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Mari'im culture test

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If you are Mari'im...Edit

  • You probably value a fairly simple, relaxed life.
  • You're probably quite poor.

Food and drink...Edit

  • You have enough to eat, but there's usually very little variety — you just have whatever can be grown or caught near where you live. This generally means fish, root vegetables, rice, and certain types of fruit. Only in the cities is there more choice.
  • You tend to drink water or (if you're richer than average) fruit juice — tea and coffee are both rare. In the cities, you can buy Zigaza (a Lendosan soft drink), although the government keeps discussing banning it as unhealthy. (Zigaza is the only soft drink available, because unlike the others, it had built a factory in Mari'im before independence led to a ban on imports).
  • If you're a man, you may sometimes drink kutu'a, a highly alcoholic drink made from fermented fruit — it's illegal to sell it, but brewing it yourself is permitted. It's very strong, but a real man won't mind — the only way to get out of it without being looked down on is by citing religious reasons. Drinking kutu'a with friends is important for maintaining social networks.
  • Your food is very rarely spicy.

Politics and economics...Edit

  • You probably don't think very much about politics — it's very complicated and rather boring, and is for wise people in the capital to worry about.
  • You probably don't understand your country's government very well — you've know the terms "Commisar", "Revolutionary Council", "Chamber of Deputies", and so forth, and you probably know what they do, but you're not sure quite how they relate to each other, or which ones are supposed to be the most powerful. The younger generation, though, will be much better informed — they get rigorously instructed on the system at school.
  • You probably believe that Mari'im's political system is suited to the country, and that foreign ways of doing things "wouldn't really work here" (although they may work fine in the countries that invented them). You see the political system of Mari'im as how things have traditionally worked anyway, and you probably don't like it when people try to frame it in terms of complicated theories and ideologies. The government and foreigners may apply fancy terms to your country's system, but you probably regard it as "just the way things work".
  • On the whole, you don't regard the government's policies as having a significant impact on your day-to-day life. You see the government as fairly remote.
  • You don't have any particular objections to the police, but you think that many matters are best dealt with by the community, not by the law courts. The police are more of a back-up system for when the community can't resolve its problems on its own. You may sometimes be annoyed when the police insist on intervening in a private matter that they don't really understand.
  • You know that sometimes, government officials will do a few favours for their friends, but you probably don't consider this to be real corruption unless it involves payment of money. You sympathise with the government's anti-corruption drive, but possibly feel that it goes too far. Friends help out friends — that's just the way things are done.

Race, religion and language...Edit

  • As your first and primary language, you probably speak one of the four main languages native to Mari'im — Toku'ika, Sa'a'iki, Mu'o'ana, or Rihu. You use this for most day-to-day activity.
  • If you speak Toku'ika, Sa'a'iki, or Mu'o'ana, you probably have some proficiency in Re'o'mari'im, an artificial language created by merging elements of these three. You use Re'o'mari'im when dealing with government officials and filling in forms, and when reading the official national newspaper, but rarely for anything else. You're probably not very good at speaking it, relying mostly on your knowledge of one of the base languages and guessing the rest. (Since the three languages are related, guessing often works.)
  • You may have learned some basic Lendian in school, owing to the fact that Mari'im was once a Lendian colony. You are unlikely to be fluent, however.
  • You almost certainly consider yourself a follower of the Ula'ikist religion (also known as Alva Lamaism, although you probably wouldn't recognise that term). Whether or not you actually follow the religion's guidelines in your life is a personal matter, however. You greatly respect the Lai'a Ari'a, the highest figure of the religion.

Society...Edit

  • If you have an appointment, you'll apologize if you're more than twenty minutes late.
  • If you're talking to someone, you don't mind how close they stand to you — physical contact between people is more common than in many countries.
  • You sometimes bargain for what you want to buy, although the government frowns on the practice, and has fixed prices for many important commodities.
  • You feel free to visit a friend's home without telling them first — friends always have time for friends.
  • You probably don't know very much history — it wasn't a major focus at school. You probably know the history of your family better than the history of your country.
  • Almost everyone gets married within a few years of reaching the right age — people who stay single are an oddity, unless it's connected with religion. Parents play a very important part in arranging and organising the marriages of their children, although the children can't be compelled. Polygamy is rare these days, but still possible — the authorities don't like it (because it was associated with the aristocracy), but haven't banned it.
  • You can often tell if a person is married by looking to see whether they wear any jewelery — traditionally, only married people were allowed to do so, and only jewelery given by their spouse. For men, it is usually a ring or an armband. For women, it may be a necklace, earings, bracelets, or ankle rings.
  • Same-sex relationships are generally regarded as okay, but they're not regarded as an acceptable substitute for marriage and parenthood — they're seen as a diversion, not a way to live your life.
  • You have two names. Your given name is the most important, and is the one which you will almost always be addressed by, regardless of circumstance. Your other name is only used to distinguish you from other people — when you're a child, it's your mother's name, and when you're an adult, it's usually your father's name. Women used to take their husband's given name as their own second name when they married, but this practice is dying out — virtually nobody marrying today chooses to follow this custom, although just fifteen years ago, most women changed their names.
  • Your casual clothing is probably a short-sleeved shirt and either trousers or shorts. You may have other clothes for certain special occasions, but on the whole, there isn't likely to be much variation. In more remote areas, standards of dress are closer to the original, pre-colonial norms — shirts are considered optional (including for women), and shoes are often not worn. In larger cities, however, this is no longer considered acceptable dress in public places (except for certain traditional ceremonies, such as marriage).
  • You probably don't get to see films or listen to recorded music very often. When you do, it's usually produced by the government, and intended to be uplifting and inspiring (you may find it all a bit boring, but probably wouldn't say so). In larger cities, it may be possible to hear foreign music, and see foreign films. (The latter may or may not be subtitled — if they are, it's probably a rough job not sanctioned by the film's producers). Some of the films shown probably aren't legal, being considered corrupt and immoral by the authorities.
  • There's a fairly decent chance you don't own a television or a CD player.

Places and weather...Edit

  • You don't pay a lot of attention to other parts of the country, or to the various official subdivisions of it. You probably know what district you live in, but you don't attach any sort of pride to it — it's just an administrative unit, not something you value in itself.
  • If you live in a rural area, you probably wish you lived in the city, where you believe there are more opportunities. You're not allowed to move to the city without permission, but some people go anyway. (They typically end up in bad, low-paying jobs, but people tend not to find this out until they go.)
  • It's usually hot. It's also usually sunny, but there can be some bad storms sometimes.

How things are done...Edit

  • Dates are DD/MM/YYY.
  • The decimal point is a dot, not a comma.
  • A billion is a thousand times a million.
  • You measure everything in meters, kilograms, liters and Celsius degrees. You don't understand feet, inches, miles, pounds or Farenheit degrees.
  • Private citizens don't own motor vehicles, but if you're driving a government or industrial vehicle, you're supposed to drive it on the left-hand side of the road. In practice, however, you just drive wherever there's room.

Foreigners...Edit

  • You're unlikely to think there's anything wrong with foreigners, but you probably do think that there are fundamental differences between foreigners and Mari'im that can't be ignored. Foreigners can't ever really understand Mari'im culture the way Mari'im do — they will always be foreign. Similarly, while it might be interesting to learn about the culture of foreigners, it will always be their culture, not yours.
  • If you belong to the older generation, you probably consider the emulation of foreign culture as silly. They have their ways, and you have yours — that's how it will always be. Mari'im can never truely be at home in a foreign culture, and if we abandon our own to pursue it, we'll be left without devoid of any culture at all, and stripped of the heritage that allows our society to function. If you're young, however, you may be more open to the adoption of foreign things, particularly music, food, and clothing. You probably don't have many sources of information, however, and have to rely on fragmentary portrayals from films and media.
  • It's important to you that your country is not pushed around by others. Foreigners tend not to understand that Mari'im isn't like their own country, and that in Mari'im, things are often done differently.
  • You regard the Lendians, who once occupied Mari'im, as generally noble, but they didn't understand how culture works — they thought that Mari'im would eventually become just like Lendia. In your understanding, they thought they were doing the right thing by trying to "reform" Mari'im, but they eventually realised that Mari'im was not Lendia, and gave up.
  • While you know a bit about foreigners from school, you've had very little contact with them yourself. It's not strange never to have seen a foreigner before.

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