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.