Anthem: Yn laan vro yses ohl
"One land for us all"
|Vyvland's location in Esquarium|
Vyvland's location in Esquarium
|Official languages||Vyvlander, Helish|
|Recognised regional languages||Geadish, Namorese, Nevan, Nevel dialect, Swedish|
|Government||Unitary semi-presidential parliamentary democracy|
|Pamela Oegelkeper (Ind.)|
|Gyneld Welelmsen (K)|
• First Germanic settlement
|c. 400 AD|
• Old Confederacy
|12 June 1352|
|25 March 1935|
|23 June 1983|
|261,246 km2 (100,868 sq mi)|
• 2015 estimate
• 2012 census
|109.5/km2 (283.6/sq mi)|
|GDP (PPP)||2014 estimate|
• Per capita
|Gini (2014)|| 31.3|
|HDI (2015)|| 0.889|
|Currency||Mynig (Munig) (μ)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Vyvluder Normal Toim)|
• Summer (DST)
|UTC-5 (Vyvluder Sumer Toim)|
|1 April to 30 September|
|Patron saint||Saint Lucy|
|ISO 3166 code||VYV|
Vyvland (pronounced /ˈvaɪv.lænd/ or /ˈvaɪv.lənd/, Vyvlander: Vyvlu /'vʏ.vlə/, Helish: Foelland) is a developed medium-sized island country located in Northwestern Esquarium, to the north of Namor and Geadland and south of Unolia and Nevanmaa. It has a population of around 28 million inhabitants and its capital city is Lorence, although larger cities include Vlud and Lyksdal.
Vyvland is inhabited predominantly by Vyvlanders, a Germanic Vyvlander-speaking people, with a significant Helish-speaking community in the eastern province of Helland. It is an economically developed country, although it retains significant divides in quality of life between the former North and South, which reunified in 1983. Vyvland is a unitary parliamentary republic whose current President is Pamela Oegelkeper and Prime Minister is Gyneld Welelmsen.
Geographically, the country is situated between the Haddock Sea to the south and the Gulf of Nevanmaa to the north. Most of Vyvland is taken up by low mountains and hills, and it has a temperate climate caused by air streams originating from the Northern Sea to the west. Ninety-five percent of the country's land area is comprised of the island of Vyvland, with a few other islands, the largest of which are Norflaan, Kafren and Greetmion, making up the remainder.
The country enjoys a very high quality of life, ranking very highly in the Human Development Index and with a relatively high GDP per capita and low, decreasing income inequality. It is also characterised by a high level of social welfare, relatively high tax rates, and above average social mobility. Unemployment is low, while in the last few years, inflation has been relatively high. Vyvland is a founding member of the Esquarian Community, Organisation of Esquarian Nations and Northern Sea Defence Organisation.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Politics
- 5 Demographics
- 6 Economy
- 7 Culture
- 8 Transport
The name Vyvland derives from Proto-Germanic *būwijaną (Old Vyvlander bauvian, modern Vyvlander beuen or veuen), meaning to dwell or inhabit. Thus, Vyvland roughly means homeland or dwelling-place. Early Vyvlander inscriptions referring to the country as Buviland or Vuviland, where the middle /i/ triggered umlaut on the preceding /ʊ/ to turn it into the modern /ʏ/, and then was lost. The Vyvlander name, Vyvlu, derives from the same source, with the final two consonants missing due to elision. The Helish name is merely an approximation of a Middle Vyvlander form Vyvlan, with the medial /v/ omitted over time.
Vyvland has shown signs of habitation by coastal dwellers since at least 800 BC, with a few venturers settling further inland in some cases. However, the country's first permanent large-scale settlement occurred approximately 1500 years ago by Eastern Frankish and other Germanic immigrants; their exact origins are unknown. The old languages of these people came to form the Old Vyvlander language, the predecessor to the modern language. These first immigrants appeared to find life in Vyvland hard for the first 200 years of their residence, with limited evidence for extensive permanent settlement. Archaeological findings, in addition to the thorough works of Bretian explorer Mirramais in the seventh century suggest these peoples, who were most commonly structured into tribes, were malnourished and poor. However, they gradually moved towards a more stable, structured society formed around many petty kingdoms, many of which share their names with today's provinces. The leaders of these kingdoms met from approximately 790 AD on the flanks of the Fijral Volcano in what is today the city of Pegerms. This proved to be instrumental in bringing together cooperation and stabilising government, in addition to making Pegerms a centre of art, architecture and culture the likes of which were relatively unparalleled in Western Esquarium at that time. It is often detailed that the city contained hundreds of temples, churches and public baths, and became rich due to its position as the only city in Vyvland where traders and merchants from across the island could work safely and peacefully. The unity of Vyvland during the period let the country broadly fend off the numerous Viking raids during this period.
The major turning point in this part of Vyvland's history was the eruption of the Fijral Volcano in 1036, which covered much of the ancient city of Pegerms in lava, killing hundreds and rendering the city uninhabitable. The new city of Lorence was built as a capital, in a safer area on the other side of the volcano, yet it proved ineffective and was thus ignored. As such, the old voice of the smaller kingdoms was lost, and many of the more powerful, larger or better situated kingdoms used this to their advantage. Most prominent among these were Stanmer, Wik and Welland, which consolidated large areas of the country into feudal realms under single rulers, while other kingdoms were swept aside by the continued raids of the Esquarian Viking Age.
The next few centuries saw large amounts of unrest across the island, with wars, disputes and territory changes common as different lineages conquered and mingled. Often, the population - mainly peasants - living under these rulers suffered, and the net prosperity of Vyvland declined, as is evidenced by its relative international unimportance during the period. By 1352, however, the Black Death had ravaged the island, and King Eylav fi Paavyl of Stanmer used this unrest to ensure his hegemony over all Vyvland, conquering Welland - the last kingdom left opposed to him - in the summer of that year. This therefore brought about the first period of unity over the whole island again; Eylav is generally thought of today as the founder of the modern Vyvlander nation. During the ensuing period the economy began to prosper, with trade links to the rest of Esquarium re-established and Vyvland seen as a useful source of minerals and simple manufactured goods such as cloth.
Arrival of new migrants
Due to its location, Vyvland was frequented by the travellers of the late middle ages, many of whom chose to permanently stay. As such, Vyvland's population expanded and diversified, although its independence was still retained. The biggest group of new immigrants were what is known as the 'Germanics': various Germanic and Nordic peoples, including Geads, who settled in Vyvland, predominantly on the eastern shores, where Geadish is still spoken, and Helish-speaking settlers in today's Helland. However, this influx displeased the Vyvlander monarchy and establishment at the time. The difficulties experienced by various sides in the disputes led to a long period of civil war and unrest between various constituent parts of the country, most notably the powerful duchies of Stanmer and Vlud. However, the entire island remained de jure unified, with the monarchy continuing throughout the period.
In 1728 after Wars of the Banners, a decade of bitter fighting over the line of succession between the houses of Stanmer and Vlud, the leaders of both houses met in Lorence to settle their disputes and proclaimed a unified kingdom. The following unity helped Vyvland to stabilise and prosper, especially due to the growing international trade routes through Vyvlander ports. This marked a new period when Vyvland was near the forefront of the industrialising world, with Stanmer in particular benefiting from this change, as well as agricultural areas, which saw outputs multiply rapidly, freeing up labourers for factories in the cities. The reformist King Adulv the New helped the country transition into an industrialised, developed economy during this period due to his many reforms of the political and economic systems; he abolished serfdom, instituted the Niysgroib writing reforms and vastly increased the power of Parliament in law-making, while also extending suffrage for Parliament.
The country industrialised at a rapid pace in the latter half of the nineteenth century, with Lyksdal and Jesel benefitting the most from this, in addition to dock towns such as Strossen, Fomiy and Niyport. However, from 1887-95, a series of harsh winters hindered economic progress and caused much suffering by ruining the crops for many successive years, in what came to be known as the Great Famine. Immediately following this, a series of investments and enclosure reforms were made into Vyvland's agricultural industries to improve food supply for the rapidly growing population; these reforms insured Vyvland's competitiveness in agricultural exports for many years to come, and prevented famines on the Great Famine's scale from happening again.
Vyvland's political situation was stable by the early twentieth century, with an elected parliament known as the Royal Chamber and a stable monarchy. However, after the depression of the early 1930s, two opposing factions - the monarchy, supported by the Navy and Air Guard, and the Nationalist Movement, with support of the army - both claimed legitimate power over Vyvland. This led to the Vyvlander Civil War, in which 220,000 died and the country's economy was crippled. Soon, representatives from nearby foreign countries stepped in to organise the Accords of Nencia, an agreement to partition the country, signed in the heavily shelled town of Nencia. This agreement gave control of everything south of the town, plus the area around Byzvild, to the nationalist military junta and every other area north of the town to King Gusdaav III.
The Accords resulted in two different and conflicting authorities over Vyvland for the majority of the 20th century, and their disputes often culminated in minor battles or heated tensions. Still, much of the North, especially the area around Vlud, managed to prosper, and this led to a transition to a democracy, albeit one with some influence from the monarchy to limit the influence of socialist and nationalist parties. Vlud became a major financial centre due to the North's financial deregulation, while agricultural output increased fourfold. Lyksdal and Stanmer, however, saw significant industrial decline, which prompted the Stanmer Unrest - a series of protests and strikes which led to major political change, including limiting the power of the monarchy.
In contrast, the South struggled under multiple oppressive regimes, most notoriously that of Amiral Jeusev Jueves. Jueves was responsible for many acts of brutality against Southern citizens, including an expulsion of the Swedish community, and he is still viewed with hostility to this day. Erman Sanker took control of the country following a late-1954 coup backed by the East Luziycan Central Intelligence Agency. Jueves was executed two days later. Although promising to improve South Vyvland, Sanker did little to reform the dictatorial system of the South, and instead became something of a successor dictator to Jueves.
Sanker passed a new constitution in 1958, allowing elections for the first time. The first election held yielded a 96% majority for him. Sanker ran again in 1964, 1968, 1972, and 1976, before being assassinated by a Northern-backed resistance group during his campaign in 1979 for the 1980 election. Despite Sanker's supposed attempts to modernize the economy, military and the political system (to reduce coups), the economic growth increased slowly under increasingly oppressive policies, while civil rights declined. One of few areas of progress was the granting of citizenship to former Swedish inhabitants Sanker's Southern government has also been described as a puppet state to East Luziyca, especially after having recognising the independence of Txotai in 1966, and recognising Geadland as part of Luziyca until 1982.
The two states reunited in 1983, after the conclusion of the dictatorial Southern system. As such, the year was celebrated - the newfound political stability, and opportunity in the South, combined with unseasonably hot weather, became the motive for many street and local festivals across the country. The ensuing period of political, economic and social reform became widely known as the Liberal Revolution, and is often seen as a reaction to decades of relatively authoritarian governments, especially in the South. New Prime Minister Abram Zymeker passed multiple economic and social reform acts during the period, while great efforts were begun help the former South reach the North's level of development. Soon afterwards, Enrig Dalder was elected as President; he helped the country to open up to other nations in Esquarium through culture and trade, and presided over a period of unstable governments in the mid-1990s. Since then, the country has been relatively settled, although a few attacks by the True Vyvlanders, a terrorist organisation opposed to Vyvland's modern system of government, have taken place.
Vyvland is a generally hilly country, with reasonable numbers of mountains but plains in the centre and in Stanmer. Vyvland's highest mountain is Kalmersberg, which lies in the Slic National Park of Seerm province, and rises to 2645 metres above sea level. Other major mountainous areas include the south, Brudon, the Deg peninsula and the Wesjrenbergs in eastern Seerm. In contrast, the country’s lowest point is the Brockelnpoyder in the east of the country, with an elevation of −3.5m below sea level.
Vyvland is situated mostly on the main island of Vyvland, although approximately one-eighteenth of the country's land area is detached from the mainland in the form of islands. The largest of these islands are Norflaan, to the northeast and volcanic Kafren, to the southwest. The Southeastern Archipelago, consisting of Greetmion, Daydmion, Sanding and other smaller islands, is also detached from the mainland. The country's island nature means that is possesses a large coastline, which is indented with large bays such as the Gulf of Kafren in the southwest, Seerm Bight in the north and Fomiy Channel in the east.
The population in Vyvland is mainly concentrated on the plains in the centre, east and Stanmer province. Hills and plains occupy most of the rest of the country. Apart from the mountain regions, Vyvlander land is generally fertile and often used for farming, especially of vegetables. Agriculture is most common on the central plains, with the area between Fomiy and Wel city being often referred to as a breadbasket due to its high output of cereals and other crops. Vyvland has a low percentage of forested areas (17% of the country's land area); these are mostly beech woods, and are concentrated in Welland, Brudon and northern areas of Kros province, which historically was the centre of the extensive Vefwoyden forest. Evergreen woods occur in the northern reaches of Deg.
Vyvland has a temperate oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification: Cfb, with some Csb) with mild temperatures, although some isolated, mountainous central areas exhibit a more continental climate. The warmest areas are those in the southwest, especially around Jelkym, which frequently experience temperatures over 30°C in the summer, and have a somewhat mediterranean climate, which attracts many tourists in the summer. A couple of weeks of snow each winter are often experienced in the north, with Deg suffering especially from cold weather. However, the snow in the area around Kreuveld has turned the town into a thriving ski resort.
See also: Provinces of Vyvland
Vyvland is divided into 17 provinces, which are in turn divided into powerless counties (shown by small black outlines on the above map), and the five independent cities of Vlud, Lyksdal, Mafiy, Jesel and Lorence, which hold most of the powers of a province. Below county-level are gemends, or municipalities, which tend to cover either a large town or a small town and nearby rural areas. They range in size from large cities such as Wel to small villages. One exceptional municipality is Arktik municipality, which contains no legal territory but is responsible for the government of the Sybraansen Base, Vyvland's sole station in the Esquarian Arctic. Rural municipalities generally also contain parishes, which are almost always associated with single villages, and these are run by parish councils.
The political situation in Vyvland is stable, with little political unrest in the past few decades. Vyvland's political system is one of a parliamentary republic, where the President is the head of state. However, more political power is vested in the Prime Minister of Vyvland, who is a member of the Parliament of Vyvland, and his or her appointed National Commission, Vyvland's equivalent of a cabinet. The National Commission contains twelve departmental ministers in addition to the Prime Minister and occasionally the President, the Administrator (the equivalent of a speaker in other Parliaments), the Leader of the Opposition and thr Leader of the Thirds (the leader of the second-largest opposition party in Parliament). The National Commission and Finance Minister set an annual government budget in December, which currently stands at µ138 billion, ($408 billion, December 2013), making up 45% of GDP.
National political power in Vyvland is concentrated mostly in the unicameral legislature known simply as Parliament, also known as the Laanfeng, which is elected through a system based on mixed-member proportional representation involving 360 single-member constituency MPs and 288 regional party-list (or independent) proportionally elected MPs, to make a total of 568 members. The 2013 general election returned a coalition between KDC, the Liberal Party and the Capitalist-Libertarian Party, with Gyneld Welelmsen as Prime Minister.
KDC (K) (125)
Liberal Party (L) (114)
Capitalist Party (P) (52)
Socialist Party (S) (104)
National Party (N) (82)
Other opposition parties
United Left (Y) (12)
Democratic Socialist Party (W) (3)
Greens (G) (33)
Alliance (A) (20)
Monarchist Party (M) (7)
Vyvlander Front (V) (11)
Independents (I) (16)
The President, a fairly ceremonial head of state, is also elected every 4 years via a direct vote from a longlist of candidates. This continues to a second round of voting if no cadidate gains a majority of votes; all previous Presidential elections have necessitated a second round. In the second round, only the winner and runner-up of the first round are listed on the ballot, and whoever wins the second round is appointed to the office of President. The last presidential election occurred in June 2014, with centre-right Pamela Oegelkeper defeating incumbent Liberal Robert Ujson, despite Ujson winning the first round.
Due to the mixed-member proportional representation system used in Vyvland, many different parties are able to operate on a national scale. Historically, Vyvlander politics has been dominated by three major parties: the liberal, centrist Liberal Party, social democratic Socialist Party and centre-right conservative KDC. Since 1986, these three parties have consistently been the three parties with the largest number of seats in Parliament. In the early days of reunified Vyvland, and relatively recently, the right-wing populist National Party has also been relatively prominent. Since the October 2013 general election, KDC has been the largest party in Parliament, with 125 seats.
Foreign relations and military
The Vyvlander Army is small and mainly geared towards providing an initial response should Vyvland be invaded; Vyvland's foreign policy is generally non-interventionalist. However, the Vyvlander Navy is larger, which is necessitated due to Vyvland's position as an island in an unstable location. The Air Guard is Vyvland's air force. In total, the three branches employ 67,000 active troops, making up 0.24% of Vyvland's total population. The military budget is approximately 5 billion µ ($15 billion), making up 1.6% of GDP and 3.7% of the total government budget. Vyvland is a founding member of the Northern Sea Defence Organisation, a mutual defence pact initially between Vyvland, Nevanmaa and Geadland, two of the country's closest defensive allies. As of August 2015, Geadland is no longer a member while many other countries in Northwest Esquarium are.
Law enforcement and justice
Law enforcement in Vyvland is organised into two main separate branches - the nationwide Vyvlander Police (Vyvluder Polis) and nineteen provincial or city police forces, covering each province in addition to Vlud and Lyksdal independently. It is overseen by the Domestic Ministry, with some aid from the Security Ministry for particularly serious crimes, especially acts of terrorism. However, the police forces are independent from direct government control. The two other agencies usually described as law enforcement agencies are the Vyvlander Border Guard and the Vyvlander Forensic Science Unit. In addition, law enforcement is aided by the country's domestic and foreign intelligence agency, the Vyvlander Security Commission.
The Vyvlander justice system, in addition to the Sdaatsbesjraav, the state prosecution service, is overseen by the Justice Ministry. It operates under a civil law system through a network of local courts and three national courts headquartered in Lorence and Vlud, which deal with separate branches of the legal system. These are the High Court of Justice, which deals with the majority of civil and criminal cases, the High Court of Labour and Finance, which deals with strikes, bargaining and tax law, and the High Administrative Court, which deals with local and national government.
The Vyvlander census is organised once every decade, in year ending with the digit 2. The Statistics and Census Agency is responsible for collecting data. The population growth rate is about 1.2% per year. Migration contibutes mostly to population growth, due to a low birth rate and reasonably open-door immigration policies. Between 2002 and 2012 the population increased by an average annual rate of approximately 1 per cent. This compares to 0.4 per cent per year in the previous decade and -0.8 per cent in the decade before that, when many people emigrated soon after reunification.
Vyvland's average total fertility rate (TFR) is approximately 1.77 children per woman, but this is decreasing rapidly due to the availability of contraception, and it is thus considerably below Southern levels pre-unification, which often exceeded 3 children per woman. However, there are signs suggesting it may be recovering in younger areas and those populated with immigrants, although it is still well below replacement rate. In 2012, 47.6% of births in Vyvland were to unmarried women. There are roughly 1.7 million gay and bisexual people in Vyvland, comprising 6 per cent of the population.
The majority ethnic group of Vyvland is Vyvlanders. Genetic studies have shown that this population shares some characteristics with other historically seafaring Germanic peoples of the Northern Sea area, including Geads, Maris, Britannons and Swedes. However Vyvlanders also share genetic heritage with a pre-Germanic native population whose presence is shown by scattered archaeological remains. Although they speak a different language, Helish-speaking inhabitants of Vyvland also predominantly consider themselves to be Vyvlanders.
Vyvland has longstanding historic Jewish, Swedish, Shudri and Geadish communities. Jews and Shudri tradtionally live across Vyvland, though particularly in port areas, while the Geadish community is centred around Lishag and the Swedish community historically inhabited western Pegerm. All of these communities but Geads also have a history of discrimination and oppresion, including the twentieth-century Swedish genocide of Admiral Jueves.
In recent years, immigration has added a sizeable visible minority population of Kannei Namorese, Maganese, Kofeiyan and Black Nevan communities to the Vyvlander population. These ethnic groups predominantly live in urban areas, and are increasing in size both through immigration and higher-than-average birth rates, offestting the natural small decline in the ethnic native Vyvlander population.
The official languages of Vyvland are Vyvlander and Helish. It is obligatory for regional official documents to be in Vyvlander (or Helish in Helland), and for national official documents to be in both languages, while most national official documents are also available in English, which is widely taught in schools and understood by Vyvlander-speakers. As such, the majority of Vyvlanders know Vyvlander and one of either English or Helish.
Vyvlander is the most common language, spoken as a first language by 85% of Vyvlanders and as a second language by almost all others; as such, it is the dominant language of the country. It has widespread usage, particularly in the west and more mountainous areas of the north. It is heavily levelled, with a very different phonology from other Germanic languages, which makes it seem unfamiliar, especially in writing, to non-speakers. A major isogloss exists between the north and south of Vyvland, which is known as the fi-de divide after the two regions' different words for the. Helish is only spoken in any significant amount in Helland, where it is co-official. As such, 6% of Vyvlanders speak Helish natively, while 20% speak it as a second language.
English is spoken by 60% of people, due to compulsory teaching as a second language. It is seen as a language that unites the Vyvlander, Helish and other-speaking groups, and was the first language of many immigrants to Vyvland. There are also sizeable minority languages in certain areas: Geadish, spoken on the Lishag peninsula, Namorese spoken in Islands province. Nevan is spoken by some Nevan, especially non-white Nevan, immigrant localities in Deg. Stanmeran, a dialect related to standard Vyvlander, is spoken in northern Stanmer. Luziycan is also spoken on the island of Syfmion, which is the site of a controversial Luziycan military base.
A plurality of Vyvlanders hold no religion, which is a vestige of the South Vyvlander government's tough stance on Christian churches in particular, the late coming of Christianity to the island, and modern Vyvland's secular culture.
The largest religious denominations are Christian; Methodism, Lutheran and Lutheran Catholicism all enjoy a following of more than one in twenty Vyvlanders, with the distribution of these adherents closely following geographical lines and divides, particularly in rural areas. It is relatively common for one small area or town to be strongly Lutheran, while a neighbouring town harbours a far more significant Methodist church, or vice versa. A few adherents of other Christian denominations also live in Vyvland, including followers of the Church of Geadland, who comprise a community centred around the Geadish community in Nevel.
Significant non-Christian religions include Islam, Txoism and Judaism, while there are small Hindu and Buddhist communities as well. Most of these have developed through twentieth-century immigration, though Jews in Vyvland have an extensive history following the rehabilitation of Jews in 1480 after their expulsion two centuries before.
Vyvland is a secular state and has been since reunification, although the Lutheran Church of Vyvland was officially established in North Vyvland. As such, faith schools and organisations are commonplace in the former North, with 19% of children living there being educated by a religious group or in a religion-funded school, in contrast to just 3% in the former South. Church attendance across all sects is steadily declining, despite the upward trend in the number of marriages and funerals being performed in religious buildings after a drop in the 1990s and 2000s. Many of Vyvland's more historic or architecturally significant churches and cathedrals are visited by tourists, including Mafiy Abbey, the Niklaskatejral in Vlud and Jesel's Niyjerj and Samyelkatejral.
Healthcare in Vyvland is dominated by government-funded universal healthcare provider Synprov, whose services are generally of a high standard. It is available to all permanent residents, and although it is a major strain on government funds, results in relatively cheap healthcare, with only 9% of GDP spent on health. The Vyvlander life expectancy is 81 years for women and 79 years for men, due to good healthcare coverage and a relatively healthy diet. However, the regional and generational differences are relatively significant, with those who grew up in the South being statistically far more likely to die from preventable causes than Northerners.
Culturally, private healthcare is frowned upon by most people, and is taxed, albeit controversially, by the government. Private healthcare is mostly geared towards niche medical treatments and all-inclusive care for the rich. As such, 91% of medical ailments are treated by Synprov, which is the authority responsible for administering treatment.
Vyvland has few dietary health problems, which can be attributed to the low-meat diet and resultant low obesity rate. The biggest dietary problems are caused by high salt intake due to the large amount of preserved food and fish eaten by typical Vyvlanders.
See also: Education in Vyvland
Vyvland’s education system is generally well-funded and has been so for many years - the literacy rate in 2012 was 99.4%. However, literacy experiences a huge regional discrepancy, while between a quarter and a third of people hold a degree, although this number is rising rapidly. Education in state schools is free for all students, and is compulsory from age 4 to age 18, although in their last year at compulsory education, students can leave school-based education and study an apprenticeship; about a fifth of students do this annually. The educational system and curriculum in Vyvland are nationally controlled, although provinces control the logistics behind school placements and the creation and maintenance of schools. The curriculum is set by the Ministry of Education with recommendations from teachers’ unions, who vote on the introduction of new curricula.
The monarchist North had a highly underfunded state school system with many private schools, but this has decreased recently, and as such only around 4% of students nationwide are in private schools. In the early 1980s, the Conservaive-Monarchist Northern government introduced a now-defunct voucher scheme to incentivise private school enrolment, which caused much unrest, and is seen as something of a trigger for the revolution and reunification of 1983. Homeschooling, although hotly debated in Vyvlander politics, is currently very tightly controlled and regulated, requiring parents to pass a series of exams, and is only permitted for students who would be severely disruptive to or impeded by placement in a school; however, schools for mentally disabled children do exist. 0.02% of children are homeschooled. The school year starts on the last Monday in August, or the first Monday in September in some provinces.
Informal pre-school education is voluntary before the age of 4, but financially supported by the government. Formal education is usually started at the age of 5. The primary or ynf (‘first’) school lasts from the ages of 5 to 11, and compulsory secondary or tyf (‘second’) school lasts from 11 to 15, and ends with a set of exams. Students may stay on at tyf school for the rest of their education, or may move to vocational schools, which are more profession-orientated. In this case, the exams taken at age 15 are more rigourous.
At 17, vocationally-orientated students may begin an apprenticeship or choose to stay on at vocational school. However, the more common path than vocational education is to stay on at tyf school to prepare for Abejyr and tertiary education. In their three years, the students study a mix of optional and compulsory subjects, narrowing down to three to six optional subjects in which they take an Abejyr. The Abejyr sets a benchmark for admittance into many higher educational institutions.
Tertiary education is split into the more vocational technicals and academic universities. Universities and technicals are free for all those who attain a pass in 3 or more Abejyr subjects, with subsidised university education for those who pass 2. Below this, university courses must cost no more than µ5,000 (~$10,000) per year. Technicals are free for all Vyvlander residents, but low fees are charged for most foreign students. There are 71 universities in Vyvland. The most prestigious are the Collegium Lorencis in Lohrec, which was founded in 873, and the Vreusdi; the two often compete for accolades. Both have a proud historic tradition and is regarded as a centre of learning nationally. The largest university is the Sarumian University in Vlud, which has 26,000 students in total. Roughly 28% of Vyvlander adults hold a university degree, although this is much higher among the young and in the north.
Vyvland's economy is almost exclusively classified as developed, with relatively high average incomes and GDP in addition to its very high quality of life. Workers' ability to unionise is well-guarded by law, with major labour unions such as the Public Sector Solidarity Front and Ynid holding considerable political weight. Just over two-fifths of workers are members of a trade union.
The economy is geographically very contrasting, with manufacturing bases in Stanmer, Vlud's financial centre and the mines of the south traditionally playing an important part in the country's economy. However, increased regulation has led to manufacturing moving overseas and more expensive mining operations; this downwards trend has been compensated for by a massive increase in tourism, especially along the south coast and financial incentives for high-tech manufacturing and research businesses in Stanmer, replacing those, such as car manufacturer Tempra, which have been lost. These sectors are aided by the stringent Vyvlander preservation and environmental standards and a well-educated populace respectively. In other parts of the country, agriculture is a major part of the economy, comprising 6% of total GDP; this is enhanced by the favourable climate and terrain. Vyvland produces the greatest amount of mustard per capita in Esquarium, as well as beer; one of Vyvland's largest exporters is Swev, a beer and mead manufacturer known throughout Esquarium.
Exports are geared around electronics, agricultural products, beers, ciders, gems and chemicals, while major imports include fuels, medicines and raw materials such as metals. Stringent environmental laws restrict Vyvland's oil and gas drilling capacity, although Vyvlander company Vyvluder Ol has a large international presence in addition to being the country's largest domestic oil driller. Vyvland's biggest export and import partners are generally nearby nations. In 2012, the country ran a small current account surplus, although this fluctuates from year to year.
The currency of Vyvland is the Mynig or Munig (VVM, symbol: µ or m), which is subdivided into 100 penigen (symbol: d). Usually, it is roughly equivalent to £2 or $3. The Greetbank, Vyvland's central bank, mints coins in d1, d2, d5, d10, d20, d50 and µ1 denominations and prints µ2, µ5, µ10, µ20, µ50 and µ100 notes.
Vyvland's energy usage is, for the most part, supplied by government-controlled corporation FSvV, which also operates internationally. However, drilling for oil and energy production is controlled partly by the private sector, in what is known in Vyvland as the Merkatregneng (market-government), whereby private corporations compete for service provision with the government. Vyvland's renewable energy production is relatively high, at 30% of all electricity production. Although Vyvland is mountainous in many areas, hydroelectric power generates a smaller proportion of energy (7.5%) than wind power (14%), partly due to stronger public opposition following dam collapses such as that of the Gaandal Dam, although this has begun to fade. Biomass (5.5%) and solar energy (2%) make up the majority of the remainder.
The rest of Vyvland's energy generation is provided by fossil fuel (predominantly natural gas) and nuclear sources, which make up one quarter and forty-five percent of the country's electricity generation respectively. Successive governments have committed to drastically lowering fossil fuel consumption, primarily by switching to renewables. However, Vyvland stilll has reasonable crude oil and gas reserves in its exclusive economic zone; the largest company involved in their extraction is Vyvluder Ol, the second-largest company headquartered in Vyvland. In recent years, the renewing of second generation nuclear power stations from the 1970s and 1980s boom has been contentious, although Vyvland's production of nuclear power has increased marginally in the past decade.
Vyvlander culture is based around acceptance for one another, while patriotism is low key; this is embodied in the term Lelsdadnes (Vyvlander for Small-town-hood), which refers to acceptance of an cooperation with all those in one's community, but also an awareness and desire for betterment. Vyvlander culture emphasises respect, and as such Vyvlanders are often reserved about emotions.
Vyvland’s media industry is reasonably sized, consisting of a few national broadcasters and news outlets in addition to generally strong local media. The largest broadcaster in the country is Vyvland National Broadcasting, usually known as VNB. It is operated as a state-cooperative condominium and shows seven television channels: VNB1, VNB2, VNB3 and VNB Ongeuengs in Vyvlander, EVNB and VNB News in English, VNB4 in Dutch and VNBS in minority languages. VNB is known for its informative programming - many of its programmes are exported internationally. Advertising is limited to 5 minutes per hour on VNB1, VNB2, VNB3 and VNB4. Privately-owned Vyvlander TV channels include Vyvland Broadcasting Company (VBC), VTV, Fresh, Ongeuengs-24, and Kanal 5.
Well-circulated broadsheet newspapers include the Vyvluder Toids, Vludeer Post and de Kronikel on the right, with Entwerd and Fe Bysbereer on the left. Tiy Baners (Two Banners, right-wing tabloid), Viy (The View, centre-left tabloid) and Jeddeg (Daily, centre-left tabloid) dominate tabloid publications along with regional paper De Syd (The South, in southern dialect), published in Jesel. Well-read political magazines include the satirical Gyttoidengs, liberal Fisdeg and conservative Vrozoidseeg (Perspective), all of which are published in Vyvlander. Internet news outlets include that of VNB, many of the above newspapers, and internet news site now.vy. Well-known actors include Jorj Rikurdsen, who is particularly active in Iglesiantis.
Association football and rugby union have been regarded national sports since the early twentieth century. The Vyvland national football team is widely followed within Vyvland and one of the most successful teams in Esquarium, having won the Coupe d'Esquarium twice in Spring 2014 and Spring 2015. The country's 18 best club football teams compete each other in the 1f. Lig, Vyvland’s top division, and the Baker, the domestic cup. The best teams in the country have traditionally been Vlud Sdad and Lyksdal's Sdaamro VK, which both enjoy a wide domestic and international following.
Athletics is widely followed nationally, with the country taking a keen interest in global sporting events. Cricket is played on a more minor, yet still significant, level, similarly to baseball, while Vyvland’s cyclists are well-renowned, especially for endurance races. Curling attracts a significant following, and is by far the most popular winter sport, with skiing and snowboarding popular, especially among tourists, in the well-known resorts of Kreuveld and Wel, both of which have hosted the Olympic Games; these occurred in 1972 and 1992 respectively.
Unlike many Nordanian and Northern Sea nations, Vyvland has a strong cooking tradition. Vyvlander food is diverse, and local specialities abound in different Vyvlander regions. Staple foods are based around wheat and potatoes. Rice is common in southern Vyvland, having arrived from Namor in the Middle Ages and firmly settled as a staple since then.
Vyvlander cuisine draws influence from its geographical location and Germanic roots, as well as various foreign influences. Seafood has historically been the most important source of protein in the Vyvlander diet due to its abundance in the seas around the island and efficient mechanisms for supplying it to the cities, and fish is still disproportionately common in Vyvland. Pickled food is also very commonplace in Vyvland, as are berries and apples, which are often eaten stewed as a dessert, especially in autumn; this dish is known as sdovvrykt. Unlike that of many nearby cultures, Vyvland’s cuisine often uses strong flavours, and condiments such as mustard, vinegar, chutneys, curry powders and herbs are often used liberally in cooking, despite their former near un-avaliability in the South.
Reunification has had a marked impacts on diets, especially in the south where, during the 1980s and 1990s, average calorie intakes rose 30%. A greater variety of food has also become available to northerners as embargoes have been lifted and trade routes have become more secure.
Beer and mead have for many years been traditionally brewed across the country, though in recent years wine has become more common, and a few vineyards have sprung up in warmer southern Vyvland. Vyvland produces few spirits; most spirits consumed in Vyvland come from overseas, such as Geadish Sveani and vodka from Nevanmaa.
Vyvland has a strong tradition of folk music. The use of fiddles and banjos as the main instruments, the nonstandard 5/8 and 7/8 time signatures and fast tempos are common characteristics of Vyvlander folk music, which has been documented since the tenth century. It is traditionally played by a fropbaand or sdadbaand; a local village or community band who traditionally play in the open air, often accompanied by dancers. Vyvlander folk music has influenced the Iglesian menga genre, which originated in Albavia, a city with a tradition of Vyvlander settlement.
Vyvlander painters were especially pioneering in impressionism, such as Swen Beker and Vemke Ohldermaan, and other associated movements, with Mafiy being a pioneering centre for fine arts throughout the nineteenth century. However, the country has long suffered from a lack of patronage for fine and graphical arts. The twentieth century saw architect Mafjas Langmaan gain wide international recognition for a range of buildings incorporating curves, while many other Vyvlanders during the period developed Curvism, a style often seen as a reaction to the brutalist vogue at the time. Further in the past, Vyvlander architects worked on many impressive religious buildings, including the Niklaskatejral, once the tallest building in Esquarium.
Film and theatre from Vyvland enjoy a good domestic following. Seventeenth century playwright Godfrig Wagneer's work is hailed as classic within Vyvland, and has been translated into over thirty different languages. Vlud is a centre for more modern theatre performance. Vyvland's film industry is small and mainly concentrates on films for the domestic audience, although modern films such as thriller Kontra and dystopian Overwatched have made international breakthroughs in recent years and enhanced the country's reputation in cinema.
Trains and cars are the most popular methods of transport in Vyvland. Most of the transport sector is shared fairly evenly between private motor vehicles, which are the means for 37% of journeys made, and rail, which is used for the remaining 33%. The rest of the transportation sector is taken up by buses, planes, bicycles and other forms of transportation. Cycling is especially popular in Vyvland.
Air travel is for the most part privately owned and is tightly regulated, to ensure environmental standards are upheld, while most major airports are publicly owned. However, air travel is common due to Vyvland's location. The de facto flag carrier of Vyvland is Eer Vyvlu, which was privatised in the 1970s. Other Vyvland-based airlines include VYFloig, Norfocean and Direkt. Major airports include Wesge Airport, which serves Vlud and Mafiy, and Stanmer-Lyksdal International Airport, primarily serving the city of Lyksdal.
Vyvland also has a large rail network (stretching 30,000 km), the majority of which is operated by the government-owned Vyvlubaan (Vyvland Rail), and the remainder of which is operated by private businesses, local charities or cooperatives, especially in isolated areas. Passenger trains are the most popular mode of long-distance transportation, and used dominantly on a local level, especially for commuting. Vyvland has a dense local rail network, and a fairly large high-speed rail network. Primarily due to government investment, but also due to increasing road traffic, Vyvland’s rail usage has risen in recent years. Almost all of the track network in the north is electrified, with major upgrades taking place in the south. The six largest cities have an underground rail or metro system and thirteen cities have a tram or light rail network.
See also: Vehicle registration plates of Vyvland Vyvland's road network is comprehensive but often lacking in capacity at major points of congestion and junctions between roads. The country's motorways - fast dual-carriageway roads - form a large network around the country, though there are gaps in motorway coverage on some routes due to planning issues, terrain and cost; government policy tends to prioritise rail and cycle investment over the road network. Almost all roads in urban and suburban roads are paved, while the vast majority of roads in rural areas are also covered.
Cycling has been encouraged and invested in by the government since reunification, resulting in many cycle routes and paths, especially in urban areas. Cycling is most common in Vyvland for short journeys, and accounts for 21% of all journeys made, rising to 40% in some areas, especially those where short-distance commuting is commonplace. Bicycles are most popular in flatter areas such as Stanmer and the central plains while in more mountainous areas, bike infrastructure is usually worse.