharing everything communally. Here Au Maite Ara developed as a religion from the beliefs held by the settlers.
It is thought that around the late 16th century people settled into small villages and started using agricultural technology, but still the people carried on living communally like they had before and continued believing in Au Maite Ara, though the story of moving into the islands from mainland Yidao became something of simply legend, having not been in the memories of the people.
Lhedwinic colonization (1824-1900)
In the early 19th century, expeditions by Lhedwinic explorers reached the Vanir Islands, which by virtue of their isolation had been left alone by the rest of the world. Initial relations between the Lhedwinic settlers and the native Vaniric were somewhat good, with the explorers introducing writing to the natives before sailing back to Lhedwin and declaring their discovery to the King of Lhedwin at his palace in Kalgnat in August 1823.
The King ordered a mission to settle the islands and use them as an outpost to secure Lhedwin's position in the Jade Ocean. The mission succeeded, and settlements were built on each of the three island groups to secure Lhedwin's position on the islands. The town of St. Eysteinn was built on the northern island, which was named Mera by the natives and given the Lhedwinic name of Meria, and named the capital of the territory. It was largely settled by Alydians escaping persecution in Lhedwin, and thus was named after St. Eysteinn, a Lhedwinic missionary.
However, the settlers were concerned about relations with the natives, and thus native representatives were called to the Lhedwinic settlement of New Vænholm in the Ambora island group with the intent of creating a treaty between the natives and the settlers. The treaty split the island between Lhedwinic land and Vaniric land, with six exclaves being designated as Lhedwinic settlements and the rest of the islands being designated as native land. The six enclaves became the six modern towns of St. Eysteinn, New Dybøll and New Zalejk on Meria, New Vænholm on Ambora and Nymor and New Valzeck on Flymenia.
A constitution was drawn up for the Vanir Islands soon after, upon a visit by members of the royal court; the King would appoint a Governor for the islands, who would have the right to veto legislation passed by the Council, an assembly elected by the male population living in the six Lhedwinic areas, with the Treaty of New Vænholm being incorporated into the constitution to protect the native land rights of the Vaniric.
Overseas Country (1900-present)
Government and Politics
Vaniric politics take place within the framework of a unitary parliamentary democracy, with the nation having authority over it's own fiscal and domestic affairs, but with it's foreign policy being decided by the Crylantian Government in Nebligen, in return for the provision of a coast guard consisting of fifty men to defend the Vanir Islands from any possible invasions and threats, with the islands being referred to in the constitution as an "overseas country". The government maintains a three-way split of powers, between the legislative branch of the Vaniric Assembly, the executive branch of the Cabinet, and the judicial branch of the Court of the Islands.
The legislative branch is the Vaniric Assembly, which is a 31-member assembly elected by proportional representation, with 15 members coming from Meria Island, 9 coming from Ambora Island and 7 coming from Flymenia Island. The branch is responsible for debating and passing laws in the island, and is responsible for selecting the First Minister, who is currently Astrid Couch of Te Kaupapa, in coalition with Whenua.
Politically, the island has six main parties, which are:
- Te Kaupapa, a social democratic and green-liberal political party with 12 seats.
- Rangi, a social-liberal party, with 7 seats.
- Whenua, an ecosocialist political party, with 5 seats.
- Haere Noa, a democratic socialist advocating independence and self-determination, with 3 seats.
- Te Kāinga, an agrarian-centrist party, with 2 seats.
- Tumanako, a religious party based off of the values of Au Maite Ara, with 1 seat.
The executive branch consists of the Cabinet, which is currently made up of a coalition between Te Kaupapa and Whenua, with four ministers from Te Kaupapa and two from Whenua, and the First Minister, who is currently Astrid Couch of Te Kaupapa. This cabinet holds executive power, with each minister heading a department of government, and being in charge of how that government branch conducts itself.
The judicial branch consists of the Court of the Islands, which is responsible for the prevalence of justice in the Vanir Islands, and ensures that the 1900 Treaty of St. Eysteinn, the de facto constitution of the islands, is followed by the government.
In terms of local government, there is an elected council for each island, which is in charge of managing the municipal duties of the islands, and there is a separate council for St. Eysteinn, the island's capital and largest city, in charge of the same tasks as the island councils. Including St. Eysteinn, there are 11 parishes, which are below the island councils, and have little power, but are used often in administration to organise public services; it is mandatory for there to be at least one primary and secondary school and at least one healthcare clinic in each parish.
|Island||Parish||Population (2016 survey)|
|New Zalejk and Matahura||2,345|
|Moerangi and Waerenga||1,711|
|Waitahura and Kaimiro||2,688|
|Mor and Whakena||2,745|
The Vanir Islands was estimated to have a population of 38,193 people in 2016, with 18,480 (49.3%) people living on Meria, 11,088 people (29.0%) living on Ambora and 8,625 people (22.6%) living on Flymenia. Of this population, 30% of it (11,461 people) identified themselves as mixed-race, often Lhedwinic-Vaniric, while 29% (11,076 people) identified with solely or mostly Lhedwinic ancestry, and 24% (9,164 people) identified with solely or mostly Vaniric ancestry. Significant minorities include a Cheonsamese minority of 2,701 people, mostly the descendants of refugees from the Cheonsamese Civil War, and 1,511 emigrants from nearby Ajerrin. In recent years, there has been a growing population of Asuran expatriates, with 2,280 expatriates estimated to be living on the islands, mostly from CDN nations. Cheonsamese, Asuran and Ajerr'i populations are largely concentrated in Meria, especially in the de facto capital of St. Eysteinn, and mixed-race populations and people of Lhedwinic ancestry are more concentrated in Meria and Ambora, with Flymenia having the highest Vaniric population of the islands, and the island is known as a hotbed of pro-independence thought.
Traditionally, many people in the Vanir Islands have followed the indigenous religion of Au Maite Ara, a pantheistic belief system believing in reverence for the world around, reincarnation and a harmonious and egalitarian social order and lifestyle. This belief system is said to have contributed to the current values of the Vaniric government; the economic policy encourages a co-operative atmosphere focused around equal opportunity and respect for the environment, and the progressive social policies of the government. It currently has a following of 14,947 people, and is still the dominant belief system among Vaniric people and the plurality among mixed-race people. 14,432 people identify as having no religion, with an overwhelming majority of Cheonsamese ethnicity people identifying as such. 4,619 people identified with Alydianism, a relic of Alydians fleeing persecution in the United Kingdom of Lhedwin moving to the islands, and 4,195 people identify with Trúathi, the indigenous religion of Vanir's Lhedwinic colonisers. Shrines of Au Maite Ara are located around the islands, with 41 in existence, while there are 5 Trúathi temples among the islands, and independent Alydian churches located in Nymor, New Vænholm and St. Eysteinn.
The Vanir Islands are officially a bilingual society, with both Vaniric and Lhedwinic being officially used by the government. Both languages are taught in schools, with initiatives for students to teach students from different language communities their languages being implemented in the vast majority of schools in the islands. 45.9% of people reported Vaniric as their native language, or 17,530 people, and 16,309 people, or 42.7% of the population, stated Lhedwinic was their native language. For both languages, over 90% of the population knew "basic conversational phrases" in them, showing a bilingual society.
Vaniric education is largely modeled on the Crylantian system, with primary education from 6 to 15 being compulsory for all students, with 23 primary schools existing in the islands, and at least one in each parish, with some more populated parishes such as St. Eysteinn, Nymor and New Vænholm having multiple primary schools.
While it is not compulsory, secondary education from 15 to 18 is free for all and over 95% of students enroll in it. The 15 secondary schools offer a range of choices, with different types of schools focusing on different types of careers and subjects, although by far the most popular are gymnasiums, which offer humanities and science-based education, and many of the other types of schools are only available in St. Eysteinn, and offer free accommodation to students from Ambora and Flymenia.
There is one university on the islands, in St. Eysteinn, which offers a range of subjects and is designed to cater to all residents of age; due to this, it is very hard for non-residents to get into the university, although it is free for all residents.
The Vanir Islands have a single-payer universal healthcare system, with healthcare clinics available in each of the 11 parishes, and one hospital on each island. The healthcare system is funded entirely by taxes, and thus treatment is free. The healthcare system has been described by First Minister Astrid Couch as "adequate for Vanir's needs", and there is a deal so that in serious cases the Crylantian Health Service provides support to make sure that they are dealt with efficiently.
The culture of the Vanir Islands is known for its egalitarian values and its syncretic influence; native traditions and Au Maite Ara have had a heavy influence on the culture, as have Lhedwinic traditions and philosophy, due to colonization of the islands.
Ball sports are very popular within the Vanir Islands, with games such as volleyball and football being played often, sometimes on the beaches of the islands if the weather is up for it. Many players in the Crylantian national football team, which secured silver in the Copa d'Aeia 2017, were of Vaniric origin, showing the importance of ball sports in Vanir. St. Eyesteinn is also home to the St. Eyesteinn Herdsmen Baseball Club, one of the founding four teams of the Jade Ocean Islands Baseball League, now part of the Savaian Baseball League .
The cuisine of the Vanir Islands is notably very fish-based; many traditional dishes in the Vanir Islands involve grilled and barbecued fish; before Lhedwinic contact in 1824 this was one of the few dishes they could make; to imitate the traditional way of cooking it many cook fish over an open fire in the islands. Often this fish is served with the selection of vegetables available on the islands, such as taro, winged bean and Yidaoese arrowroot.
Desserts on the island involve the large range of tropical fruits that are grown, such as coconut, pineapple. guava and banana, which are often served as they are found naturally. These fruits are also used to make drinks, with normal fruit juice being popular, as well as alcoholic versions of them; alcoholic pineapple juice is a very popular drink among the Vaniric people, and has become an export towards other nations, although it has a reputation for being rather strong. In recent years, coffee has also become popular as an export from metropolitan Crylante, and Crylantian foods such as Rösti and Smørrebrød have become popular.
Vaniric folk music is traditionally very percussive and involves chanting; the lyrics of Vaniric folk music are notably complex and petic, dealing with a large range of topics. Since contact with Lhedwin, string instruments have been introduced, such as guitars and ukeleles, which have made major developments on native music. In recent years, electronic music such as trance has taken off, and a few nightclubs have opened in towns such as St. Eysteinn and New Vænholm.