Unified Variotan State
Het Huisselant Variota
Motto: Our Destiny, Our Determination
|Recognised regional languages
• Foorste Frauwe fan'es Ferantwortelik fan'es Folke
• Eerste Heere fan'es Folke
• Folke Heere fan'es Klan Reierfer
• Heere fan'es Ghestelikke
|380,970 km2 (147,090 sq mi)
• Per capita
Het Huisselant Variota (literal translation to English The Homeland Variota), officially known in English but rarely called the Unified Variotan State and also known as Variota or Het Huisselant, is a country located in north-eastern Alharu and southern Argis. Het Huisselant Variota is a Federal Republic and contains four additional, separate states that hold some form of autonomy, namely the Kerke fan'es Huisselant Variota, Unie fan Kommunes, the Klan Reierfer Gebiet and Lukinagrad.
Within the framework of Het Huisselant, the position of head of state is shared between the leaders of the five states while the position of head of government is held firmly by the leader of 'mainland' Variota, the Foorste Frauwe or Heere fan'es Ferantwortelik fan'es Folke. These five leaders form the informal Council of Five, previously known as the Council of Four before the inclusion of Lukinagrad. The current Foorste Frauwe fan'es Ferantwortelik fan'es Folke of Het Huisselant Variota is Dina Diva, who won the 2017 Incidental Foorste Heere fan'es Ferantwortelik fan'es Folke Election with thirty-nine percent of the vote.
Het Huisselant Variota is a founding member of the Argic-Thalassan-Alharun Regional Association and the Tricontinental Defence Treaty Organisation. In addition, Het Huisselant maintains the Executive Chair position within the ACTF.
The name Variota comes from a combination of the words for variation and land; the varied land. In the local dialect of Ferresprak, a version of Variot primarily spoken in the Klan Reierfer Gebiet, the nation is known as Variolant.
Het Huisselant is divided into forty-one provinces and four states. While many assume Het Huisselant consists of five states, each further divided into provinces, the Variotan State is generally only a collective name for the forty-one provinces instead of being a definable entity. Each of the forty-one provinces are headed by a Profinsjaale Heere/Frauwe fan'es Lant, which are elected for a one-year term. The position of Profinsjaale Heere/Frauwe fan'es Lant is seen as a prestigious one, and many successful Variotans attempt to be elected to the position within their home province.
All provinces are further divided into municipalities, which maintain municipal councils. The council decides on the priorities for the funds granted by the central government; depending on the municipality, this decision is done in regard to certain sectors (such as healthcare) for the whole municipality or the municipal council merely decides the amount of funds granted to the smaller councils in the municipality. Smaller councils, so called gebietsraat'n, do not exist everywhere but instead exist in areas where it is deemed beneficial such as municipalities where large cities dominate; Gebietsraat'n are used as a way to represent the wishes and needs for those smaller areas, whose wishes and needs may differ from those of the large cities.
The Variotan people draw their ancestry from the Aloorians, a culture that was established after being forced to survive on the seas of Europa. These Aloorians formed small groups of vessels, often commanded by members of the same family. These small groups established larger clans, whom frequently gathered together on general geographical location or, in rare cases, on the general trade these vessels maintained. Throughout history, various nations and empires that existed on Europan shores hired the Aloorian clans. Aloorians alleviated food shortages through their knowledge of the seas, foraged the lands they sailed near for herbs and other medicinal substances and, if the price was right, served as mercenaries, occasionally recruiting new crew from the villages, cities and forces they came in contact with.
The few texts that remain from that time, written in proto-Variot, are thus also generally journals from captains and their scribes; those that needed to keep records for trade purposes. These logs depict the Aloorians as known and highly sought after for their skills as fishers, foragers, spear-men and harpooners, trading their catch and services with groups throughout Europa. Whether these texts are completely factual or were intended as a way for captains to inflate their fame to those who might read their journals is unknown. Evidence found in ancient Burania, where Aloorians made up a sizable percentage of the population, seems to corroborate these journals.
Archery was mostly seen as a combat skill for women among Aloorians while men mainly practiced spear throwing as it shared many of the techniques required for harpooning whales, another act that was seen as particularly masculine. With the survival of the vessels often depending on the crew and its aptitude, Aloorians and their skills were being honed and trained at early ages. Their intimate knowledge of ships, bows and spears made them good raiders, harassing the enemy forces of their temporary overlords and plundering villages and temples that weren't defended or defended by token forces. While Aloorians did occasionally attack forces that were able to match or exceed their numbers, this was typically seen as reckless as it could lead to vessels needing to be abandoned.
Evidence in the form of surviving logs from Aloorian mercenary captains state that temples of gods associated with the sea were generally left alone during these times of raiding. Rare exceptions existed, due to greed or when enemy forces deliberately attempted to retreat into these temples. While the Aloorians did not maintain one singular faith and a plethora of pantheons existed among the clans, the sea and its role in their lives remained one of the constants among all of them.
The largest text from these times that survived comes from the writer Hyndryk den Alooria, namesake of the Aloorians. The son and apparent heir of the captain of an Aloorian ship, Hyndryk writes about the various clothing styles and speech patterns of the seafarers during a particularly harsh winter storm, forcing a rare get-together of various clans to form a temporary camp on an island, the position of which has been lost to history. Hyndryk notes the difference between southern ships, more suited for trade, and the northern ships, which were outfitted for war.
Pirates existed among the vessels but were generally outcasts. Piracy without necessity was seen as dishonorable and, if found out, could lead to the clan partaking in it to be refused a spot to stay with other ships wintering or otherwise remaining in one place. They were, however, still allowed to trade and marry with other vessels, although prices were typically made higher for pirates. One well-known Aloorian pirate, Rooibaart, terrorized the Kosscow Sea in the 13th century with his clan until he was deposed by his daughter.
Records from the time show that some places where Aloorian clans stayed were used on a somewhat permanent basis, it wasn't uncommon for wealthier clans to stay in towns or cities. In rare cases, usage of certain plots of land were granted by powers that had come in contact with Aloorian clans. These various locations were where the Aloorians used to broker marriages among vessels, with captains of larger or more productive vessels being seen in higher regard than others. Vessels were passed on from parent to child or made during periods when the vessels remained shored.
Southern vessels generally only multiplied when existing vessels were threatening to become overcrowded or when the captain had more than one child that wanted to become captain. The northern vessels, typically more adept and involved with war, had more ways for a regular person to become a captain. Warriors that had exceptional skills or were able to procure enough riches were often allowed to lead a vessel under the watchful eye of their former captain, who would also teach them to read or write or appoint someone to do so. Once the former captain passed away or decided to cut them loose, they were finally fully deemed a captain capable of leading a vessel and its people.
The Long Journey is the historical name for the time period in which the Aloorian messiah, the Holy Wilm of Amalberga, appeared and gathered the Aloorian people, leading them to Alharu; where they ended up founding Ferrefaaierhafen and starting Het Huisselant. Historians use the founding of Ferrefaaierhafen as the turning point from which the Aloorian clans turned into the Variotan people.
In turn, the place where the Holy Wilm of Amalberga died turned into Kattetralerstatt with the clergy claiming that when He passed from the physical realm, his body burst into a storm of holy fire that cleared the ground for the construction of the Amalbergakerke, one of the oldest continuously existing churches within Het Huisselant and home to the Holy Fire. The Holy Fire being a fire that spontaneously lit up from the centerpiece statue of the Holy Wilm of Amalberga once the church was done and has been burning for centuries. It is often depicted as symbolizing a lighthouse, the Holy Wilm of Amalberga guiding the faithful of the world towards the right path, keeping them from getting shipwrecked.
The first Variotan settlers had made their way to Kattetralerstatt and Ferrefaaierhafen. Naturally, these two places took the foreground when it came to early Variotan settling, with many clans arriving at either place and either settling or setting forth from there. A large majority of these first clans settled in the so-called Ferre-Katte Triangle (FKT), a piece of land following the Kattetraler river as its border up to the coast, where it turns back to Ferrefaaierhafen. Depending on where they settled down, these early Variotan settlers would focus on their traditional skills such as fishing or attempt to eke out a living as farmers and hunters.
Diaries and journals of those that attempted a life on land after several generations on sea often depict a life filled with hardship. Those that chose to hunt typically had a slightly better life as previous hunting experience among the population existed in larger amounts, those that had experience farming and keeping animals were far rarer among the Aloorian clans; those that did have experience with farming and keeping animals were frequently kept near Kattetralerstatt and Ferrefaaierhafen, where the ever-growing population meant that there was a continuous demand for their produce and products. These early farmers gained a large amount of standing and respect from society in general, as they fed a large part of the population. The farmer barons of later centuries would regularly draw similarities between themselves and those farmers.
During these early years, there was no sense of a central government. Clans still maintained responsibilities and jurisdiction over their own and often stuck together, leading to Kattetralerstatt and Ferrefaaierhafen becoming patchworks of homes and businesses owned by a variety of clans, both minor and major. This way of working and living occasionally gave issues, for example when dealing with cross-clan criminality. In these cases, the traditional method of clan leaders coming together to hash out differences through discussion and fisticuffs would regularly come into play. The few clans that wouldn't participate in such methods and systematically harbored their own, typically the clans that previously participated in piracy and other heinous acts, would regularly receive the 'recommendation' to move and found their own settlements.
These less respected clans would move beyond the FKT and were the ones that ended up both supporting the expansion towards the entire Variotan coast. Large conflicts with the local tribes were a side effect of this expansion, these tribes saw the expansions as a threat and attempted to remove them from their territory. The clans would deal with these tribes ruthlessly, often slaughtering anyone that would attempt any form of resistance whether they were man, woman, elderly or children. Those that surrendered peacefully and children that lost their parents were, however, generally treated fairly and occasionally absorbed into the clans.
War against the tribes
Start of the Reierfer Klan
Early modern history
Merchant Masters of the Passage
Second Colonisation Wave
Beginning of the Federal Republic
Schism and beginning of the VCC
Wiktor Walensa and the Rise of the Right
Wiktor Walensa, a third generation Lukan immigrant, was born on 7 April 1885 in Ranjekaat. His grandfather had been a farm hand at the Allavatia Kommune, originally imported from Lukinagrad as cheap labor. Walensa's father, unwilling to follow in his footsteps and work on the fields for the rest of his life, moved to the coast in order to seek a job working the river vessels that departed and arrived at Ranjekaat. Working the riverine trade was seen as a good unskilled position as journeys were shorter and shore leave and pay were somewhat equal to working the regular merchant marine. However, his lack of education and near-illiteracy prevented him from doing so, eventually becoming a dock hand for Grote Wil fan Rooilamp, a professional brawler turned smuggler that operated a small fleet of river ships and regular vessels.
Like his father and grandfather, Wiktor was a broad-shouldered lad and physically strong for his age. This, combined with his inquisitive nature and tendency to watch the people on the docks, made him gain the attention of Grote Wil and led to Wiktor being taken under the smuggler's tutelage. Grote Wil, who was unable to have children due to his brawling past and was rumored to be homosexual, made Wiktor his protégé and gave him an education, making him the first of the Walensa family to be able to read and write. In his memoirs, Wiktor writes that Grote Wil taught him a lot with regard to how the world worked. You had to defend yourself from the world and ensure that the world gave you what you needed and deserved, the weak had to be protected and given the chance to become strong and the gifted had to be recognized and helped in their pursuit of greatness.
During one of his earliest travels, a riverine smuggling run with Grote Wil, Wiktor spotted a young couple being robbed on a road next to the river. While they were criminals themselves, both Wiktor and Grote Wil saw robbery as a dishonorable act and jumped off of the ship to aid the couple. At the sight of the two-meters long Grote Wil, who still maintained some degree of fame throughout the nation, the robbers decided to flee. Wiktor himself managed to trip one of the robbers and beat him half to death. According to his memoirs, this was the turning point for him. If a relatively wealthy nation such as Het Huisselant could not prevent regular people from being robbed in broad daylight, there was something wrong and that had to be fixed. The people had to be galvanized into one, singular group.
In 1910, at age 25, Walensa put out his first book 'On the River to Recovery', in which he put together his economic and societal ideas. According to him, society was like a river, it would widen forever if given the opportunity, leading to it becoming shallow and inefficient. A proper government should not only stimulate and protect its people through law and order but had to weed out new ideas and other 'societal wideners' that weren't deemed useful and productive. The book, while not a bestseller, gave Walensa a small following of disenfranchised immigrants and Variotans that felt that, while the nation was improving, some parts of society were left behind. Walensianism, as the ideology was called, and its followers, the Walensians would spread over the years and was generally condoned or in some cases promoted, seen as a better alternative to socialism and communism by factory and business owners.
His political party, calling themselves the Sons of the Variotan Motherland, was founded in 1918 in Ranjekaat. During their first party meeting, held in a banquet hall, Walensa was declared Party Leader for Life while being flanked by the then-elderly Grote Wil, having funded the meeting. Militant socialists under the lead of Henk Ranje attempted to gain entry into the banquet hall. Grote Wil, thinking that the pounding was simply latecomers, went to check out the door and, after opening the hatch in the door to see who it was, was promptly stabbed in his left eye. His following cry for help echoed into the hall, leading Walensa and the Walensians to have enough time to prepare for the socialists that were beating down the door. When the socialists finally managed to enter the hall, they were greeted by the Walensians taking cover behind the thick banquet tables with pistols drawn. Given one chance to leave alive by Walensa, Henk Ranje declined as he believed they did not own firearms. The smuggling operations of Grote Wil had, however, ensured that Walensa had managed to stockpile a large selection of armaments for his followers and the Walensians opened fire. Somewhat ironically, Henk Ranje was among the first to be killed by the Walensians. The militant socialists dispersed after a minute, leaving Grote Wil badly injured and twelve socialists dead.
Already angered by the aggression shown by the political left, Walensa's hatred towards socialists and communists was solidified after Grote Wil passed away. Unable to beat the infection afflicting his stab wound and unfortunately not as resilient as he was in his younger days, Grote Wil fan Rooilamp died at age 73. Rallying up the men and women in the Sons of the Variotan Motherland with combat experience, Wiktor Walensa personally led the hunt for every person that was in the group of militant socialists that had attempted to break up their meeting in an event that is known as the Month of the Floating Bodies. While having the private support of the police force and local government of Ranjekaat, who felt that the militant socialists were a group that had forced their own destruction, Wiktor Walensa was brought in for questioning by the central government in 1919.
Unable to prove that he himself had anything to do with the murders, prosecutors had no other choice but to attempt to get him convicted for ordering the murders, a crime that held an extremely low punishment. Walensa, being allowed the opportunity to give out interviews to newspapers, suddenly became a rising star among the right. Left-wing militants and other groups had plagued cities for a while, forcing strikes, beating up factory and business owners and sabotaging other sections of society. Wiktor Walensa and his Sons of the Variotan Motherland were suddenly seen as the best chance a regular citizen had with regard to protecting him/herself and his/her family against the so-called Left Menace.
While Walensa was convicted to a two-year sentence, he was allowed to buy his way out of it as it was deemed a light crime and used part of the inheritance he had received from Grote Wil fan Rooilamp. The Sons of the Variotan Motherland, suddenly swamped with applications to join the party, became the biggest party by membership by 1921. In the same year, they began rolling out their various programs such as offering standardized courses for members to follow such as self-defense courses, gun maintenance classes and literacy programs. In most cases, these courses were free for members or required them to only purchase their own materials. Members that felt like returning the favor were often recommended to join neighborhood patrol programs, in which SVM members patrolled the streets during the night or day to keep their neighborhoods safe and free from other militants.
The 1920 Municipal Elections did not see a major victory for the SVM, as it was too early in their rise. However, every major city and many other municipalities had at least one Son of the Variotan Motherland in the council. In Walensa's home city of Ranjekaat, the SVM received a majority of the seats in the municipal council. Unlike the 1920 Municipal Elections, the 1922 General Elections saw a major victory for the Sons of the Variotan Motherland and led to Wiktor Walensa and many others of his party receiving seats in the Parliament. While unable to form a right-wing coalition of parties, Walensa and the other right parties managed to block most of the proposals of the Hanteren cabinet. Through smart political maneuvering, Walensa managed to push through a law that subsidized the various social programs done by the Sons of the Variotan Motherland. This sudden influx of monetary means led to programs being expanded and further programs being started, such as the Frei fan het Huisselant program that allowed citizens to save up for a holiday within Variota with the Sons of the Variotan Motherland matching the amount.
In the 1940s, the Sons of the Variotan Motherland were seeing issues among its members. While the party had previously served the purpose of a counterbalance to The Left Menace, there had been no real enemy for years. The only remaining leftist party, the Kaltoer Party, was pacifistic in nature and merely center-left to left in ideology. Its Party Leader for Life, Wiktor Walensa, was both getting older and life had not been too kind on him throughout the years. Factions had started to form.
While Walensa was in no way a pacifist, his leadership had kept the party's extremist factions from finding targets among innocent groups throughout the decades. With his health deteriorating and the party slowly but surely turning more and more extremist, the power that Walensa had over his people slowly slipped. Extremists such as Bernart Volta, Leo-Bert fan Leeuw and Beatries Fanger saw their chance to rid the nation of undesirables in the name of the party. These undesirables were, in their eyes, the various businesses and dynasties that had evolved from the frontier farms of the olden days.
Said frontier farms were made out to be hives of remaining leftist influence, as some had a cooperative nature, and of selfish wannabe aristocrats, using their money only to gain more money instead of using it to help the people. Additionally, the sales and growth of marijuana were deemed as a way for the farms to keep the rest of the nation compliant and weak or 'sucking at the teat of the filthy aristocrat farmer barons' as Beatries Fanger stated. While only a small amount of said extremists had actually served in the HAP, most being declined for their extremist beliefs, they were unified in their Folke Milisies and were thus at least partially trained in the usage of firearms with almost all owning their own firearms. In comparison, the future Unie fan Kommunes had small but trained security forces, with many of its members having served in the HAP or being trained by those having served in the HAP.
1946 saw the call from Volta, fan Leeuw, Fanger and some smaller figures to unite and force the frontier farms to march to their tune. While far fewer extremists were actually willing and able to leave their place of work to fight, the groups came together and Bernart Volta was the first to move his Folke Milisie to attack the Allavatian Kommune, a small cooperative farm that primarily grew industrial hemp and was thus both poorer than the others and less able to protect themselves. Said attack, and in some ways the death of Bernart Volta in said attack, signaled the beginning of the 1947 Revolt.
The Raid was started after Volta's freak death. Attempting to strike during New Year's Eve, in the hope that the fireworks would distract Kommune inhabitants with their sounds and views, Volta's group neared the perimeter of the Allavatian Kommune. Just as Volta planned to give the order to strike and rose up to do so, a large home-made pyrotechnics rocket flew straight towards his head and exploded. Due to a lack of laws and safety features, said rocket contained enough powder to completely obliterate Volta's head, a majority of it never to be found. Between the troubled screams of the men and women near him, said rocket lighting up the area and the large explosion luring people to look, the Allavatians were alerted to the raid and managed to take defensive positions in the ensuing chaos.
The Allavatians, due to their relative poverty, were one of the few Kommunes left that had maintained organized hunting groups as a way to feed themselves and earn additional funds. Additionally, many of the Allavatians women had served with the HAP in roles such as scouts and snipers. Thus, while the Allavatians were using older model rifles which were heavier and fired slower than those of the militants, the Allavatians had experience, training and a large ratio of weapons on their side. Due to the early discovery, the militants were in sub-par positions and many were shot down before they were able to retreat towards better positions. While Volta's two second-in-commands attempted to rally their own groups and continue on, several militants fled and after seeing more and more of their men getting downed, they ordered a retreat.
One small group of militants remained even after the retreat order, now even more outnumbered and having the full attention of the Allavatians. Lasting for thirty minutes before the few militants that were not downed or dead called their surrender, the Raid was over as fast as it began. The Allavatians suddenly had to deal with thirty prisoners, in a cell block meant for ten, and twelve wounded. While the best attempts of the relatively under-stocked, Allavatian doctors managed to save most of the wounded militants, five died in the two days it took the HAP to send a detachment and take them to a proper prison.
1949 Accord and the downfall of the Sons of the Variotan Motherland
Neo-Walensians in the 70s
Het Huisselant operates as a Federal Republic with significant power granted to the parliament and the people in general, through referendums, petitions and lobbying interest groups. Political parties generally come together in coalitions, generally following the same ideology or mindset, in order to pool together their funds, voters and seats into political gain. While the winning coalition often forms the government, it is not unheard of for smaller coalitions to form the government; the government being selected through voting by the newly-seated parliament.
Foorste Frauwe fan'es Ferantwortelik fan'es Folke Dina Diva gained her position after the abdication of Kristiano Delano Lansevoort in 2017. Running on an independent ticket with a crowdfunded campaign, she managed to capitalize on her popularity and large-scale media presence, such as her reality show Dina Diva Uncut. Using slogans such as #letsmakepoliticssexy and #tightfacesfillworkplaces, her platform included the campaign promises to provide incentives towards beautification of politicians in order to increase political interest among Variotans and the promise to provide Botox through the welfare program in an attempt to beautify the unemployed and increase their chances towards gaining employment.
Her popularity has maintained and risen since then, her 24/7 reality show ensuring that Variotans gain a first-hand view of the political proceedings of their homeland. She has been praised for her honesty and out-of-the-box thinking within her position as Foorste Frauwe; even critics have generally praised Dina Diva for the finesse she has shown since her election.
States of Variota
The largest section of Het Huisselant Variota is Variota itself. The majority of population and land belong to Variota and most of the population within Het Huisselant are culturally, demographically and officially Variotan. In comparison to the other parts of the nation, Variota can be seen as the standard, guiding the other sections of the nation through the parliament and its chambers. Said parliament features permanent representatives of the Unie fan Kommunes and the Klan Reierfer Gebiet, through their own chambers and which receive voting privileges and power when the parliament votes on issues that they hold autonomy on. The third autonomous part of the nation, the Kerke fan'es Huisselant Variota, receives greater autonomy and in return has relinquished any right to vote on issues, instead the leaders of the Variotan Christian Church elect two representatives who maintain an advisory function on issues pertaining to or having an effect on religion, and it's place within the Variotan nation.
While its historical capital Ferrefaaierhafen remains the capital of the nation on paper and for historical reasons, the city of Grootwaterflakte has taken over the administrative roles of the capital, featuring the parliament, the primary residence of the FHfFfF and multiple ministries. Grootwaterflakte has fulfilled this role since 1829, when it's more advantageous location in comparison to the rest of the nation was deemed important enough to force a move.
Unie fan Kommunes
The Unie fan Kommunes, or Union of Communes, is a collection of frontier farms turned business-state hybrid entities that trace their existence back to the original farmer barons of the Variotan 'outback'. Originally fortified and well-armed to protect themselves from bandits, the farms led by these so-called farmer barons allowed miners and soldiers to claim the Variotan 'outback' without having to worry about their immediate dietary and clothing needs. Once the 'outback' provinces were relatively pacified, regular farmers moved in by renting land from them and the farmer barons expanded their territories, often establishing new outpost farms that allowed them to diversify their operations while maintaining their importance towards the further colonization of the nation.
Around the 1860s, most of the farms slowly began cultivating marijuana, a short step from the hemp that some had been cultivating for decades, for medicinal and recreational usage. The primary usage was domestic, with most of it being used on the farms themselves, while only a small amount found itself brought back to other parts of Variota. The 1900s saw a large increase in production, as reputation for the quality of their product had grown and prices for marijuana were catching up to the prices for food and hemp, which were stabilizing for various reasons including increases in technology, with some farmer barons using the increase in funds to expand their businesses beyond the agricultural sector. During this time, the farms were seen expanding into proper small towns and many began forming an industrial base that ensured they were able to keep going for the duration of the later revolt and forming the base for the modern Kommunes.
The Unie fan Kommunes received their autonomous rights through the 1947 Revolt and the 1949 Peace Accord, the revolt being instigated by far-right elements of the Variotan government in the guise of a war against marijuana. Through a charm offensive, creative use of machine guns and the government not lending any official help through the police or military, the Unie fan Kommunes managed to force their autonomous rights, achieving free rein over trade and some other sections of government in exchange for a flat tax on all exports, recognition of Het Huisselant Variota as their overlord in perpetuity and other stipulations.
- Capital: None
Kerke fan'es Huisselant Variota
The Kerke fan'es Huisselant Variota, the embodying state of the Variotan Christian Church, is the smallest of the three territories and the one with the most privileges. When the Fijf Klan Heere, the first colonists of Variota, arrived, they found a land that was riddled with natives. Seeking a way to unify all the various vessels and groups of arrivals, they struck a deal with the clergy. In return for recruiting and unifying colonists and vessels to stay in Variota, granting funds from their possessions and blessing the nation, all future churches were to be combined and formed into a separate government, or as some historians call it: 'the clergy's long arm in Variota'.
The schism between the Saalian Protestants and the Variotan Christian Church in 1780 changed the arrangement, with the Variotan Christian Church taking over the original clergy's side of the bargain while also granting more benefits to the Variotan state, such as the clergy's tithe being granted to the state and giving up the seat in the Parliament that had belonged to the clergy's representative in Variota. In return, the VCC was ensured of its place as Het Huisselant's authority on religious matters.
- Capital: Kattetralerstatt
Klan Reierfer Gebiet
Klan Reierfer is the sixth 'clan' to arrive to Variota, originally made up from fringe and outcast sections of other colonists. Their name, Reierfer, refers to the fact that they traveled to the outer borders of Variota, even beyond the wildest sections of 'outback'. While most perished, some communities managed to thrive and work towards self-sufficiency. Communications remained spotted and infrequent, as roads to the areas lacked beyond those carved by repeated travel, and most settlements in the area lacked wealth in such levels to make trade profitable and worthwhile between the two.
As the outback advanced towards their territories, Klan Reierfer managed to thrive, advance and expand as well. The strange mix of fringe, freaks and outcasts had a wide variety of knowledge as well as a unified purpose to remain alive and defend each other, allowing them to provide for their own needs. While population figures remained small and many died while travelling to the area, the people managed to form together. The first Gathering of Leaders, as Klan Reierfer's occasional parliament was called, happened in 1422 and featured six representatives from the six larger settlements and various petitioners. Further Gatherings happened every year, taking up to two weeks. Roads and communications improved around the 1600s and small amounts of emigration happened from other parts of Variota, often citizens with nothing to lose, although the territory kept its independence from the Variotan state.
Klan Reierfer established their own state in 1546, calling themselves Klan Reierferlant, and sent an Ambassador to the Variotan state after the first Klan Reierferlant leader Piet Quintis Reierfer implored the Klan Reierfer parliament to do so. While these Ambassadors typically were unofficial, as they lacked any real power due to the Variotan state not recognizing their claims or sovereignty, stating that this was due to the overlap with their own claims. When Klan Reierfer began their colonization efforts to areas outside their traditional claims in 1646, they were able to do so with ease due to the general self-sufficient and independent nature of their citizens. The Variotan state's attempts to do the same were underwhelming, although they did manage to split Klan Reierferlant in two by taking advantage of the collapse of the Reierfer Mittellant Colony, when the mines responsible for keeping the colony viable dried up. Sensing an eventual conflict and lacking the hate of the Variotan state that has held by some of their former generations, the Klan Reierfer leaders offered the Variotan state negotiations with regard to their absorption into the Variotan state as an autonomous area in 1720. While the basic treaty was drawn up and ratified within the same year, formalities and discussions on smaller issues lasted until 1724.
- Capital: Reierferplattoterp
Political participation in Het Huisselant is at a high level, with over 26,4 million citizens registered as members of one of the twenty-two parties with at least one seat in the Chamber of the People. People are legally allowed to be a member of multiple political parties, so long as only one of the parties operates within the Chamber of the People. One of the reasons for the relatively high amount is that there are no legal age requirements to become part of a party; as such, many parents enroll their children into the party. Parties serve both a political and a societal role, parties often offering special services, paid through donations, and discounts from friendly businesses.
Almost all political parties maintain a Folke Milisie, a notable exception being the Asosiasjie fan Oliefaaier. Parties that maintain most of their member base within a particular territory, such as the Sosjaale Partij Reierfer, tend to have a higher percentage of members in their Folke Milisies than parties with a more spread-out base.
The recent elections for the Chamber of the People saw large parliamentary gains for the newest party, Toekomst!. While the party and its coalition could have gained enough support to govern on their own, the choice was made to seek support from others; trading a small amount of ministerial positions in exchange for backing, both political and from their societal sections, giving the Frije Koalitie fan'es Lant a larger influence throughout the nation.
Het Huisselant maintains a wide variety of embassies, consulates and Variotan Friendship Organizations throughout the world. Notable exceptions to this are the Empire of Dolchland, which is deemed a risk to regional prosperity and stability by the Variotan government, and the Empire of Astriedan, which only recently began with opening up its borders to foreign embassies.
Friendly relations exist with all members of the Argic-Thalassan-Alharun Regional Association, of which Het Huisselant is a founding member. Relations with some other founding members such as the Republic of Iverica, the Commonwealth of Andalla and the United States of Prymont remain higher than with others, spurred on by cooperation between said nations and Het Huisselant such as the Tricontinental Defence Treaty Organisation.
Variota maintains a de facto sphere of influence through its historic ties and diaspora. In order to keep the diaspora tied to the nation, Het Huisselant stimulates the Variotan culture and connectivity to the people within Het Huisselant. Parts of this can be seen through the Huisselikke Aanfals en Proteksiemagt's Propagatie en Morraalmagt and the Variotan Friendship Organizations, both of which promote Variotan culture. Unofficially, this goal has been nicknamed 'The Greatest Nation of Alharu' after an article by Het Waarre Raket fan het Noorten. Critics have called the Democratic Republic of Bahinar a satellite state of Het Huisselant, something that the government of Variota vehemently denies, instead stating that the DRB remains a proven and close ally within the Alharun area.
While Het Huisselant originally only recognized the original monarchist government of Ahrana and viewed the communist government as a rogue state that was forced upon the people, relations were normalized after Greggor Ivanoff was extradited to Het Huisselant for numerous charges related to the revolution. In the aftermath of the Ivanoff extradition and lawsuit, an Ahranaian Ambassador to Variota was reinstated and the Variotan government is currently working on the required paperwork to do the same for the Variotan Ambassador to Ahrana.
The Variotan State, making up the majority of Het Huisselant Variota in both territory and population number, maintains the largest fighting force of all states. Het Huisselant's Huisselikke Aanfals en Proteksiemagt (Het Huisselant's/The Homeland's Homely Attack and Protection Force), often shortened to the Huisselikke Aanfals en Proteksiemagt (HAP), maintains a standing force of two-hundred-and-fifty-two thousand divided into five branches. The Huisselikke Lantmagt officially defends Het Huisselant against and attacks towards its enemies on land, the Faai'nere Marienemagt does so in Het Huisselant's waters, the Fliegmagt fan'es Huisselant protects Het Huisselant's skies and the Propagatie en Morraalmagt protects the minds of Het Huisselant's people and military while attacking those of their enemies. The fifth branch, the recently founded Arktise Legioen, is a thousand-strong token force primarily intended for research purposes with regard to the HAP's arctic capabilities.
Additionally, the Variotan State holds the proud tradition of people and corporations penny-pinching the small tax rebate that is granted to members and supporters of Folke Milisies (People's Militia). Many corporations and citizens make an evaluation if the tax rebate is worth the effort of giving up the minimum of one day a month or, in the case of corporations, giving up a chunk of money in order to end up saving more at the end of the year. For many, this evaluation ends positively and as such, there's a multitude of Folke Milisies with almost every town, village, neighborhood and large and/or prominent business maintaining a Folke Milisie of their own. Originally intended as a way for the central government to ensure that there were enough armed and trained men in the colonies and outback, this tradition was never discontinued as it was seen afterwards as a way to promote outward growth during the Variotan - Klan Reierfer colonization rivalry.
In modern times, there have been multiple attempts by politicians to remove the tax rebate, but none of these have ever seen a positive outcome, with almost all parties except for the far-left voting against as it is deemed too important to both the armaments' industry within Het Huisselant and as a way to cultivate usable reserves and new soldiers for the Huisselikke Aanfals en Proteksiemagt. While politicians maintain that the primary reason for keeping this system active is one of improved defensive capabilities, very few in Variota's armed forces hold the belief that the Folke Milisies will have a great impact in any war beyond the few that are very well-equipped and trained. Due to the lack of faith in their combat readiness among the armed forces and it's associated Ministry of the Armed Forces, the Folke Milisies are placed under the responsibility of the Ministry of Defense, and it's Minister. Both the Minister of Defense and the Minister of the Armed Forces are almost always recruited from retired generals coming from the HAP's branches, with both of the positions often seen as a relatively easy retirement.
Many businesses maintaining an in-company investigation and/or protection/security force, such as banks and insurance agencies, require those employees to maintain membership in a Folke Milisie, ensuring that said employees maintain a good level of training for a civilian and enabling the businesses to claim some costs of arming their employee as supporting the Folke Milisies. Some businesses and business associations that maintain their own Folke Milisies include Altvarna Automotive (Altvarna's Aktiemagt/Altvarna's Action Force), the Collective of Ferrefaaier Casinos (Het Gautgehweer'n/The Golden Rifles) and the East Variotan Association for Adult Entertainers and Actors (Het Fullermagt).
Kerke fan'es Huisselant Variota
See also: Ghestelikke Fegtkorps The Kerke fan'es Huisselant Variota operates a small armed force named the Ghestelikke Fegtkorps. The Fegtkorps consists of an army and an integrated air force, which solely consists of the Heere fan'es Ghestelikke's jet and some outdated anti-air batteries that protect Kattetralerstatt. Gillofan V, Heere fan'es Ghestelikke is the current de jure commander of the Ghestelikke Fegtkorps with Ratsheere Kartnaal Linthoff Q. Jillet fulfilling the role of its de facto commander.
Klan Reierfer Gebiet
The Klan Reierfer Fegtmagt constitutes the main land and border protection force of the autonomous Klan Reierfer Gebiet. Foorste Fegtlaiter Gerardus Reierfer is the current Foorste Heere fan'es Fegtmagt fan'es KRF.
The ten thousand-large force is mostly recruited through the general draft that is in place within the KRG, with only twenty percent of the force coming from volunteers. Generally, these volunteers come from those that decide to stay after their draft is over or those belonging to Klan Reierfer, as they are de facto exempt from the draft due to the Department for the Protection of Reierfer Youth and its governing body, the Ministry of Klan Affairs' influence with regard to the drafting system.
The 'Sons of Reierfer', stationed in the Klan Reierfer Gebiet capital of Reierferplattoterp, is the only Laagher Groupha fully staffed by volunteers. The other Laagher Grouphas maintain an equal ratio of draftees to volunteers among each other. Each Laagher Groupha holds command over one thousand troops, with the Klan Reierfer Fegtmagt totaling ten Laagher Grouphas, and is commanded by a Fegtlaiter who reports back to the Foorste Fegtlaiter of their territory. Due to its elite status, the Sons of Reierfer are personally led by the Foorste Fegtlaiter of Veesjterlant. Seven Laagher Grouphas are stationed within the Veesjterlant territory, the larger and more populated section of the KRG, while the other three are situated in the separate and smaller Uustherlant territory. Due to the numerical majority of the Veesjterlant units, the Foorste Fegtlaiter fan Veesjterlant is automatically the Foorste Heere fan'es Fegtmagt fan'es KRF and thus the one to report to the Folke Heere fan'es Klan Reierfer, the leader of Klan Reierfer and the Klan Reierfer Gebiet. The Foorste Fegtlaiter fan Uustherlant is elected among the three Fegtlaiters stationed there and thus, the territory knows no set headquarter location but tends to rotate.
All Laagher Grouphas are supported by a minimum of a Division of the Volunteer Civilian Militia and a Column of the Motorized Militia. The Volunteer Civilian Militia is a voluntary force that the Klan Reierfer Gebiet government tries to form in every town and city above a hundred inhabitants, something that they have mostly succeeded at. These volunteers receive a rifle, some ammunition, a combat knife, a uniform and one mandatory day of training every two weeks, although additional training sessions are available to zealous participants. In return, these volunteers receive a small tax rebate and are to be able to be called upon by their assigned and often nearest Laagher Groupha, to be ready within two hours. The Motorized Militia consists of police officers trained to handle military situations, more elite than the Volunteer Civilian Militia but still very much a paramilitary force. These officers receive a slightly higher pay but, somewhat like the VCM, have to be able to be called upon to be ready within one hour at all times, even during their off-duty days. A column of the Motorized Militia consists of ten vehicles, most frequently second hand APC's from the Klan Reierfer Fegtmagt, the Variotan military or ones that could be bought cheaply from other nations.
Training of the Klan Reierfer Fegtmagt troops are done entirely internal within the Klan Reierfer Gebiet. While this has led to the Fegtmagt holding excellent training facilities for mountainous warfare and close quarters combat, observers of the Huisselikke Aanfals en Protektiemagt have noted that the Fegtmagt does not shine in most other situations and tends to use outdated techniques that have already been improved upon by the HAP.
The Klan Reierfer Fliegmagt constitutes the air force of the autonomous Klan Reierfer Gebiet. The 4,500 large force has operates twenty pure trainers, twenty-eight trainers that can fulfill a light attack role, six tactical airlift aircraft, forty-eight multirole fighters while its helicopter compliment is made up of five dual-purpose utility/transport helicopters, one VIP transport helicopter, two search-and-rescue helicopters and sixteen dual-purpose scout/light anti-armor helicopters.
The newest obtained airplanes within the Klan Reierfer Fliegmagt are Smidigstråle units of the Prymontian Kaldestad Aamot Group, fulfilling the role of light attack-trainer hybrids. These Smidigstråle units have seen recent usage in their light attack role during border enforcement operations and mock battles, with commanders stating that the Smidigstråle has proven it's quality as a modular light attack and training platform.
The Variotan economy sees a great deal of agricultural export, primarily due to the rich soil and beneficial climate that the land knows and due to the fact that one of Het Huisselant Variota's autonomous states is the Unie fan Kommunes, a collection of somewhat agriculturally-focused business-states. While traditional products like potatoes, hemp and marijuana remain popular with internal and external markets, the Variotan agricultural product that remains highest in overall demand is the Variotan eggplant. While scientists have not been able to pinpoint the exact cause of the miraculous growth and superior taste of the Variotan-grown eggplant, it has become one of the most sought after agricultural product of the world. While other, lesser eggplants remain small and bland of taste, the Variotan-grown eggplant grows to extraordinarily large and thick sizes with its unique flavor being hailed as magnificent among the food critics of the world, with one particular critic calling the flavor "a flavor explosion of rich, creamy meatiness, a wondrous culinary experience that everyone should experience at least once. Almost addictive in its texture, flavor and mouth feel."
Another method that enables the large size and relatively small workforce of the agricultural sector of Variota is its high measure of mechanization, ensuring that a lower amount of people are needed for a larger amount of produce. This mechanization has also seen the emergence of large scale animal farms, which provide reasonable quality meat at a price that is lower than found in other nations. These large scale animal farms provide for a large amount of international and domestic agricultural trade. Thanks to advances in chip and automation technology and large amounts of open fields that Het Huisselant contains, the animals additionally receive enough space for them to roam around if needed. These farms have seen a surge of popularity as cows, as an example, no longer need to be milked or even put in place by humans. Thus, they manage to cut costs while keeping the animal welfare at a reasonable level. The only section of the agriculture not to see large scale mechanization has been the eggplant, as prices for the Variotan eggplant have only grown over the years and farmers are afraid to do something that might lower the quality of their eggplant to non-Variotan levels.
Due to relatively high domestic prices, animal feed is often imported from other nations in the area. The Democratic Republic of Bahinar remains a large exporter of sorghum to Variota, ninety-five percent of which is processed into or used as animal feed.
With gambling being legal in Variota, many larger towns feature some sort of casino or gambling hall. Both of the capital cities, Grootwaterflakte and Ferrefaaierhafen, operate their own specialized gambling district. Ferrefaaierhafen's Gokkiewaaghen district has been primarily aimed and developed with the lower class tourists, citizens and sailors that frequent the city in mind with its casinos featuring low-buy in card games, rows upon rows of slot machines, shows by magicians and washed out international celebrities and a free meal at Vooters if you gamble for more than two-hundred Waarttemun. The Ligjesbranner district of Grootwaterflakte operates as the complete opposite of Ferrefaaierhafen's Gokkiewaaghen district, with no flashy casinos to be found. Instead, its many old and older-style buildings feature the same exterior, with only a sign with the casino's name and certain color lights depicting what the place in question offers. This is a leftover from Grootwaterflakte's time as a frontier town, when casino's attempted to stay under the radar so that they wouldn't get unwanted attention from the unlawful elements of society. Slot machines are nowhere to be found here, to be played at in bars or nightclubs instead, and buy-ins tend to start at one-thousand Waarttemun at it's many tables and other games. Shows are given by artists still in their prime, which some might say is less fun than seeing fading starts try to relive their glory days by performing for a bunch of drunk gamblers that are probably mistaking them for another Variotan one-hit wonder.
Kattetralerstatt, the capital city of the Kerke fan'es Huisselant Variota, is the only place in Variota where gambling is officially banned. The banning is only done officially with many in the church enjoying gambling themselves or otherwise seeing the benefits of allowing small amounts of gambling to go on, instead of forcing it into criminal hands. The most popular way among Kattetralerstatt inhabitants to gamble is through so-called gamble cruises, on sightseeing vessels that are transformed into a floating casino for the day. Organized primarily through social media, to avoid the need for printed advertisement, inhabitants pay a small entry fee that includes a specialty drink of the evening and are then free to gamble away at the various tables, bet on events or play away on the one-armed bandit while the vessel itself goes up and down the Kattetraalwaater, the river that splits Kattetralerstatt in two. These gambling cruises are condoned by the Kerke fan'es Huisselant Variota and the businesses running them, often located in the nearby Variotan State town of Koksdaal, are completely legal with them paying taxes to the Variotan State under a specialized tax code. Part of these taxes are then granted back to the Kerke fan'es Huisselant Variota as 'tourism tax rebates'.
The legal age for gambling is 14 when unaccompanied by an adult, although some casino's may decide to bar you entry when you attempt to enter without an adult until you are 16 or 18, and 8 when accompanied by an adult, although some casino's may decide to bar you entry until you are 12 or 14. By law, if accompanied by an adult and aged 14 or older, no casino may refuse you entrance on the sole grounds of your age, although they may refuse you entrance on grounds of cheating, disruptive behavior, bad hygiene or other such rules that said casino has put in place for its participants.
Vrein - Huisselikke Goetteren & Passagieren Transport is the principal passenger and cargo railway operator of Het Huisselant. It maintains cooperation with the various other railway operators in Het Huisselant though the Asosiasjie fan Trein Ferfoerters or Association of Railway Transporters. This same association acts as a neutral steward between all railway operators and as such, owns and maintains all rail infrastructure; the various railway operators pay an operating fee to the association both as in order to fund the maintenance and various expansion projects. Additionally, the railway operators pay a membership fee; this membership fee doubles as the application fee or yearly renewal fee for the license required to provide railway services.
Kaptein A.H. Ferrefaaier International Airport, located twenty kilometers from Ferrefaaierhafen, is the main international airport in Variota. It is followed closely by the more modern Aurora Sichtlaiter Commemorative Airport, located fifteen kilometers from Grootwaterflakte. Smaller international air flight roles are kept for regional airports, such as the Gillofan III Regional Airport, which is located a short drive from Kattetralerstatt. Variota's national carrier, Nasionale Flieg Maatskappij Variota (NFMV), maintains its hub at Kaptein A.H. Ferrefaaier International Airport as does Fleugels fan'es Huisselant, a smaller airline which maintains international routes at a higher price point and quality. Budget airline Air Reierfer maintains Aurora Sichtlaiter Commemorative Airport as its international hub, while it maintains the Piet Quintis Reierfer Regional Airport as its domestic hub.
Domestic air travel in Variota has its primary routes going from the north to the southern parts of the nation and vice versa or from the Klan Reierfer Gebiet to Ferrefaaierhafen. Shorter distances, including Ferrefaaierhafen to Grootwaterflakte and vice versa, are generally done by car, bus or train, although a limited number of flights do operate on these routes, generally at a higher price point than other domestic flights.
Vooters Air, officially Internasionale Fliegmaatskappij 'Eduard J. Vooters', is a new participant on the air travel market, established through a joint venture between the Variotan Vooters Food Group and the Belearean Bel-Aires airline. It provides both international and domestic flights in Alharu and Argis and during flights offers special versions of Vooters food and drinks as well as maintain flight crews solely consisting of members acting and dressed in manners similar to those found in regular Vooters restaurants.
The official language of Variota is Variot, which is spoken by the vast majority of Variotan inhabitants. The Variot dialect of Ferresprak, spoken in the autonomous area Klan Reierfer Gebiet, is recognized as the official language there, with Variot the second official language in that area alone. While the language technically features the entire basic Latin alphabet, in reality the letters q and x are generally never used in modern Variot with these letters slowly phased out throughout the ages. Their only remaining Variot usage remains in names. The letters v and d are slowly being phased out for f and t. Due to the smaller amount of letters and the relatively easy grammar, Variot is seen as one of the easier languages to learn within the world by the Variotan people, a sentiment that might not be shared by the rest of the world.
All Variotan inhabitants learn to speak English during their primary and secondary school and thus, English is the second most spoken language within Het Huisselant Variota with approximately ninety-three percent of the population knowing enough English in order to be able to read, write and have a conversation on a level that is deemed acceptable by the Variotan government and governmental standards.
Salian, the primary language in Saale, is an offshoot of Variot, although linguistic experts have not yet come to a unanimous conclusion whether Salian should be seen as a daughter language or as a dialect, similar to Ferresprak.
Education in Variota is noted for its relatively free nature, low compulsory ages and high quality, with some observers calling Variotan education the highest quality in Alharu. Since 1943, children are required to be in school from the age of 4 until they turn 12. Afterwards, even if they do not manage to gain any form of diploma, Variotans are free to join the workforce. Nowadays, the amount of twelve-year olds looking to join the workforce are slim, the vast majority that do tend to join the family business or some other business that offers apprenticeships.
The Ministry of Education offers businesses that provide apprenticeships certificates that allow them to provide their apprentices with valid diplomas, the certified businesses are often in high demand with lower class families, where the option of getting paid while learning is deemed highly desirable. Additionally, the Ministry of Education operates testing agencies that allow citizens that have built up their knowledge in the field but lack a diploma to test their knowledge and gain a diploma that's fully equivalent with one that they would have gotten through courses and other, longer forms of theoretical education.
Private primary and high schools exist but are regulated by the Ministry of Education in so far as that they have to provide a basic curriculum that all schools within Variota provide. Similarly, religious schools exist but are regulated by both the Ministry of Education and the Kerke, whom regularly also provide at least part of the teachers. Private and religious schools have lost some of their popularity in recent years as increases in educational quality among public schools have leveled the playing field. Religious schools maintain some of their popularity among those seeking a career within the Kerke, as credentials from said schools give citizens a better chance to get into the Hooge Theologische School, the university belonging to the Kerke.
Private universities are widespread within Variota and are known for their varying amounts of quality and respectability. The largest private university, Klompevelt PrivaatSiteit, is known within Variota as a degree mill and mostly maintains international students, often times those from poorer, less developed nations that want the prestige of a degree from a wealthier nation.
Eighty percent of all Variotans belong or claim to belong to the Variotan Christian Church. Due to the unique position of the Variotan Christian Church and the Variotan Christian religion, it remains the de jure state religion of Het Huisselant. In reality, there is no de facto state religion and each person is free to worship any or no religion without harassment or other obstructions from the state or the population. The remaining twenty percent are atheists and various groups of Muslims, Tacolic worshipers, Saalian protestants and others.
Customs and etiquette
The Variotan people maintain an unofficial code of etiquette that applies equally to everyone, from the highest politician to those working in the sewer systems. While foreigners often find it quite strange to see the lack of hierarchy that is manifested within businesses, this etiquette or lack of etiquette flows from tradition, from times when a mistake could mean the death of an entire colony. It is, thus, not uncommon to see an employee propose other ways of solving a problem or telling their boss that their course of action is a bad one, so long as the employee has viable experience in the field of work. Private situations are much more different, however, with the general Variotan etiquette being far more loose and strict at the same time. The accepted rule is that someone has to be held separate from their work and their private life, one might be an extremely talented worker and yet be a degenerate gambler and alcoholic in his private life without it affecting his standing at work. So long as one does their job properly and only uses their own money, one may do whatever they feel like. Only when one starts to make debts, or it starts to impact their work, will it impact one's standing at work. This comes primarily from the Variotan sense that they work hard and, thus, should be allowed to play hard without receiving judgement from others. One prime example of this unofficial and informal code is Kristiano Delano Lansevoort, Heere fan'es Klan Lansevoort, the previous Heere fan'es Ferantwortelik fan'es Folke. While the man is known for his love of parties and younger trophy partners of both sexes, he manages to portray the perfect leader of the Variotan nation during his working hours without any scandals. As such, he is respected by the Variotan people both due to his position and the way he fulfills it and due to the fact that he is able to juggle it with a healthy appetite for the Variotan nightlife and youth.
Those that accumulate wealth are allowed and somewhat expected in the eyes of the public, to flaunt their wealth in ways that they enjoy, so long as this flaunting is somewhat balanced by some form of caring for lesser-offs. For the regular Variotan citizen, this can mean as much as giving a Waarttemun or some spare Waartteteil's to their local beggar after having done their weekly grocery shopping. Other promoted, through government programs, methods of caring for those lesser-off include giving away unwanted or unneeded clothes that are still in good condition, doing groceries and tasks for elderly citizens that are unable to do so and, for those that have useful skills, giving courses. Those that have accumulated wealth but do not flaunt it are seen as suspicious individuals that must be hiding something, unless they have a good reason not to flaunt it, such as saving money to ensure that a handicapped child remains able to pay for their needed aid and caretakers after the person's death.
After a Variotan wedding, it is custom for the newly married couple to fire on life-sized figures representing the other. The meaning of this ritual is to, through the rifle, shoot out and leave behind all issues and anger that troubled the couple about the other before they got married, allowing them to start their marriage with an emotional blank slate. The type of weapon used in this ritual depends on the type of wedding, the theme of the wedding and the place where it will be done. Due to the cost of purchasing a weapon for this occasion, if neither or only one person owns a weapon, there are companies that rent out bridal guns. Rocket propelled grenades are by law protected and may only be used by a head of state, a head of government, a Klan Heere or someone who has permission from the Variotan government, often celebrities, and under strict watch and aid from a trained professional.
Music and art
Variotan cuisine is known throughout the world, aided by worldwide chains such as Vooters. One of the staples of Variotan cuisine is the so-called snack culture, situated around the 'automatiek'; a vending machine that is filled with freshly fried snacks. These vending machines are found in snack bars, which are found in almost all Variotan towns, cities and villages. Fairs, which remain an important yearly event in Variota, and other such popular events may see the presence of large portable snack bars that also operate automatieken; these are often custom-made using large trucks. As a result of this readily-available and culturally-embedded fried snack culture, Variotans maintain some of the highest average numbers on Eurth for amount of fries and amount of fried food eaten. Some Variotan fried snacks include the frikandel and kroket.
A long, firm, skinless, dark-colored meat sausage that can be served up in various forms including baked into a saucy roll; not to be confused with the Salian-Variotan sausage shaped veal meatball 'frinkadel' that it evolved from. A popular option is a 'special' frikandel, it is cut open before fried and gets filled/topped with mayonnaise, curry ketchup and diced onion. A version with regular ketchup instead of curry ketchup is called a 'Kommunetje' or Little Kommune, and remains the more popular version in the Unie fan Kommunes due to the high quality of local ingredients and historical reasons.
Being farmers and mostly in the frontiers, curry ketchup was too expensive for these areas when it first became available; by the time it became more affordable for them, it was made on a large scale and generally of a lower quality as a result. Ketchup could be made with local ingredients, as could mayonnaise and diced onions. Curry ketchup could not, as the curry powder had to be imported from Bahinar. Thus, the sauce never caught on as much as in other parts. In these areas, one with curry ketchup is instead called a 'Kustlijner' or Coastliner and the Kommuntje is instead what one gets when ordering a 'special'.
Bread crumbed fried food roll containing ragout or various other fillings such as sate or goulash; often paired with mustard and/or mayonnaise. Popular options include ones with veal or beef ragout, although special flavors such as suure kool met worst (sauerkraut with smoked sausage), speculaas (spiced biscuit), smoked eel, aged cheese and whale exist. The bitterbal is a smaller round version of the kroket and can contain mostly the same filling as their larger brothers.
In recent years, variants of the kroket and bitterbal that can be baked in the oven have begun to become popular; among lower and middle classes as they're seen as a healthier option than the fried versions and by higher classes as they generally lack a fryer. Whether these oven baked versions are as delectable as their fried brethren remains a heated subject within Variotan society, often fought out on social media and instant messaging services.
One popular lunch dish featuring a kroket is a so called '12 uurtje'. This features three slices of bread or toast, two with a slice of meat, cheese or one of each, two eggs sunny side up and a kroket. Typically served with some salad, ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard, the dish is a full meal and was originally intended to be served at noon, its name roughly translating into 'nooner'. At one point a staple food in factories, the idea behind serving the dish was that this would allow workers to last until dinner.
Football has been and remains popular within Variota with amateur, semi-professional and fully professional clubs battling it out in leagues such as the semi-professional Varinco Kompetitie and the Foorste Foetbalkompetitie, the highest league within Het Huisselant. Het Huisselant maintains a national team, nicknamed Het Gaut'n Freikaapers or the Golden Privateers, which has participated in international tournaments such as the UENA Nations League.
Baseball, massively popular in neighboring Fulgistan, has not gained as much traction in Het Huisselant as football has, however, a semi-professional baseball league exists that features twenty teams from throughout Het Huisselant. This league, Het Huisselant's Eigen Honkbal Kompetitie, and other semi-professional leagues have recently gained popularity among Variotan sports gamblers for their relatively unpredictable nature; no single team dominates the competition, thus making the act of gambling on it far more exciting.