The Arandui calendar

I’m back! And just as I said, I didn’t post anything during my America trip. So now I’m working on a bunch of different things that I hope to post during the next few weeks – some songs, some stories, some things about Sheesania, and, of course, that mammoth review of Mistborn: The Final Empire. (It’s currently 3,155 words long and I’m only halfway through my outline. Ouch.) But for now, we have a calendar system.

I’ve developed one other Sheesanian calendar before – the Thomoraii calendar, with its system of interlocking solar months and lunar months. This Arandui calendar is similar in how it uses both the solar year and the lunar year, but it has an added twist – the calendar is very closely tied to the practices of the Arandui church.

The history of the Arandui calendar

As you can read in the article about my map of Arandu, the Arandui people are originally from Egeld, where they were mostly farming peasants. These ancient Egeldish peasants used a simple calendar to track seasons for their farming. The calendar was based on the phases of Sheesania’s biggest moon (Aranduis call it Wisaan), which made the date easy to track (just look at the moon and you know about which day of the month you’re on)…but then it also added an extra two weeks every three years to accommodate the fact that the lunar year doesn’t match up to the solar year. If they didn’t add these weeks, their calendar would drift over time and wouldn’t match up with the seasons anymore, making it much less useful for farming. (See the Islamic lunar calendar for an example of such an effect.)

Then some of these Egeldish peasants converted to Schesianism and eventually moved to Arandu. Their new settlements were still farming communities, in need of the agricultural calendar…but now they were also religious communities, in need of a religious calendar, too. So the Arandui church added several new quirks to the calendar, creating a system that’s a little more complicated but is useful for both farming and religious activity. Since this calendar is pretty accurate and most of Arandu is still Schesian, Aranduis continue to use their calendar today, even though most of them aren’t farmers anymore.

Now let’s look more closely at the actual structure of the calendar.

The basic calendar

It takes Sheesania about 411 and 2/3 days to go around its sun – or in other words, its solar year is about 411.67 days long. The moon Wisaan, however, takes 29 days to complete a cycle, so there are 29 days to the month according to this moon. Unfortunately, the 411.67-day solar year clearly doesn’t match up nicely with these 29-day cycles. So the Arandui calendar defines a year as 406 days, split up into fourteen 29-day moon months. Then every three years, the calendar adds an extra fourteen days in order to make up for the 4.67 days lost each normal year. So basically, every year has fourteen 29-day months, with every third year adding 14 leap days to the end. Every three-year cycle is called a cataruus.

The Arandui calendar has two other basic features – weeks and seasons. The Schesian religion calls for people to work for 6 days and then rest on the 7th day (yes, the Schesian religion is a form of Christianity, the explanation for this is forthcoming), so the calendar also divides the year into 58 seven-day weeks. Finally, the calendar splits the year into two seasons – the first half of the year (the first 203 days/29 weeks/7 months) makes up the dry season (which is also cold), and the second half makes up the wet season (which is warm).

In the end…

  • A normal year will have 2 seasons.
    • Each season will have 29 weeks.
      • Each week will have 7 days.
    • Each season will have 7 months.
      • Each month will have 29 days.

Church phases and cycles

In addition to all the categories I talked about above, the Arandui church organizes time as a cycle of nine repeating phases representing various times in the history of the church. Each phase is either a celebration phase or a mourning phase. There are four pairs of celebration/mourning phases, then a central celebration phase, then another four pairs, this time of mourning and then celebration. Here they are, in order. All of their Arandui names are borrowed from the Arandui holy language (I’m not sure yet on the details of what exactly this language is, but it’s probably a variety of the Ner language spoken in Bodia), except for Taas and Entahier, which are native Arandui words.

  • Námadyai (celebration) – the creation of the world
  • Shávadyai (mourning) – the fall from grace
  • Śúdyai (celebration) – the birth of Jesus
  • Taas (mourning) – the death of Jesus
  • Curáwadyai (celebration) – the resurrection of Jesus
  • Jóladyai (mourning) – the Great Persecution of believers in Egeld
  • Entahier (celebration) – the foundation of the Arandui church
  • Ozraish (mourning) – the Great Tribulation discussed in Revelation
  • Páladyai (celebration) – the “Redemption of the Universe”, the “making everything new” also discussed in Revelation

(By the way, the numbers nine and four are both significant in Arandui religious numerology. Nine is significant because 3 is the number of the Trinity and 9 = 3 x 3; 4 is significant because 7 is a central motif of Revelation, and 7 – 3 = 4; also because 3 x 4 = 12, the number of apostles. If you think this is crazy, please read Dante’s Divine Comedy.)

Each phase takes up two lunar months in the calendar, but because there are 9 phases and only 14 months, the church phases and a year of the calendar don’t match up exactly. Instead, after a year has begun with the first phase, Námadyai, it takes nine years for the church phases to complete a cycle and then start a new year again with Námadyai. One nine-year cycle is called a haelce. By the time a complete haelce is finished, each phase will have started on every odd month of the year.

Year-counting

Instead of counting years like we do (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003…), Aranduis count haelces from the foundation of the Arandui church. The current Arandui year, for instance, is the 2nd year of the 50th haelce. But actually an Arandui wouldn’t say that it’s the second year of the 50th haelce – they would say it’s the Ozraish year of the 50th haelce. This is because the phase that starts each year of a nine-year haelce is completely predictable:

  • Year One: Námadyai (Creation)
  • Year Two: Ozraish (Tribulation)
  • Year Three: Jóladyai (Persecution)
  • Year Four: Taas (Death of Jesus)
  • Year Five: Shávadyai (Fall from Grace)
  • Year Six: Páladyai (Redemption of the Universe)
  • Year Seven: Entahier (Foundation of the Church)
  • Year Eight: Curáwadyai (Resurrection of Jesus)
  • Year Nine: Śúdyai (Birth of Jesus)

Years 2-5 all start on mourning phases, and years 6-9 and 1 all start on celebration phases. So because Aranduis evidently love to organize things and give them lots of names, years 2-5 of one haelce are called its dry season, and years 6-9 and the first year of the next haelce are called its wet season. So you could say that it’s the Ozraish year of the 50th haelce, or to be more vague you could say it’s the dry season of the 50th haelce. Or you could just say it’s the 50th haelce. Lots of options!

The significance of the calendar to the church

The Arandui church observes special ceremonies at the beginning and end of every phase, and each one has its own special starting and finishing ceremonies. There are also many other rites and rituals throughout the year that change according to phase. So, for instance, if you’re currently in a mourning phase, you would mostly sing songs calling on God for help when you’re singing in a church service. But if you were in a celebration phase, songs of thanksgiving would be more frequent.

In addition, the church celebrates special holidays on the extra weeks added to the end of every third year. The first set of extra weeks in a haelce falls during a Śúdyai (Birth of Jesus) phase, and they’re used to celebrate the life of Jesus; they’re called the weeks of Cúesdyai. The second set of leap weeks in a haelce, the weeks of Tavoraci, falls during a Jóladyai (Persecution) phase, and there’s a special holiday in these days to celebrate the journey of Egeldish believers to Arandu after the persecution. The final set of leap weeks, the weeks of Naas, falls during a Páladyai (Redemption of the Universe) phase. Part of the celebrations during these weeks look forward to heaven, but there are also many celebrations for the beginning of a new haelce.

A real calendar!

Finally, here’s an Arandui-style calendar of the current haelce, marked with everything I talked about. The numbers note the number of the week in the year, and the turquoise-shaded days are rest days.

Arandui calendar

Higher Education in Egeld

Egeld doesn’t really have any institutions for higher education like universities. Rather, there are lots of independent teachers specializing in different subjects who individually accept, teach and are paid by students. So after a student completes their initial elementary education (usually at a local physical school), if they know the specific subject, the little niche, that they want to go into, they’ll find a master teacher on that subject. Then they’ll devise a plan of study to help them eventually be accepted into the teacher’s classes. Most master teachers publish recommendations for study before their courses to help guide such students. If, however, a student doesn’t know what they want to do, they would make a preliminary plan of study to help lead themselves to a decision of field.

Whatever the goal is, this plan of study would mostly include courses of various lengths from different independent teachers. Someone wanting to eventually take a master teacher’s class on how to combat government corruption in parliamentary democracies might take a year-long “Introduction to Parliamentary Government” course from one teacher; a 2-month statistics course from another teacher in a different city; a 3-month “Introduction to Governmental Reform” in another teacher in yet another city; a 6-month research project led by another teacher in another country; and so on. Each course would be hand-picked by the student from the huge selection of courses available to students in Egeld and in other countries – though of course they would probably get advice and would have to keep in mind limitations of expense, distance, and so on. Students usually find courses in huge, Yellow-Pages-style directories organized by subject. Elementary schools and government offices often have copies of these directories available for students to look at, or students can buy them if they have the money.

Each course requires it own application, which is generally read and judged by the teacher themselves. When a student is accepted, they generally need to pay the teacher an initial deposit before the course begins, and then the rest of the cost after the course is finished. Finally, if the student does well in their course, the teacher gives them a signed certificate saying so…which the student then usually includes with the application to the next course on their plan. Teachers will also often contact each other to get information about students they’re considering.

Additionally, most students supplement their courses by reading books, doing projects and internships, and so on. Students often write short summaries or response essays to books they’ve read to show that they’ve understood the material, and then sometimes include these responses in their applications. Other programs for students have processes similar to those of normal courses for applying, paying, and getting a pretty certificate once you’re finished.

Once a student believes that they have enough background in their chosen field, they can then apply to a master teacher for what’s called “comprehensive certification.” Once they’ve been accepted, the teacher will give a course on their very particular area of specialty. Then the teacher will also assign and judge various exams, papers, projects, and so on so their students can prove their knowledge in the whole field – not just their tiny area of specialty. Once the teacher has been satisfied, they will sign a “comprehensive certificate” saying that the student has a good working knowledge of the whole field with especial knowledge of the teacher’s own area. This is more or less like a degree.

Comprehensive certificates from some teachers require little work, while others require many years of study – it all depends on the teacher and the field. This makes higher education very flexible for Egeldish students. So say, for instance, that you’ve been studying for a year or two, aiming to eventually specialize in how to combat government corruption in parliamentary democracies, but you decide that you want to stop, settle down, and have a family soon. This is perfectly possible. You could just see what courses you’ve already taken and find a master teacher who could give you a comprehensive certificate in some field of political science given your amount of knowledge. Then you could always continue your studies later and get a better comprehensive certification. So this system allows for many levels of specialty and depth.

Now how do such students live and pay for all their courses and projects and whatnot? After all, teachers almost never provide housing or food or anything to their students. In general, students work at the same time as they’re enrolled in courses. Jobs in factories, on farms, as assistant teachers, and in the government are particularly common. Students usually live together in shared apartments, generally boarding-house-types where an established family supervises the students and cooks and cleans for them to some extent. Moving is very common, as most students need to go all over Egeld in order to take all the courses they want. As a result, students avoid having many possessions. Another result is that marriage among students is quite rare – even if two students were married, they would need to be separate for long periods of time in order to pursue their own studies, or they would have to take all the same courses. But even taking the same courses would be difficult, since the couple couldn’t be sure they’d both get accepted by a teacher. Even if a student had a spouse who wasn’t a student at the time, the spouse would have to move constantly. And certainly even married students leave their studies if they have children, except for a very adventurous few.

One more tricky thing is mail. Reliable mail service is important so students can contact and apply to teachers, receive replies, communicate with family and friends, and so on, but moving constantly makes delivering mail reliably rather difficult. So students generally pay the government in their home provinces for a “Student Mail Service.” All mail for them goes to the province’s central post office. The student can always go there and look at their mail. But then the post office will also send copies of their mail to whatever address the student is currently living at; whenever the student moves, they write to the post office and change the address to forward the copies to. Sending copies like this ensures that nothing important will get lost, since the original will always be at the central post office. (You can see why the major fire at the central post office of a northern Egeldish province in 1499 was such a problem.) However, the government-run mail service in Egeld is limited to letters, magazines, flyers, and other kinds of writing. You have to use a privately-run mail service in order to send other types of things.

Outline of the phonology of Thomoraii

This is part of the third incarnation of my language Thomoraii, otherwise known as Tǎi, Tą and Tâï (the current name is Thomoraii or Tǎi). My translations of a seakitty notice and a scene from Super Paper Mario are in the second version of Thomoraii, so they’re outdated at the moment. This rough phonology is the beginning of a new grammar of the modern, standard literary dialect of Obtobian Thomoraii.

Phonemes

Thomoraii has only 13 consonant phonemes. In their basic form:

Labial

Labiodental

Dental

Alveolar

Alveolar-Palatal

Velar

Glottal

Stop

Fricative

f

θ

s

h

Approximant

w

l

j

Trill

r

Nasal

m

n

But then Thomoraii has 15 vowel phonemes. These are generally divided into three sets – the basic set, the pharyngealized set, and the epiglottalized set. Thomoraii grammarians typically call the basic vowels the green vowels, the pharyngealized vowels the blue vowels, and the epiglottalized vowels the black vowels. I will be using this traditional terminology throughout this grammar.

Green vowels:

Front

Central

Back

Close

i

u

Close mid

o

Mid

Open mid

ɛ

Open

a

Blue vowels:

Front

Central

Back

Close

i

u

Close mid

Mid

ə

Open mid

ɛ

Open

a

Black vowels:

Front

Central

Back

Close

u

Close mid

e

ɵ

Mid

Open mid

ɛ

Open

a

The actual phonetic realization of a consonant depends on the color of the vowel nucleus of the syllable it’s in. In syllables with a monophthong nucleus, the nucleus determines the realization of both onset and coda. In syllables with a diphthong nucleus, however, the onset is determined by the first sound of the diphthong, and the coda is determined by the second sound of the diphthong.

Here’s a table of how consonant phonemes are realized according to the color of the determining vowel. In general, green vowels are associated with lack of voicing, blue vowels with retroflex place of articulation, and black vowels with voicing, but many phonemes break these patterns. Please also note that this chart only shows the general realization; there are a few more processes that occur after vowel color has its say.

Green

Blue

Black

p

b

ʈ

d

q

ɢ

h

ħ

ʔ

f

v

s

ʂ

z

j

j

ɰ

w

w

ɰ

l

ɭ

ɫ

r

ɻ

ɻ

n

ɳ

ŋ

m

m

θ

ʃ

d͡ʒ

The phonological processes that occur after vowel color determination vary by dialect. Here are a few of the major processes that occur in most modern Obtobian dialects.

/ai/ and /oi/ of any combination of colors are diphthongized
[kʰ] → [g] before blue /i ɛ u/
[h] → [h̰] before [i ɛ e] of all colors
A single vowel following [h̰] is nasalized
Doubled consonants are not geminated

Phonotactics

Most syllables are CV or VC, with any consonants being allowed in the consonant slots. However, there are several other possible syllable shapes, too:

CV(/s r m n t θ/), e.g. [tʰas], [baŋ], [joʃ]
[stop]/r/V, e.g. [tʰra], [dɻa]
/s/[stop]V, e.g. [stʰa], [zda]
V, but this syllable shape is rare in roots – it’s mostly found in inflected words and loanwords

Stress

Stress patterns vary significantly by dialect. This grammar, however, will assume typical Obtobian stress, which is always initial.

Romanization

Thomoraii is rather tricky to romanize, since if you do it phonetically, there are too many sounds to be able to elegantly represent them. But if you do it phonemically, the romanization does not clearly show what the actual pronunciation is. Since neither is ideal, this grammar will use a phonetic romanization when it is important to emphasize how something is pronounced, and will use a phonemic romanization in all other cases.

Phonemic Romanization

pʰ <p>
tʰ <t>
kʰ <k>
h <h>
f <f>
s <s>
j <y>
w <w>
l <l>
r <r>
n <n>
m <m>
θ <sh>

Green

Blue

Black

i <i>

i <ǐ>

e <î>

u <u>

u <ǔ>

u <û>

o <o>

ə <ǒ>

ɵ <ô>

ɛ <e>

ɛ <ě>

ɛ <ê>

a <a>

a <ǎ>

a <â>

Phonetic Romanization

Vowels are romanized in the same way as in the phonemic transcription.

pʰ <ph>
p <p>
b <b>
tʰ <t>
ʈ <ţ>
d <d>
kʰ <k>
q <q>
ɢ <qh>
h <h>
ħ <hh>
ʔ <‘>
f <f>
v <v>
vˠ <vg>
s <s>
ʂ <ş>
z <z>
j <y>
ɰ <yg>
w <w>
l <l>
ɭ <ļ>
ɫ <lg>
r <r>
ɻ <ŗ>
n <n>
ɳ <ņ>
ŋ <ng>
m <m>
mˠ <mg>
θ <th>
ʃ <sh>
d͡ʒ <j>

Arandui music

This post has been a long, long time in coming! I usually try to post something every week, but this article has taken so long to produce, and I’ve had so many unexpected complications and technical difficulties along the way, that I decided to chuck the posting goal while I finished it. And now it’s finally here! I hope somebody enjoys it. I also hope that I haven’t made any big, stupid mistakes, especially considering that I haven’t been studying music for very long…but if you catch any, please comment or contact me and let me know!

So, in the past few weeks my roving curiosity has gotten stuck on random subjects relating to music. I spent a few days reading everything I could about Pythagorean tuning, then I read about chords and harmony and counterpoint, then I went back to the subject of tuning and read about meantone and well-tempered tuning, then I investigated different types of scales, then I tried to wrap my mind about what a mode was. (Thankfully now I’m down to only one browser tab relating to music, but if I think about it too much I’ll end up with more.) So naturally I not only ended up with some understanding of historical Western tuning systems, I also ended up with a musical system for Arandu, my favorite Sheesanian country at the moment. And here it is.

I’ll start with an overview of the history of Arandu and Arandui music and how it developed, then discuss some of the more theoretical aspects of Arandui music – the tuning systems (of course!) and the scales and modes – then talk about the different instruments used in Arandu, and finally show a few examples of complete Arandui songs. (In English, since I haven’t worked on the Arandui language enough yet for me to translate a song into it.) Two notes: Firstly, the Arandui musical system is, admittedly, very close to the modern Western system. As I was thinking about it, I decided that since I don’t even know that much about Western music, it would probably be a bit too ambitious to try to come up with something really alien. But later on, once I understand Western music better, I can come up with weird musical systems for other Sheesanian countries. Secondly, if you’re curious about how I made all the examples throughout this article, I did them by writing a small program in Java, using the excellent JFugue library, to produce MIDI files with the proper tuning. Then I used TiMidity++ to generate .wav files from the MIDI’s. But where’s all that music from in the first place? All of it was written by either me or my sister – some of the examples are mutations of songs my sister and I have made up; other examples I wrote on the fly.

Background: Egeldish Music

Arandu was originally settled by religious refugees from Egeld, and so naturally they brought their Egeldish musical traditions with them. Now, Egeldish music is very strictly segregated between sacred music, which involves a variety of instruments (particularly string instruments), but is only played by certain priests; and popular music, which is not allowed to involve any instruments other than drums, a certain type of crude vessel flute similar to an ocarina, and foreign instruments (even then, if a foreign instrument is too close to one used in Egeldish sacred music, it’s not allowed). The priests that play sacred music have very jealously guarded their instruments and their techniques for centuries, warning people that they will incur the wrath of the gods if a non-priest tries to produce music in a sacred style. Foreigners visiting Egeld have at times been killed for playing music too similar to Egeldish sacred music without the authorization of these priests. Today many parts of Egeld are a bit looser about these restrictions, and certainly nobody will get killed nowadays for bowing a violin, but most Egeldish people are still very nervous about sacred-style music that isn’t authorized by the priests. You might not get killed for bowing a violin, yes, but you will make everybody afraid to associate with you.

Well, the Egeldish refugees that settled in Arandu had very little concern for these restrictions, because they had an entirely different religion and thought that all the priests’ warnings about divine retribution were a bunch of hogwash. Indeed, they were quite eager to defy the restrictions on Egeldish music now that they were out of Egeld and out of reach of the priests. The problem? Most of the refugees were low-class peasants who rarely even got to hear the priests’ special music, and certainly never got to study the priests’ carefully guarded instruments and techniques. While there were a few men among the refugees who had once been priests, none of them had ever studied the sacred music. But the refugees had stolen quite a few sacred instruments as they left Egeld, as part of a larger effort to take revenge on people who had opposed their religion (lords and landowners were also targeted). And so now they had a few different stringed instruments and flutes and other miscellaneous things that they had almost no idea how to play. (Sometimes they didn’t even know what they were. There was one particular miscellaneous thing that the Egeldish refugees just could not figure out how to play. Eventually a former priest realized that it wasn’t an instrument at all; it was a doodad used in certain rituals.)

So what did they do? They messed around with the instruments and invented their own new musical system based on what they could make the instruments do, and, of course, based on what little understanding of music they already had from Egeldish popular music. In the end, two main types of music developed in Arandu, loosely based on the Egeldish distinction: sacred music, which mostly uses instruments based on those stolen Egeldish sacred ones; and popular music, which uses the instruments from Egeldish popular music, refined and improved, as well a few new ones borrowed from the sacred musical tradition. In general, however, there’s a lot more overlap between Arandui sacred and popular music than between Egeldish sacred and popular music. And in Arandu, anyone can buy a sacred instrument and play it however they want without their neighbors killing or ostracizing them. Not so in Egeld!

As I continue the rest of this article, I’ll note what different scales or tuning systems or instruments are used in sacred music or popular music. The examples section will also have examples of both.

The Theory

The Arandui octave is divided into seven notes; starting from one note, a whole step up, then a whole step, then a half step, whole step, whole step, whole step, and finally a half step to reach the note an octave above the first – the same as our major scale. So if you look at part of a typical piano keyboard (original image found here)…

Western octave

…we have twelve notes in an octave – seven white keys and five black keys. The Arandui octave is equivalent to the seven white keys.

Arandui octave

The Arandui notes are usually called, starting at the note closest to our D, fińa, hula, civoor, tyiis, sroi, para and lia. These names come from the first words of each line of an old Arandui hymn. They’re also occasionally called jueńśa, parazune, talianpara, zune, cyiru, hool and tamaanpara after their corresponding popular modes (or, in the case of zune and cyiru, the names of the other keys of the jueńśa mode), and these names are sometimes shortened to ju, pa, ta, zu, cyi, ho and ma.

Tuning

How this octave is tuned depends on what sort of music you’re playing. Popular music uses straightforward Pythagorean tuning, which I’ll explain a minute; sacred music uses a variation on Pythagorean tuning that allows for different sorts of harmonies. This means that you can’t really use popular-tuned instruments and sacred-tuned instruments together. For this reason, instruments that aren’t easy to tune (like flutes) are usually either only used in one style, or are sold in two different types, one for popular and one for sacred.

So, Pythagorean tuning! This tuning system was initially developed by, surprise, Pythagoras and was used in medieval church music. It’s based on the fact that a note played at the same time as a note seven half-steps up (so a C and a G, or a D and an A, or a B and an F#) – a perfect fifth – sounds quite smooth, restful, and generally pleasingly harmonic. Pythagorean tuning uses a series of these perfect fifths to produce the notes of a scale. So, say you were going to tune an Arandui cumaas, a type of stringed instrument that looks a bit like a dulcimer. You’d start out by tuning one string using something like a tuning fork; this is just a basis to start from. Let’s say you tune the first string to D. You’d next tune the A string – a perfect fifth up – adjusting it until it sounds good with the D string. Then you’d tune the E string, another perfect fifth up, adjusting it until it sounds good with the A. And then you’d do the B string until it sounds good with the E string, and the F# string until it sounds good with the B string, and so on – that’s the basic idea.

With this tuning system, perfect fifths sound very nice, so popular Arandui harmony tends to use a lot of perfect fifths. Fourths (notes five half-steps up, so D and G, or C and F) also sound good. Major thirds (notes four half-steps up, so C and E or D and F#), however, don’t sound very harmonic, so they’re used in popular Arandui music to create dissonance. Arandui sacred music, on the other hand, does use major thirds as harmonic (like modern Western music does). So the tuning system for sacred music basically adjusts the popular Pythagorean tuning in order to get nice, smooth thirds (minor as well as major, actually). The main downside is that one fifth, E and B, ends up sounding pretty bad. But this particular combination of notes isn’t used that often in sacred music, so it works pretty well.

A last note on Arandui tuning: both popular and sacred tuning is based on the note fińa at 300 Hz. Standard modern Western tuning, on the other hand, is based on A = 440 Hz. In Arandui tuning, both popular and sacred, the note closest to A is 450 Hz.

Finally, nerd alert: here are two big tables of Arandui popular and sacred tunings. First there’s the popular tuning, which is really just straightforward Pythagorean…
Arandui Note Closest Western Note Frequency (Hz) Ratio to Fińa Cents from Fińa
Fińa D 300.00 1:1 0.00
Hula E 337.50 9:8 203.91
Civoor F# 379.69 81:64 407.82
Tyiis G 400.00 4:3 498.04
Sroi A 450.00 3:2 701.96
Para B 506.25 27:16 905.87
Lia C# 569.53 243:128 1109.78
Fińa D 600.00 2:1 1200.00

…and then we have the sacred tuning, which is a tad more interesting.

Arandui Note Closest Western Note Frequency (Hz) Ratio to Fińa Cents from Fińa
Fińa D 300.00 1:1 0.00
Hula E 337.50 9:8 203.91
Civoor F# 374.93 5:4 386.00
Tyiis G 400.00 4:3 498.04
Sroi A 450.00 3:2 701.96
Para B 499.91 close to 5:3 884.05
Lia C# 562.40 703:375 1087.96
Fińa D 600.00 2:1 1200.00

Scales, Modes and Keys

Arandui sacred music almost always uses a nice, straightforward heptatonic scale (one with seven pitches to the octave) made up of all seven Arandui notes. Here’s a recording of two Arandui church instruments, a syiđa and a petashuisplaying this scale.

Arandui popular music, on the other hand, uses five different types of pentatonic (five pitches to the octave) scales, each with different characteristic melody types and behaviors – in other words, five different modes. And one of them is also used in multiple keys. Much more interesting! Each mode is associated with a different type of music, and each one is named after a different time of day. I’ll go through each one and explain the structure of the mode, its name, and the type of music it’s used for, and provide an example recording of the scale of that mode and a short example of a song using it. First, we have…

Tamaanpara (Sunrise)

Starting from lia, this mode is composed of a semitone, a tone, a tone plus a semitone, a tone, and two tones. In Arandui notes, lia fińa hula tyiis sroi lia, or in Western equivalents, C# D E G A C#. An Arandui cuśa playing this scale:

This mode is used often for love songs and also for enéntanoa (or in the singular, entanoa), “walking songs,” which are traditionally sung by travelers as they walk to their destination. Here’s a part of one traditional entanoa using the tamaanpara mode.

Jueńśa (Day)

Starting from fińa, tyiis or sroi, this mode is composed of a tone, a tone, a tone plus a semitone, a tone, and a tone plus a semitone. So, for instance, in Arandui notes, fińa hula civoor sroi para fińa, or in Western equivalents, D E F# A B D. If the jueńśa scale starts from fińa, it’s called jueńśa lane or just lane; if it starts from tyiis it’s called jueńśa zune or zune; and if it starts from sroi it’s called jueńśa cyiru or cyiru. A cumaas playing the jueńśa lane scale:

Jueńśa is most often used for happy songs and children’s songs, and it’s one of the most common Arandui modes. There will be a full example of a jueńśa song at the end of this article, so I won’t show an example now.

Parazune (Noon)

Starting from hula, this mode is composed of a tone, a semitone, two tones, a tone, and a tone. In Arandui notes, hula civoor tyiis para lia hula; in Western equivalents, E F# G B C E. A cuśa playing the scale:

This mode is fairly unusual in Arandui music, but it’s used occasionally in music supposed to evoke tension or mystery. In modern music it’s sometimes used as an intermediary when changing between talianpara and jueńśa. Here’s an example using parazune, part of a larger work that eventually resolves to jueńśa lane. This example is played by a cuśashoi.

Talianpara (Sunset)

Starting from civoor, this mode is composed of a semitone, a tone, two tones, a semitone, and two tones. In Arandui notes, civoor tyiis sroi lia fińa civoor, and in Western equivalents, F# G A C# D F#. A cumaas playing the scale:

This mode is almost always used for sad songs. Here’s a bit of one played by an ilanydriis.

Hool (Night)

Starting from para, this mode is composed of a tone, a semitone, two tones, a semitone, and two tones. In Arandui notes, para lia fińa civoor tyiis para; Western equivalents, B C# D F# G B. A cuśashoi playing the scale:

This mode is also used for sad songs, but talianpara and hool have different connotations of “sad.” Talianpara is considered tragic, weepy, emotional; hool is more mournful and despairing. So say you had an Arandui tragic play where the hero loses his love. When he first hears the news and is going through a lot of emotions, he might sing a song in talianpara. At the end, when he’s finally resigned to his loss and is quietly despairing, he might sing a song in hool. Of course, this is just the general difference; both talianpara and hool are used all sorts of ways in Arandui music. Here’s one bit of a song using hool.

The Instruments

Now that we’re done looking at the theory I’ve come up with for Arandui music, let’s look at the instruments that Aranduis use to play such music! For each instrument, I’ll explain what it is, where it’s from and how it’s used, and then give an example of the instrument being played.

Cuśa

The cuśa is a four-holed fipple flute; similar to a recorder, but, again, with only four holes. The design is based off a similar Väolki instrument, but it’s played much like flutes are in Egeldish sacred music. Cuśas are generally only used in popular music, as they can only play pentatonic scales. They’re made in all the different popular modes, and they’re the most popular and well-known Arandui instrument. People generally play them with one hand while accompanying themselves on a drum or a cumaas with the other hand. Here’s an example of a solo cuśa playing a short jueńśa lane tune.

Cumaas

The cumaas is a stringed instrument that looks a bit like a dulcimer. It’s most likely based on violin-like instruments that are used in Egeldish sacred music, but it could have also been based on the Hysleft guitar, an instrument from Carafilier. Cumaases come in two types: five-stringed versions, which are made in different modes and have a string for each note in the scale; and a seven-stringed version that has one string for each note in the full Arandui octave. The five-stringed versions are generally played at the same time as a cuśa; the player plucks strings on the cumaas to add harmony to the cuśa’s melody. The eight-stringed versions are usually plucked or strummed to play both notes and chords, with the player using two hands. However, five-stringed cumaases are sometimes played solo, and eight-stringed cumaases are sometimes used to accompany a cuśa. In general, the cumaas is most popular as accompaniment for a cuśa. In such a situation, the cumaas & cuśa player will often have multiple cumaases of different ranges so they can play more than just five notes.

Here’s an example of a cumaas playing solo.

Cumaas ihiisleve (or Hysleft guitar)

The cumaas ihiisleve is a direct borrowing of the Hysleft guitar, which was invented by the Hysleft people of Carafilier and Latrigle. While the cumaas ihiisleve is basically identical to the Hysleft guitar, it’s played a bit differently. Hyslefts play both chords and individual notes on their guitars; Aranduis generally use cumaas ihiisleves only to play chords (because if you need to play individual notes, well, that’s what a cumaas is for!). Cumaas ihiisleves are also only used in popular music, never in sacred music. As for an example…well, I would show an example, but it would be quite difficult to produce a proper one using my program, so I’m afraid there will be none for now.

Cuśashoi

The cuśashoi is quite like a pan flute, and was probably derived from similar Väolki instruments. Cuśashois are made in both ten-tubed versions, which are used in popular music, and fourteen-tubed versions, which are used in church music. Both kinds are usually constructed out of wood. The ten-tubed cuśashoi is fairly common in Arandui popular music, but it’s certainly not as popular as the cuśa. The fourteen-tubed cuśashoi is common in northern Arandui sacred music, often replacing the much more complex and expensive petashuis, but it’s fairly rare in sacred music from the rest of Arandu. Here’s an example of two cuśashois playing a bit of northern Arandui church music.

Ilanydriis

The ilanydriis is a vessel flute similar to an ocarina. It’s descended from the crude clay vessel flutes that were used in Egeldish popular music, but it’s far more capable and much better sounding than these Egeldish instruments. Ilanydriises are still usually made out of clay, however, though you might occasionally come across a ceramic one. There are two types: the plain “ilanydriis” can only play a pentatonic scale, and is made in all the different modes. However, this type is actually quite unusual nowadays. Modern players usually play what’s specifically the “church ilanydriis” instead, which can play a full heptatonic scale and has a large range. Such church ilanydriises are used in both popular and sacred music. In sacred music, they usually play harmony (the idea being that they’re quiet enough to play harmony without messing up the people trying to sing the melody); in popular music, they’re used for both harmony and melody.

Here’s an example of three ilanydriises playing a bit of sacred music together; one’s playing the melody and the other two are adding harmony.

Syiđa

The syiđa is a stringed instrument similar to a violin, and almost identical to the seneduā that’s used in Egeldish sacred music. Because it’s expensive and much more difficult to play than popular instruments like the cuśa and cumaas, usually only churches are willing to pay to buy syiđas and train people to play them. So it’s almost exclusively used in Arandui sacred music. In such sacred music, the syiđa usually plays the main melody, and so often has an important role. Here’s a syiđa playing a bit of a classic Arandui hymn.

Petashuis

The petashuis is a double-reed woodwind instrument much like an oboe, based off a similar Egeldish sacred instrument. Like the syiđa, it’s fairly expensive and difficult to play, and so it also is usually only found in Arandui sacred music. It often plays the melody with the syiđa or occasionally by itself, or sometimes it plays a simple harmony. Here’s an example of two petashuises playing some sacred music together.

Ńeregoi

The ńeregoi is a type of natural trumpet constructed out of brass, derived from a similar Egeldish sacred instrument. Unlike most modern Western brass instruments, it isn’t curled up, so it’s rather long and unwieldy. It also has no valves, fingerholes, or other such mechanisms, so it’s difficult for a player to produce standard Arandui scales without a great deal of training and practice. So, in general, the ńeregoi is only found in rich churches that can afford to train people to play it.

Here’s a sample of a ńeregoi playing part of a hymn.

Tadudú

“Tadudú” is an all-purpose Arandui term for a drum played with the hands (instead of with drumsticks). There are many, many types of tadudú – some derived from Egeldish instruments, some from Väolki ones, some from Suclapoi ones, some originally Arandui. Some particularly popular types are the tadudú jianame, a tall, slim drum with a deep sound; the tadudú nicone, a smaller version of the tadudú jianame that produces higher-pitched sounds; the tadudú shizhae, a drum the size and shape of the tadudú nicone but with a thinner skin stretched across the top and with a body that’s always constructed out of metal, producing a different sort of sound; and the tadudú soonane, a drum that looks like a huge tambourine without the metal jingles (rather like a bodhrán). All are used in both popular and sacred music.

Unfortunately, since I don’t think I could produce proper examples of all those drums, I’m afraid the sounds of Arandui tadudús will be have to left to your imagination for now.

Sozózona

The sozózona is a pitched percussion instrument composed of a number of small metal disks, much like little cymbals or the jingles you would find on a tambourine. It’s played by hitting the disks with a wooden mallet. Most sozózonas have a range of about two octaves, with disks for each note in the standard heptatonic scale used in Arandui sacred music. The sozózona was probably invented in Arandu (though similar instruments are played in other parts of Sheesania), and it’s very common in Arandui church music – it often plays arpeggios in a steady rhythm to accompany other instruments. Here’s a sozózona playing some arpeggios (though a real sozózona’s sound resonates for quite a bit longer than the fake one in the example).

Shelala

The shelala is a percussion instrument very much like a tambourine, though it’s usually quite large. It was based on the tadudú soonane (which itself was based on a type of Egeldish drum) with added metal jingles probably inspired by the sozózona. It’s common in northern Arandui sacred music as well as popular music, but outside of northern Arandu, you’ll only see it in popular music. As with the tadudús, I’m afraid I couldn’t produce a proper example, so just imagine a deep-sounding tambourine.

The Examples

And finally, at long last, we have reached the full examples of Arandui songs! First we have an Arandui hymn – so sacred music, of course – based on Psalm 43, written by a man from northern Arandui, Hitrial Dohona Haellimoon (you can see his hometown, Haellimoon, on my map of Arandu). It’s a type of song, a lament, traditionally sung during what we call Holy Week, the time before Easter.* Men sing one part; women sing another part (though the parts rarely overlap – they mostly take turns), but you’ll hear me singing both parts since I don’t have any men handy. A petashuis and a syiđa carry the melody, with the petashuis playing the men’s part and the syiđa playing the women’s part; this is quite normal for songs like this. There there’s an ilanydriis and a sozózona playing harmony to round it off.

Here’s the recording! If you’d like to see the sheet music I wrote up for this song, which includes the words, I have a PDF of it here.

Secondly, here’s a song in the popular Arandui style using jueńśa lane, one of those old children’s songs that you learn when you’re little and play when you’re first getting the hang of an instrument. I sing the melody along with a cuśa while a cumaas plays harmony. You can find the sheet music of this song (and the words!) here.

*Yes, the Arandui religion is more or less Christian. And yes, I do have an explanation for how people on another planet are following Christianity, but that’s out of the scope of this already very long article. If you’re interested, please let me know and I’ll write up the story!

Count Bleck speaks Tą!

…or, rather, he gets subtitles in Tą…

On a whim, I decided to translate my favorite scene of my favorite video game, Super Paper Mario, into my new language Tą. The scene is from Chapter 6, and I think it’s one of the most awesome scenes in the game…and besides, it’s accompanied by an incredible piece of music! Well, as I started the translation, I thought it would be pretty easy. I had already translated a government notice with quite long and complex sentences, after all, and a song, too. So a random scene from a Mario game should be pretty easy, right? Not! Man, that was one tricky translation!! So many figures of speech, metaphors, colloquial expressions, complex sentences…And Count Bleck had the most difficult lines of all. Even though Tą has absolutely no problem with passive voice!

But, despite the fact that Count Bleck appeared determined to overwhelm the Tą language by the force of his…eloquence? – Well, despite that fact, I managed to translate the scene, and I really like the result. There are bits in there that have some interesting nuance the English doesn’t, and I just like how it sounds! So, for a fun project, I decided to make a nice subtitled video of the scene. I also wanted to dub it into Tą – that is, if my mouth cooperated, Tą is hard to speak – but as it turns out, I can’t find any good quality videos that go slowly enough for me to read the Tą lines aloud. So I’m off the hook for now, at least, but at some point later I might upload an audio-only reading of the scene in Tą. (And I might add the original music, because it’s seriously awesome.)

And so, here is the “Champion of Destruction” scene from Chapter 6 of Super Paper Mario, with Tą! Below the video, I have an interlinear and literal translation of the Tą version. Thanks to BlueJackG on YouTube for the original video!

Interlinear and Literal Translation

List of Abbreviations

1p – first person
2p – second person
3p – third person
acc – accusative
ant – anterior
aug – augmentative
ben – benefactive
bip – bipersonal particle
caus – causative
comp – comparative
fut – future
gen – genitive
imp – imperative
ins – instrumental
loc – locative
mpc – more than paucal
neg – negation
nom – nominative
pc – paucal
pres – present
rc – relative clause
s – singular
trg – trigger
vrb – verbal focus

The Real Thing

Tippi:

Fêye
emptiness
ê
TRG
ʔob
large
uh
NOM
ťǐrid
become.more
ąn
PRES.ACC…
Wa
IMP.URGENT
kěḣdi
hurry
ǎno
1p.PC
NOM!
uh!

The emptiness is becoming more large…I order us, hurry!

Voice:

Kěḣdi?
hurry?
Nôf
what
ê
TRG
dewnǐn
pause
i
NEG
hepkěḣtą
linger.watch
i
NEG
au?
PRES.BEN/CAUS?

Hurry? For what reason to not pause, not lingeringly watch?

Count Bleck:

Râz
sun
ê
TRG
nȟi
darkness
ken
PRES.ANT.ACC
šelywil
AUG.too
a,
GEN,
rǐḣnǐ
stop
ǒno
PRES.VRB
i
NEG…
Blek
Bleck
Ǫri
Lord
ti!
ACC!

The sun just a moment ago became too dark, stop not…Lord Bleck!

Bowser:

Nôf
what
ê
TRG
jiîši
freak.clown
ek
PRES.NOM
nąnúye
creepy
a
GEN
nutǔla
cloak
a
GEN
qaȟ
with
Blek
Bleck
Ǫri
Lord
ti!
ACC!

What creepy freak with the cloak…Lord Bleck!

Count Bleck: BLEH HEH HEH HEH! BLEK!

Mîniąr
prophecy
ê
TRG
fǐhnaq
fall.in.a.controlled.way
ąk
PRES.NOM
deʔdeʔ
rhythm
a,
GEN,
Tuô-Sildgǔ
Heart-Chaos
le.
BEN/CAUS.

The prophecy rhythmically falls in a controlled way, because of the Chaos Heart.

Tuô
flame
e
TRG
iḣq
each
a
GEN
beáfû
world
ǫi
GEN
fǐhdô
flatten.put.out
ǫin,
FUT.ACC,
jir
one
e,
TRG,
jir
one
e
TRG…

The flame of each world will be flattened, one, one…

Tippi:

Muť
do.that
e
TRG
šel
AUG
šel-gǔb
AUG-ugly
a
GEN
nôf
what
BEN/CAUS
wǒh
2ps.NOM
nǎq
want
ąn?
PRES.ACC?

To do that, so – so ugly – why you want?

Count Bleck:

ǑḢǪN
question
ǎno
VRB.PRES
wǒh
2ps.NOM
Blek
Bleck
Ǫri
Lord
ap?!
LOC?!

Question you at Lord Bleck?!

Dâḣk
destroy
ê
TRG
běh
this
tǫi
ACC.RC
beáfû
world
ǫi
GEN.RC
û-jąhar
without-meaning
ǫi
GEN.RC
ťǫr
tall
ek
PRES.NOM
i!
NEG!

Destroying this world without meaning is not tall!

Šél-běluzdas
AUG-be.best.course.of.action
ono
VRB.PRES
ôyąlt
throw.into.liquid
ûh
NOM
Blek
Bleck
Ǫri
Lord
uḣ
NOM.RC
ḣe
3ps
tǫi betǔafû
ACC.RC ocean.oblivion
apǫ,
LOC.RC,
yǫtělě
leave.behind
jéla
BIP.1ps.3ps
uh
NOM
i!
NEG!

It is definitely the best course of action for Lord Bleck to throw it into oblivion, leaving it behind by him not!

Tippi:

Nôf
what
ê
TRG
wǒh
2ps.NOM
yef
that
ti
ACC
š
speak
apu?
PRES.INS?
Yef
that
e
TRG…
ǎnȟi
terrible.monstrous
ąk!
PRES.NOM!

By what means can you speak that? That…is terrible, monstrous!

Count Bleck:

Blek
Bleck
Ǫri
Lord
e
TRG
wtǐ
2ps.ACC
sílḣi
laugh.at
ek!
PRES.NOM!

Lord Bleck at you laughs!

Piksel
Pixl
e
TRG
ûťe
short
â
GEN
Blek
Bleck
Ǫri
Lord
le
BEN/CAUS
nǐnǐn
action.PC
ACC
iyǎr
high
a
GEN
peą
low
a
GEN
š
speak
ek
PRES.NOM
néksa
eyebrow
a?
GEN?

A short Pixl for the benefit of Lord Bleck of actions high and low speaks in an eyebrow way?

Tippi:

Běh
this
ě
TRG
še<ǫ>sildas
discuss<should>
ek
PRES.NOM
i!
NEG!
Wǒh
2ps.NOM
peą
low
ek
PRES.NOM…
ûduhál
sick
ąk!
PRES.NOM!

This is something that should be discussed not! You are low…are sick!

Tuô
heart
e
TRG
yuw
all
a
GEN
unǎd
living.thing
a
GEN
o
exist
ek.
PRES.NOM.
Yuw
all
e
TRG
ḣénna
3p.MPC.GEN
jąhar
worth
a
GEN
tǎt
be.most
ǎḣo.
PRES.COMP.

Hearts of all living things exist. All of them are the worthiest.

Ašfgǔ
impossible
ono
VRB.PRES
meq
just
ląy
white
uh
NOM
wǔḣ
2ps.NOM.RC
ḣéna
3p.MPC
tǫi!
ACC.RC!

It is impossible to just…make white you them!

Count Bleck:

Yuw
all
e
TRG
ba
thing
a
GEN
2ps
ǎp
LOC
raúyeʔp
be.close.to
ek,
PRES.NOM,
aqąȟ
yet
tuô
heart
e
TRG
wǒh
2ps.NOM
ǫnť
use
en?
PRES.ACC?

All things near you are close, yet hearts you use?

Ûjąhar
worthlessness
ê
TRG
bâj
COMP.MORE.QUALITY
ašfgǔ
impossible
PRES.GEN…

Being more worthless is impossible…

Count Bleck:

Yuw
all
e
TRG
ba
thing
a
GEN…
ûanéš
meaningless
ąk.
PRES.NOM.
Timpáni
Timpani
a
GEN
wers,
except,
yǫdḣi
treasure
e
TRG
kąuk
matter
a
GEN
1ps
tǫi
ACC.RC
o
exist
uk
PAST.NOM
i,
NEG,
jirą
not.one

All things…are meaningless. Except for Timpani, a treasure that mattered to me existed not, not one…

Tippi: …Tim…Timpáni?

Count Bleck:

…Mǔlaʔi
more
ě
TRG
š
speak
en
PRES.ACC
i!
NEG!

More speak not!

Count Bleck:

Běh
this
ě
TRG
beáfû
world
a
GEN
ib
die
ek
PRES.NOM
hep
seeing
ap
LOC
úťge
under
hepněhsjira
monocle
a…Blek
GEN…Bleck
Ǫri
Lord
a!
GEN!

This world is dying at the sight under the monocle of…Lord Bleck!

Kli
but
waq
IMP.NORMAL
rǐḣnǐ
stop
ě
TRG
yef
that
uḣ
NOM.RC
2ps
tǫi
ACC.RC
dǐgna
find
ǎpǫ
LOC.RC
Tuô-Nesě
Heart-Pure
tǫi wǔḣ
ACC.RC 2ps.NOM.RC
ámug
get
yin
FUT.ACC
šéli
never
wǒh
2ps.NOM
ǫja
allow
en
PRES.ACC
i!
NEG!

But I command you, do not allow the stopping of finding the Pure Heart you will never get by that!

BLEH HEH HEH HEH! BLEK!

Tippi:

Ą,
oh,
ťǐyr
gods.save.us

Oh, gods save us…

Complete Scan of Sheesania Notebook 1

Amazing! I can’t believe I finished it! A 169-page notebook, written from March 30 to September 5, filled with random notes and explanations about things in Sheesania (plus the occasional note regarding made-up things that are technically outside of Sheesania).

And so, without further ado, I present to you the raw, unedited – except for whiting out my signature and other private information – scans of the entire notebook, including the index. Yes, I am crazy enough to write an index for a notebook of random ideas, and yesit has already come in handy when I’m trying to find something!

You can download it from the link below if you’d like to look at it; it has quite a number of stories, maps, explanations, etc. that you might find interesting, but again, it’s completely raw and unedited. I did not carefully give all the background information for everything, and neither did I go over things and reword them so they don’t sound weird or awkward. But I know that if I found somebody else’s website about an imaginary world, and I saw that I could download scans of a whole notebook about it – I think I would enjoy the adventure of digging through it, finding interesting nuggets of information!

So here you go:
Download the Complete Scan of Sheesania Notebook 1

Cover of The Cold Fury by Kury Mazdi

One day, I was feeling a little bored, and was browsing aimlessly around Amazon trying to find something interesting to look at. Then I remembered about the classic Sheesanian book I had made up, a novel called The Cold Fury, and thought of the cover of my copy of Great Expectations…which had a cover similar to many other classic books published by Penguin Classics. Hey, I thought, if I just got an image file of the Great Expectations cover, and changed the author and the title, and put in a different picture, it would look just like a real cover of The Cold Fury! (Even if in Sheesania, the cover would not be in English or English writing.)

So here is the original Great Expectations cover, borrowed from this Amazon page:

And here is my Cold Fury cover, which isn’t perfect, but looks believable enough for me:

covers_the_cold_fury_new-picture

I have no idea how the picture shrank. Blame MS Paint, which I was using, if need be.

Here’s a synopsis of The Cold Fury:

Torek Hamabi thought he was just an average 10-year-old Jacian orphan, with a similarly average name…until a couple who live in the wilds of the Canarsian colonies come to claim him as a long-lost relative, saying that one of their relations had a son also named Torek Hamabi. Against his will, they adopt him and bring him to their home in cold, snowy Canarsia, and Torek, now seemingly stuck for life, must learn to cope with this new, different, and hostile world.

Kury Mazdi, the author, visited Canarsia at one point, planning to stay there for a year or two to research this very book. But then he ended up loving the harsh beauty of the place, and so he married a Canarsian woman and settled down there for the rest of his life.

How to Tell if Somebody is a Hysleft, Elsafurian, Lat or Mawian

Hyslefts (HIZ-lefz), Elsafurians (el-sa-FOO-ree-ins), Lat (lat) and Mawians (MAO-ee-ins) are all major people groups of the Confederation of Latrigle, in the continent of Lufitantha. Latrigle is famous for welcoming and giving land to persecuted people groups from all over Sheesania – Hyslefts, Elsafurians and Mawians were not originally Latrigli. This is a little article on how to tell what people group a Latrigli is from. I imagine it being in a tourist’s guidebook to Latrigle. (Note that the person writing this seems to have a somewhat low opinion of Elsafurians. This is normal – most people other than Elsafurians and some Hyslefts do not like Elsafurians very much.)

Hyslefts are fairly dark-skinned, with black and occasionally gray eyes, and almost always black hair. They tend to have slight features – small noses, eyes and ears – and long faces, but not very bony or angular ones. They are usually slim and thin and carry themselves efficiently, quickly, and cheerfully. Both men and women wear lots of jewelry, and men usually have longish hair (down to the bottom of neck).

Elsafurians also have dark skin, but it is more blackish than Hyslefts (Hyslefts have dark brown skin). They almost always have brown eyes, but occasionally dark green or black. Elsafurian hair is usually black, but more tufty than Hysleft hair, and less shiny and silky. Their features tend to be large, e.g. big noses, eyes, and ears, and long, angular, sharp faces (also sharp noses and ears). Elsafurian men also have longish hair, like Hyslefts, but they usually wear turbans (Hyslefts never do). They generally carry themselves slowly and lazily, and do not often smile.

Quick tips for telling if somebody is Hysleft or Elsafurian: Wearing lots of jewelry, has small eyes, ears and nose, cheerful and friendly: Hysleft. Wearing a turban, has tufty, dull black hair, big eyes, ears and nose, going by slowly as if s/he doesn’t have anything to do: Elsafurian.

Lat (pure Lat – most Lat have mixed with Mawians; mixing with be discussed later) are very light-skinned, with blonde hair and blue or golden eyes. They have fairly large features, comparable to Elsafurians, but softer and smoother faces (though not small ones). Lat men generally cut their hair pretty short, and wear hats. They are friendly but go about their business quickly.

Mawians originally had somewhat dark, tanned-looking skin, but from centuries of mixing with Lat, they have lightened up considerably (but still tend to be a shade darker than Lat). They have green, hazel and blue eyes, very occasionally brown, and have brown or blonde hair (often dirty blonde or blondish brown). Their features are slighter than Lat, and they have softer, rounder faces, but not so slight features as Hyslefts. They have short hair, like Lat, and carry themselves in a cheerful, busy way. They often wear hats, but never wear much jewelry (none at all for boys and men!).

Quick tips for telling if somebody is Lat or Mawian: Realistically, there is little difference between Lat and Mawians, but a trained eye can usually discern the difference. Mawians will generally be a shade darker-skinned, a shade darker-haired, have green or hazel eyes in addition to blue, and have rounder, softer-edged faces; Lat will generally be extremely light-skinned and always have blonde hair and blue or golden eyes, and have larger noses, eyes, and ears. But if you’re not sure, figure that the person in question is Mawian, unless you’re in a Lat area. After all, it generally matters very little in the first place.

The Code of Seakitties

I wrote this Code of Seakitties when I was 11 or so. Seakitties are imaginary animals that look similar to cats, but are generally larger, have flippers and pouches, enjoy swimming, are quite smart, and have their own language (which I speak!). This is a set of rules and beliefs (but not necessarily true beliefs!) that every seakitty follows.

This first version is the original text; the second includes notes explaining various terms I use.

1. Seakitties are the most intelligent breed on earth. No humans, Muhiis, fretoriods, kapers, or any other animals are smarter than seakitties. However, this only applies to adult seakitties; baby seakitties (or seakittens) can be less smart than human, Muhii, fretoriod, or kaper adults.

2. Seakitties must not hurt their mothers. They can pinch or scratch their fathers by mistake, but never their mothers.

3. Seakitties must obey their mothers until they get owners. Then they should obey their owners, but what the Seakitty Code says overrides the words of their owners. On the other hand, their mothers’ words are the Seakitty Code until they get owners.

4. Seakitties are all friends and community, so they must respect each other and help each other. For example, if one seakitty has a hundred oranges and the three seakitties she’s living with don’t have any, she should give each of them some of her oranges.

5. Seakitties must not steal except to do one of the following: 1) Support family (kittens, mother, father, siblings) or friends, 2) Support themselves, 3) Satisfy a very strong desire (e.g. he or she would perish if he or she couldn’t get the item)

6. All seakitties must either be a 1) wild seakitty 2) stray seakitty or 3) seakitty with an owner. Wild seakitties must obey the leader of their band. Stray seakitties must follow the Code of Stray Seakitties. Seakitties with owners must obey their owners (but the Seakitty Code overrides what their owners say). If a seakitty wants to be a seakitty with an owner, then he or she should put all his or her time into finding a good one.

7. A proper owner: 1) Takes care of his seakitty by feeding and grooming her, as well as providing facilities such as a maw-maw room 2) Calls himself Owner 3) Speaks a language that the seakitty can understand 4) Understands at least basically the seakitty’s dialect 5) Loves his seakitty

8. A seakitty must teach her kittens how to understand the most commonly spoken languages in the area, including seakitty dialects, fretoriod dialects, and/or human languages.

9. All seakitties must treat and discipline their kittens according to one of these three methods: 1) Making Your Kitten Behave 2) Proper Seakitty Punishment 3) Free Seakitty Method

10. A seakitty’s ears are always on top of his or her head, and a seakitty’s tail is always on his or her maw-maw end. All seakitties have ears and tails. Any purported seakitty that does not have a tail or ears is not a seakitty.

11. Any supposed seakitty that does not follow the Code of Seakitties is not a seakitty and should be banished from the seakitty community.

This is the notated version:

1. Seakitties are the most intelligent breed on earth. No humans, Muhiis [being very similar to a human in both appearance and intelligence], fretoriods [kangaroo-ish jumping mammals], kapers [weaselly mammals], or any other animals are smarter than seakitties. However, this only applies to adult seakitties; baby seakitties (or seakittens) can be less smart than human, Muhii, fretoriod, or kaper adults.

2. Seakitties must not hurt their mothers. They can pinch or scratch their fathers by mistake, but never their mothers.

3. Seakitties must obey their mothers until they get owners. Then they should obey their owners, but what the Seakitty Code says overrides the words of their owners. On the other hand, their mothers’ words are the Seakitty Code until they get owners.

4. Seakitties are all friends and community, so they must respect each other and help each other. For example, if one seakitty has a hundred oranges and the three seakitties she’s living with don’t have any, she should give each of them some of her oranges.

5. Seakitties must not steal except to do one of the following: 1) Support family (kittens, mother, father, siblings) or friends, 2) Support themselves, 3) Satisfy a very strong desire (e.g. he or she would perish [die] if he or she couldn’t get the item)

6. All seakitties must either be a 1) wild seakitty 2) stray seakitty or 3) seakitty with an owner. Wild seakitties must obey the leader of their band. Stray seakitties must follow the Code of Stray Seakitties. Seakitties with owners must obey their owners (but the Seakitty Code overrides what their owners say). If a seakitty wants to be a seakitty with an owner, then he or she should put all his or her time into finding a good one.

7. A proper owner: 1) Takes care of his seakitty by feeding and grooming her, as well as providing facilities such as a maw-maw room [bathroom] 2) Calls himself Owner 3) Speaks a language that the seakitty can understand 4) Understands at least basically the seakitty’s dialect 5) Loves his seakitty

8. A seakitty must teach her kittens how to understand the most commonly spoken languages in the area, including seakitty dialects, fretoriod dialects, and/or human languages.

9. All seakitties must treat and discipline their kittens according to one of these three methods: 1) Making Your Kitten Behave 2) Proper Seakitty Punishment 3) Free Seakitty Method

10. A seakitty’s ears are always on top of his or her head, and a seakitty’s tail is always on his or her maw-maw end [bottom]. All seakitties have ears and tails. Any purported seakitty that does not have a tail or ears is not a seakitty.

11. Any purported seakitty that does not follow the Code of Seakitties is not a seakitty and should be banished from the seakitty community.

If you’re Jawswinish…

Are you Jawswinish? If you are, these statements should apply to you!

The bits in brackets are notes.

Arts

  • You enjoy hearing epic poems read aloud, including the Song of the Teyott [an epic poem about the Jawswinish Teyott tribe].
  • You think that plays are improper unless they show an old legend with a moral to it.
  • Dancing is a fun thing to do with friends, not something to perform.
  • You have probably heard people using the tricky talking flute and may have taken lessons in it yourself. [The talking flute is a flute-like instrument that lets the user speak words into it while playing notes at the same time. As most Jawswinish languages are tonal, the resulting sounds are like an especially rich form of talking.]
  • Traveling minstrels are always better than performers who stay in one place.
  • If you enjoy singing you might go to the “singing house” to hear live performers (which often include people like you). [Think karaoke bar.]

At home

  • You either live in a small house with two rooms or an white clay apartment with three rooms.
  • The bathroom (frequently called a mawmaw room) is outside the house or apartment. Why on earth do you want such a dirty place inside?
  • You have a least a casten (a device similar to a radio) and a TV in your house, and if you’re lucky you’ll have a speednet device. Computers are for rich people. [Speednet is similar to Internet, but more restricted.]
  • The floor is made of dirt if you’re in a house, but in an apartment it will be roughly tiled.
  • You heat yourself in the winter with a cascade-electricity driven heater. [Cascade electricity is a Sheesanian form of cheap, easy electricity that only requires water, a certain type of metal, and a small amount of toxic chemicals.]
  • Your laundry is done at the river (by you) or brought to a laundry lady to do herself, either in a machine or at the river.
  • It’s hot in the summer, cold in the winter, and in between it is either dry and cold or wet and hot. It rains at the end of winter, near springtime, and there is never snow (except in the mountains).
  • You have a small phone device in your house, but often use public phones (which are always covered in graffiti). The phone system doesn’t have to work; the government has better things to do.

Comics

  • You enjoy reading comics in the newspaper, and also read books of comics from the bookshop.
  • You are very familiar with Super Maw-Maw, Wagadarse, and Fue Jhecar. [Super Maw-Maw is a comic about a superhero seakitty; Wagadarse is a comic about a soldier; Fue Jhecar is a comic about a thief.]
  • Nobody ever puts comics in magazines. Magazines are for serious articles, right?
  • You’ve seen the comics/solve-the-mystery games from Capron, but think that they are way too much work. [Capron is a desert country far south of Jawswina.]
  • Adults and children look at the same comics, the adults because they are so stupid that they’re funny and the children because they’re interesting.
  • You would rather have a book of comics than a normal book.

Economics

  • The government runs the telephone system, car (or pedalcar) manufacturers, airlines, power companies, and bus systems. Why do people in countries like Jacia leave such vital things to fickle private businesses? [Jacia is very capitalist; Jawswina tends more towards the socialist side of things.]
  • You expect that inflation and unemployment shouldn’t be very high. If it is, it’s the government’s fault and it should make jobs.
  • Large taxes makes perfect sense; the government is taking care of you, right?
  • Whatever you need, you go to the market and haggle for it. Set prices are unfair, because who knows how much you can pay! If you can’t find it at the market, you go to a specialist store and buy it.
  • Credit cards? What’s that?
  • When someone dies, their money goes to the oldest child who is married. If no children are married, it’s stored in a safe place until one of them are.
  • If there was ever a huge economic crisis, you would probably help overthrow the government.
  • You think that gold and silver money is much better than the worthless Jacian paper money.

Education

  • You’ve learned all about Jawswina from the Naruki Meltdown [similar to Earth’s Flood] to the Golden Age [during which Jawswina was a major empire] to the recent Kajit rebellions [the Kajits are a large, poor, frequently exploited Jawswinish minority], and have also seen a bit of Jacia and have heard all about how awful Jasheret is [Jasheret has been Jawswina’s enemy for centuries].
  • The government provides school, but if you want to really study, you need to pay for a private school.
  • Only rich people who want to make lots of money or people who want to be important politicians go to college. Most of the time a child goes only once in every three generations because it is so expensive.
  • If you go to college, you do so for at least five years. If you’re willing to pay, you want to learn it well, right?
  • If you’re a boy, your father teaches you his occupation, and then you should at least do it for a little while. If you don’t you are considered rebellious.
  • Girls do not go to school (except the daughters of those wierd radicals), but learn how to cook and clean and take care of children. However, perhaps they learn a little history and how to read and write.

Employment

  • Only the crude and stupid Kajits, who live in the mountains like no respectable Jawswinish person, or perhaps the evil Mawians [followers of the Mawian religion] or rebellious Qrütsä [Qrütsä are a people group that were conquered by the Jawswinish during the Golden Age] are farmers.
  • Companies can fire anybody at any time, but the government cannot fire anybody unless it gives a very good reason (like not having enough money to pay the person).
  • Workers’ Day (like Labor Day) is in the fall. It’s a holiday and everyone gets off work, usually spending their time celebrating by going to the market and buying stuff.
  • You probably both have a government job and a private business job, the second of which being most probably your family business.
  • You sell stuff in the market, unless you’re a specialist with a college degree. Then you open a shop with its own building.
  • Tourism is big business. You are friendly enough to the tourists despite their awful accents and blunt, unsensitive ways. They are also favorites to jeer at with your friends (in private).
  • If you have an appointment with someone, it’s perfectly fine to be up to an hour late, as long as you apologize a bit once you reach your appointment.
  • You negotiate very politely and carefully. Saying what you mean often offends people, which defeats the purpose, so why do so?

Food

  • The biggest meal of the day is at noon. You eat a light breakfast when you get up and a light dinner just before you go to bed.
  • You eat lots and lots of rice, plenty of fish (especially if you live near a river or the sea), and vegetables and fruits. On special occasions you eat fried fretoriods (a kind of small jumping mammal).
  • You eat on a mat on the floor from white clay bowls with a Jawswinish rice spoon, a kind of very deep spoon that’s good for rice.
  • Everyone around here eats rice, cooked in the Jawswinish way [lots of juice with relatively hard grains]. Some people cook it the barbarian way [the typical Earth way of cooking it], which is very fluffy and not juicy at all. You think it’s just wierd.
  • You usually eat your breakfast of hot rice, milk, cinnamon sugar, and porsčhi [a sort of spice] at a yaw bar, a small cafe-like place that specializes in rice. While there you have to watch out for thieving stray seakitties, though.
  • Lots of people own small yaw bars or resturants that sell hot ready-made food. The only resturant that has multiple branches all over Jawswina is Yikka Chik, which sells chicka seakitty meat [chicka seakitties are a common type of small, not very intelligent seakitty]. You’ve probably eaten there a couple times.
  • Mustard comes in jars. Shaving cream comes in jars. Milk comes in bags made of animal skins (often not homogenized).

Health

  • You expect the government to give you good health care for any emergencies, but beyond that you want them to stay out of your treatments.
  • Women called midwives to deliver babies. Midwives are very often single women who were one of many children.
  • Most of the time you treat yourself with the traditional treatments, or perhaps with the advice of a friend or traveling doctor.
  • You buy all your medical supplies from a pharmacy, because you can trust them to have the purest and best things for treatment.
  • Doctors are either friendly traveling doctors (referred to as yisibris) or snobby, high-class rich people who only care about money. You always go with the yisibris except for an emergency.

International

  • You would have difficulty reciting the names of the world’s leaders. Perhaps you could say the current World Minister [Sheesania has an international council/government similar to the United Nations, but significantly more powerful, run by the World Minister], though, especially if he’s been extra hard on Jawswina because of the Kajit rebellions.
  • You think of Jacia as either a pleasant place that is absolutely perfect, or else as a crazy place with constant riots and violence. You never think of mountains or hatdogs [a sheep-like animal common in the Jacian mountains].
  • The nationality people joke about the most is either the Kajits (who are actually just a people group, not a country) or the people from Jasheret, who are stupid and sometimes evil.
  • Your country has never been conquered by another nation (oh no, the attack of the Yagûdals does not count [the attack of the Yagûdals was a 3-month occupation of Jawswina by the son of the Jashereti king, back at the end of the Golden Age]).
  • Wars are a good time to show your loyalty to the Jawswinish government, while perhaps a somewhat dangerous way.
  • You think that the days of the Indosas [wooden battleships] were a great age [similarly to how we think about the days of kings and knights].

Language

  • You know Kwywa, the government language [non-tonal], and perhaps Jhijhikari and Saobibsu [both tonal], with a smattering of the Kajit language Dafanu.
  • You are familiar with all three versions of Kwywa: street talk (very fast and sloppy), sophisticated talk (very particular and careful), and book talk (also particular and careful, but more clear).
  • You would not particularly respect anybody who knows foreign languages. What’s the point? Only ambassadors need to be able to do that, and even then you’re not quite sure.
  • Kwywa is based on a system of minor words and major words; minor words are attached to major words. You pretty much don’t care in what order the minor words are attached in and can’t see why anyone would care.
  • You love the interesting tonal system in Jhijhikari and Saobibsu, even if you don’t speak it.
  • You think that the Kajit language Dafanu is far too soft-sounding and unfeeling, and think that Kwywa’s hard sounds like “jh” [similar to Chinese “zh”], “kh” and “~” [a throaty ‘ngah’ sound] are much better.
  • You hate when foreigners say exactly what they mean and are very blunt. It’s just not polite!
  • Of course you don’t have an accent! (Does anyone have one, according to themselves?)

Law and Crime

  • You take a decent court system for granted, though you would never use one (God forbid!)
  • If you have a problem, you argue it out with the person you have the problem with. If he or she won’t listen to you, you involve a friend or two.
  • If you need to pay a bribe or two to get the government to do what you want, you won’t resist. The government doesn’t always pay well so it’s fair, right?
  • Police and watchman are always armed with at least a good strong stick, and often a small gun. They’re there to protect you, so they need weapons, of course.
  • You will most certainly avoid certain parts of the city at night, including yaw bars [cafes specializing in rice] if you want to look respectable.
  • Lawyers are useless wastes of money and you can’t understand why rich people ever hire them.
  • You wish for the good old days when anyone could bring their requests to the king and he would vastly bless them with rich gifts (at least, that’s what the epic poem reciter makes it sound like).

Movies, TV, Casten and Print Media

  • You’ve seen such great movies as Footdada [centered around a supervillain named Footdada], The Doorkeeper Game [a comedy about two feuding doorkeepers], Isaac Tasian [drama about a thief known for his black horses], The Last Indosa [epic story of Jawswina’s Golden Age], Rise of the Riverboat Rogue [another drama about a thief], and Eo [another drama about the daughter of a thief]. Most probably you’ve also had to sit through such stupid movies for three-year-olds like DaDaDaDa Returns [story about a three-year-old named DaDaDaDa], Super Duper Good Goo! [story about a model three-year-old named the Good Baby] and Catch That Seakitty! [a story about a mischievous seakitty]. You also have probably seen famous foreign films (including comedies) like Natalia D’eior [about a girl who raises horses], Starstruck [famous romance], Dangerous Games [political thriller], and Tuarr the Fish Islands Boy [comedy].
  • You always prefer dubbed more than subtitled. Voices are better than text, and anyway you probably can’t read particularly well.
  • You enjoy TV shows like Who’s a Yawswine? [something between a comedy show and a thoughtful commentating on daily Jawswinish life], Call of a Mawian [romantic epic about Mawians], Footdada [same as the Footdada movie above – a story about a supervillain], Flames [action/thriller], and The Lovers [romantic, obviously]. Most of these have also been made into movies.
  • Every day you either enjoy your favorite news show (which is probably News Daily, The Yawswine, or Jawswina Courier) on a casten [similar to a radio] or on TV. Nobody looks at it on a speednet device [Speednet is like Internet, but more restricted; a speednet device looks like a smartphone and is only for using Speednet] or on a computer; that’s for rich people.
  • You own a casten and a TV, both of which are used quite a bit.
  • Talk shows mostly feature normal people who do interesting things (like collect pieces of old Indosas [wooden battleships]) or who have interesting talents (like a poor girl who sings really well). Once in a while a politician will come on, or another famous person.
  • You don’t read many books or newspapers, preferring the casten or the TV.

Music

  • You love watching Huwei Titaki’s music videos about seakitties [Huwei Titaki is a young singer and actor – when he first started performing he was 4, but now he’s 9].
  • You enjoy Kai Koim [known for catchy music with lots of drums and rhythm], Nisita Auonga [very beautiful voice], Fenenis Husis [another random singer], Purshisia Uje Nenje [another random singer], and Bustras Acttis [another random singer].
  • Deisororgree music is very beautiful to you (despite the fact that you can’t understand the words) [Deisororgree is a country north of Jawswina].
  • Any song about a seakitty is going to be good.
  • Some of your favorite foreign performers include Imatheous Stanley [known for his catchy jazz], Overboard, The Stars, Casket, and CityBeats [very bouncy].
  • Nice, rolling songs with a good beat are great to dance to, particularly Kai Koim’s catchy tunes.

Numbers

  • A decimal point is a dot, comma, : sign or -. You find it extremely confusing but take sides on what one is best.
  • A billion is a thousand times a million. Duh!
  • You measure things in uqs, biigas, huhes, and menemnesis. You’ve possibly used the Jauslanish system but hate it.
  • You write a date in the old Jawswinish way: year, number of the king, month, and then day.
  • Most of the time you use the simple old Kwywa system that involves lots of little sticks.
  • You hate the Kaole number system because it’s from Jasheret, but secretly think that it is pretty cool.
  • You might use the Preshna number system if you’re old-fashioned.

Politics

  • You think that the political party system is all rot and you wish that Jawswina still had a king.
  • You think that all the problems in the government are due to those stupid Kajits (or if it isn’t the Kajits, the evil Mawians).
  • The La Sistera system of sharing everything looks okay, but you think that all those funny names for people and the weird religion are beyond you. [La Sistera is pretty much communist, but a religious sort of communism.]
  • You feel that the government doesn’t listen enough to normal, respectable people like you and listens to the fickle World Ministers far too much.
  • You believe that problems could be solved if the government would start serving the majority instead of the minority, and do it well.
  • If a politician had been cheating on his wife, you would talk about him in horrified whispers at the yaw bars, and probably run him out of his position.
  • You expect the military to fight wars and leave the government alone.
  • You strongly believe in the superiority of the Jawswinish people and their freedom to have a just king, not a president.

Race

  • The Kajits, a people group in the western Jawswinish mountains, are stupid rice farmers who make trouble for everyone else. You believe that they were Jawswina’s downfall.
  • The Mawians, who follow a strict moral code and religion, you consider evil. They deserve to be driven out of Jawswina (and have been sometimes). There are probably Mawians in your city but you avoid them with great care.
  • In Jawswina there are Kajits, Yawswine (Jawswinish), Mawians, Jasheretis, Jauslanish….you pretty much organize people on the basis of what people group they’re from.
  • People make jokes about the Kajits the most.
  • In Jawswina the Yawswine (Jawswinish) are on top and get the most respect and the best stuff.

Relationships

  • Once you are introduced to someone, you call them by a special name–“Arina” for an older girl, “Èrine” for an older boy, “Yurene” for an older leader, etc. Call them by their first name? How impolite!
  • When two people want to marry, they go to their parents and tell them. Then, to see how respectable and hard-working they are, the parents switch the houses they are living in to be with their future in-laws. If they think that they are good people, they are married by a person referred to as the “Daseelah” (a word which you deny comes from the Mawians, though you know it does).
  • You would much rather marry a person with a good background and status than some person off the street, no matter how beautiful.
  • A woman should not be skinny or she’s unhealthy, but she shouldn’t be overly fat either because that is disgusting.
  • If you’re a respectable woman you wear a covering over your hair outside from the time of puberty.
  • You only show up at a good friend’s house without an appointment, never a formal friend’s house or a stranger’s house.
  • If you visit somebody and they serve you food, you should not eat all of it. That’s acting greedy.
  • When someone visits you you should give them some food such as a dessert, fruit, nuts, sticky rice balls, etc.

Religion

  • You sort of believe in a distant God who cannot be known, whom you refer to as “the One” (or “Yujhe’erlee”).
  • You think that the people who follow the Schesian religion are blasphemous because they say that they know God, and that he has a Son! [The Schesians are basically Sheesanian Christians – their theology varies a bit from the Earth sort, though.]
  • You fiercely hate the strange religion of the Mawians, which prevents them from marrying who they want and from freely moving around.
  • If someone asks you your religions, you’ll probably answer that you’re a Yhemmist. Yhemmism is the old religion of Jawswina, and while you don’t practice it, you are sort of supposed to.
  • You believe that the Jawswinish govenrment should enforce moral values such as not stealing, but they shouldn’t force people to have one religion or another.
  • You think that it’s fine for the government to establish places of worship, as long as they don’t make people use them.
  • The Feast of the One, a holiday celebrating the One, is on the first day of spring to celebrate the going of winter. You exchange gifts and play games on this day.
  • You think that people have a right to their own religion, as long as it doesn’t tell them to do bad things (at which the government should suppress them).

Social Welfare

  • You wish that the government would give you more money just to use. They have tons of it, right?
  • You know that the government can take care of you when you’re older and can’t work, but you’ll always just have your children do so. Welfare for old people is only for childless people.
  • If the government made you live in special welfare housing, you would resist. You have a right to your own house!
  • You believe that the government should give you money for paying traveling doctors (yisibris), and not expect you to go to their crummy doctors.
  • You think that people who have a lot of money should give to poor people (like you).
  • You think that these Jacian charity companies are stupid, and people should just directly give to other people.
  • You believe that one of the best ways the government can help you is by giving you a job.

Sports

  • You love swimming in the summer (often you end up swimming with stray seakitties).
  • You often enjoy playing a ball game in the marketplace, which is always a thrilling experience as you have to extract the ball from a huge crowd of moving people.
  • You at least know the rules of the famous games like waterskipping [similar to surfing], seakitty racing, charia [similar to lacrosse], and gliding.
  • If you have the money you’ll watch seakitty racing–you believe that it is a very exciting sport (despite the fact that most of the watchers are either snobby rich people or ragged troublemakers).
  • You haven’t been able to try gliding, but you’d like to if you’re a young male even though your mother says it is dangerous and a bad sport.
  • You loyally follow your favorite team in the game of charia and won’t miss a single match.

Transportation

  • You consider the Jacia 500 (a relatively large, old and boxish car) to be a wonderful car and you’d love to have one.
  • On each street there is one side for cars and another for people, but both are used by both.
  • Everyone makes one for the occasional car or cart that drives through.
  • There are no traffic lights–they’re a waste of electricity! Instead, a policeman keeps things in order. You wonder why countries like Jacia use traffic lights.
  • Pedestrians will either walk fearlessly across a street full of moving cars or squash themselves against a wall to stay out of the way until a lull comes.
  • You don’t see many traffic jams, but you do see a lot of people jams.
  • You get around by walking or by bus, never by a car you own.
  • Nobody has taxis. You either walk, get a bus, or (if you’re rich) own a private car of your own.

Vacations

  • You count yourself fortunate if you get five weeks of vacation time.
  • Women never go to beaches, only men and children.
  • A hotel room does not have a private bath; there’s a bath that the whole floor shares (usually there are three rooms on one floor).
  • You enjoy going to southern Jawswina for a vacation, because there’s good food and interesting jungles there.
  • You would never, ever go to the western mountains for a vacation. That’s the place of the Kajits!
  • You might go to Wowf (a nearby country with a lot of seakitties) for a vacation, though certainly not for the seakitties, as you have enough stray maw-maws in Jawswina.