Culture of Vekaiyu
The culture of Vekaiyu is socially-oriented and follows a family-like mentality, especially when it comes to national sentiments of southern-variant vulpines, which constitute the vast majority of the nation. While Vekaiyuns value the sciences, they love to challenge themselves on a wide array of fields, from philosophy to the arts. Highly religious, Vekaiyuns practice Vayan Catholicism, a religion that has shaped the nation and its people. Consequently, they can be seen as a fairly conservative group of people. The Vekaiyun people, however, are only just recently opening themselves up to the international community after they shed an identity centered about specism and protection of their national identity in general.
Vekaiyuns are now a part of a close-knit nation, but that wasn't always the case. Leniency toward the provinces and a wealth of freedoms afforded to each state allowed these provinces to limited self-governance, which has given each province an identity unique to the nation, but still, the 'Vekaiyun' identity umbrellas all other cultures. For instance, industrial-laden provinces to the west tend to be more worker-centered, while eastern provinces tend to be more progressive. Eldura is arguably the most nationalistic province, while Calesu tends to be more passive, especially Kunnat, which broke off from Vekaiyu during the 2010 Vekaiyun Civil War, but rejoined after the strife. Today, cities offer variety, but they are not as unique as they once were. The Vekaiyun culture, rather than the culture of communities, flourished, creating a nation that was built on the grounds of unity and acceptance of each other, provided they were vulpine and could be considered Vekaiyun. The suffixes of many last names can trace back to their originating province, for instance, which could help identify where each individual namesake originated.
When it comes to other nations, Vekaiyuns temper their enthusiasm, but are generally open, provided they have never had any issues with the nation before. Many older Vekaiyuns are distrusting of other nations, while younger generations who were less affected by the "golden times" under Max Venavle's reign are much more open to other cultures and ideas.
Integrated within this culture is the Vayan Catholic faith, which holds a firm grasp on the people, but its grip is certainly not oppressive. Vekaiyuns have recovered from the reign of Max, and now openly question a plethora of subjects, especially their government, which has successfully transitioned from monarchy to dictatorship to limited representative democracy.
To be Vekaiyun is to be vulpine, but other races readily identify with the Vekaiyun culture. Humans were generally looked down upon under the rule of Max Venavle, but sentiments have since changed. In recent years, especially with Ikrisia Levinile's new policies, equality has been restored. There still exists a small form of specism in some of the rural parts of the nation, but it is a far cry to the conditions twenty-five years ago. Despite this, there exist many 'invisible areas' that point to a preference for vulpines. Seats may be smaller to accommodate the smaller and shorter vulpine frame, eateries may blast their food with spices to appeal to the vulpine palette, and they may use words that are difficult to speak with a human tongue.
Everyone within the nation speaks Unonian. The language itself is considered one of beauty and is a national treasure among the Vekaiyun people. It includes different phonetics and a huge vocabulary with words that range from being very specific to broad generalities. Vekaiyuns can easily identify a new speaker, but will readily appreciate a foreigner trying to speak the language, even if they are clearly unpolished. Vekaiyuns are more willing to help out a tourist or give friendly advice if they feel the tourist is taking an interest in their culture or language.
Common language, or Codexian, has grown in popularity over the last two decades, especially as the nation attempts to do business abroad. Younger individuals almost certainly know how to speak and write the language, but it has been assumed that less than half of the national population is fluent. Cities like Provinsk are now bilingual in that street signs, information posts, businesses, etc. are populated with Unonian and the accompanying Codexian words and phrases. Codexian-speaking radio stations and translated television broadcasts were unheard of thirty years ago, but are now offered to accommodate the market.
To be Vekaiyun is to practice Vayan Catholicism. Therefore, it is unique and at times difficult for a vulpine to be of any other faith or no faith at all in Vekaiyu. Vekaiyuns treat the church as a facet of their life and their nation. To them, the three - life, church, and nation - are indivisible. It is to this end Vayan Catholicism dominates the religious scene in the nation, with upwards of 99% of the nation actively practicing.
The church is fully integrated into society, but does not interfere or censor in general. This is mostly due to the religion's tendencies, which in general preaches tolerance and acceptance of many things and does not believe censoring, instead opting to share and discuss with the belief that the truth will win out. But it takes it one step further: censorship is considered sinful as it could possibly hide truth. Furthermore, Vayan Catholicism is generally open to ideas and themes that may seem immoral to other cultures. Fornication is considered beautiful and a gift from the Almighty, and therefore should not be censored. Death is likewise typically uncensored, no matter how gruesome it may be.
Vayan Catholics are urged to pray several times a day. Depending on the size of the town, canters may lead a city in prayer at specific intervals over the day. Large cities almost certainly hold such practices. Vekaiyuns do not expect non-Vayan Catholics to pray during this time, but it is disrespectful to talk or do anything distracting during this time. A reoccurring joke involves mothers slapping or beating their children who speak out of turn during prayer.
Main article: Sports in Vekaiyu
Vekaiyuns love to play, follow, and watch sports. But, their sports must be to their liking and should cater to the vulpine frame. In Vekaiyu, the most popular sports are those that deal with aquatics, such as water polo, underwater rugby, underwater handball, and Loveri, which is a sport that seems to be like an underwater lacrosse. The most popular sport in Vekaiyu is underwater hockey. Formed over one hundred years ago, the sport has a very large fanbase, and even mediocre athletes in this sport are elevated to that of superstardom. Swimming holds the same respects in Vekaiyu, especially swimmers who compete at a national and international level. Former and current members of the Vekaiyun National Olympic team is revered among the Vekaiyun populace.
Vekaiyuns like to spend evenings socializing, and viewing a good game happens to be one of those events they love to attend. Aquatic sports are especially popular in the winter, when Vekaiyuns are more prone to staying indoors. The heated two-level aquatic arenas offer hours of entertainment, and the various swimming sports mean they are active throughout the colder months.
Outside of aquatics, Vekaiyuns enjoy baseball, where a number of teams have been playing the sport for well over eighty years. Basketball has a light following and, due to the small stature of vulpines, are mainly comprised of human athletes. Soccer is also important and has a limited following. These three sports, combined with a games similar to lacrosse and street hockey, help to establish healthy rivalries within and between cities.
Sciences and Education
To be Vekaiyun is to be educated. Vekaiyu prides itself on its strong and highly organized education system. Starting from age four, Vekaiyuns can expect to be in school for at least twelve years of their life, year round, for eight hours a day. Vekaiyun children and teenagers are generally eager to learn and on average spend a few hours a night on homework. They usually play sports after school or during the weekends. Vekaiyuns divide their schooling into six years of primary school, three years of middle school, and three years of high school. In their last year of high school, Vekaiyun teenagers take a series of tests three times. The average of those three rounds of testing, in addition to their academic record and extracurricular activities, determine their placement in school. They are accepted on qualifications alone. If they are accepted in, they can expect to go to school free. Vekaiyu does not believe in charging someone for education, as they will ultimately pay the state later in their work when they are finished with their profession. Getting into a university is typically the single most important thing in a teenager's life.
Those who graduate from college go on to serve the state in their workplace. For those who become doctors and obtain PhD's, they are honored and their opinions are often held with more substance. Those doctors in the sciences and the arts typically enter a cutthroat environment, as Vekaiyu awards those who make impacts in Vekaiyun technology. If one is lucky enough to be publicly acknowledged by the government for their achievements, they are set for life. For those who are lax in their professions, however, they may be subject to a removal of their PhD.
Vekiayun music has historically consisted of singing, guitars, drums, violins (among other stringed instruments), and various other instruments. Later on, the piano and other foreign instruments were incorporated into the fold, yet they are by no means considered "traditional". Today, Vekaiyun music is typically varied, but used to be considered dark, macabre, and expressive, constituting of raw emotions mixed with melodramatic themes. However, Vekaiyuns will argue their style is distinctly their own.
Music is uncensored as of 2002, when the ban on questioning and critiquing the government was lifted. Vekaiyun music remains popular across The East Pacific realm, and record sales are healthy, though due to the working attitude of the nation, record labels are generally used sparingly.
Art has historically been an important facet of Vekaiyun lives. Early art used to showcase battles, kings and other important people, and religion, from vulpine paganism to Christian art. Innovations and techniques gained during the Era of Good Feelings increased the mastery of Vekaiyun artists and their artistic merits. It was during this time that essential tools of art, such as perspective, value, and expressionism, were mastered.
Within the last one hundred years, Vekaiyun art has taken a distinctively darker flavor. For vulpines, the more expressive, the better. Among the thousands of themes within the art world, however, Vekaiyun art is typically depressing, dark, and sobering. Only religious art has seemed to escape these themes, as they are generally uplifting and full of hope. A movement in Maxisim threatened that,
Some common Vekaiyun themes have permeated into playwrights, and movies, which remain fairly popular across the realm. Movies constitute a large industry within the nation, and cover a wide variety of themes, with action movies, artistic expressive pieces, and drama flicks being the most popular. Movies are traditionally subtitled for English audiences, are are rarely dubbed, with the Vekaiyun Film Industry, based in Ilielsa, holding to the belief that Unonian is a more beautiful language than English.
Food and Beverage
Vekaiyun food is characterized by herbs and spices. Their foods are generally spiced with an array of herbs and spices which give the traditional cuisine a unique flavor. Meals consist of an array of vegetables and even green leaves with some fruit that is common in most temperate climate regions. Meat is generally fish, seafood, chicken, duck, or pork, with beef being expensive. However, as a general rule, all edible parts of the animal is eaten. Nuts are a delicacy, and are typically used to make the traditional Vekaiyun noodle dish - Kikale. Kikale consists of various herbs and spices (including cloves, thyme, sage, etc) cooked in a thick sauce mixed in noodles with vegetables and/or seafood or beef.
Vekaiyuns are very particular about their eating habits. Children are typically taught this with "hard love", as poor table manners could result in their meals taken away from them. To be without proper Vekaiyun table manners is to be both barbaric and dishonorable to one's self and his or her host(s). Portions of Vekaiyun cuisine are generally small, as meals are designed to be social, especially in the cities. Vekaiyuns enjoy a good breakfast, a relatively large lunch, and a very small dinner.
As a general rule, Vekaiyuns do not like sweet tasting foods and would rather have sour or spicy dishes. Sweet-tasting foods are not very rare, however, as long as they are not overpowering. This is especially true for two major Vekaiyun soda drinks - clove soda and jaku soda, which is described as a very sharp and slightly sour root beer. For alcoholic beverages, beer is generally a staple, and is known for being bitter bot not with an overpowering hops flavor. Vodka, whiskey, and cognac rule the nation.
|Main article: Vekaiyu|
|Important Topics: Culture ♦ Unonian ♦ Vayan Catholicism ♦ Veskono ♦ Vulpine ♦ Armed Forces ♦ Military Ranks and Uniforms|
|Government: Kivreskov ♦ Premier ♦ Ikrisia Levinile ♦ Political Parties ♦ Foreign Officers|
|History: Ancient Vekaiyu ♦ The Time of Troubles ♦ Era of Good Feelings ♦ Trade Leagues ♦ Expansionist Vekaiyu ♦ Partitions of Vekaiyu ♦ Imperial Vekaiyu ♦ Vekaiyu Under Max Venavle ♦ Vekaiyu Under Selvala McEva ♦ 2010 Vekaiyun Civil War|
|Important Figures (Past and Present): Ikrisia Levinile ♦ Leina Kivelevov ♦ Max Venavle ♦ Selvala McEva ♦ St. Aiya ♦ Todd Leyuski|
|Sports: Sports in Vekaiyu ♦ Olympic Council ♦ Sport Uniforms ♦ Fifth Summer Olympics ♦ Sixth Winter Olympics ♦ Seventh Summer Olympics ♦ Eighth Summer Olympics|