Ave, Sandum Citizens!
As we continue to prepare for the Armilustrium and the Autumn Equinox that is only two weeks away, we are preparing for an expansion of Sandum culture in the coming Winter. Just as all other Winters before us in which Sandus was dedicated to state and nation building, this is exactly what we hope to conduct this Winter. However, unlike Winters before us, Realism requires it of us to begin to consider the components of a people’s culture and how Sandus can utilise what is known of these components to construct our own culture organically. Following Ergane Athena and Her owl the Glaucus, this is why this Office has conducted research into what those components are. Though no single list exists, the components we will be researching include Attitudes, Beliefs, Customs, Traditions, Art, Clothing, Food, Language, and the Social Achievements of a people. This report shall examine Sandus’s progress on each of those components, express the view of this Office over Central People’s Government policy towards this cultural advancement both now and in the future, and the hopeful result of these policies.
Examination of each of these components of culture, especially micronational culture, will allow the State to follow Realist perseverance in the advancement of our Sovereign People and State! Each section shall begin with the topic, a definition, examples, policy projections, and hopeful outcomes.
Attitude – dispositions or behaviours characteristic of a society or culture.
Sandus has several attitudes within our culture that are shown with the social behaviour of the Sovereign People. Some of these attitudes are noticed only by those close to Sandum citizens or to the State. This is perhaps the most difficult of the components of culture to observe because it is the behaviours which are shared commonly by the people; this is difficult for a micronation whose cultural attitudes are difficult to express in both daily life and in observant writing such as this. And perhaps this is one policy the State must improve on: that is, being able to express our culture in a more liberal manner despite the conservative cultures and societies in which we Sandum People find ourselves in.
This is perhaps one attitude that is clear of the Sovereign People: our sense of personal liberty and freedom. Of course, this attitude of liberty is seen as having limits, as shown by State policies and by our Founding Law, when it threatens the other attitudes of Sandum society: Sandum citizens do not believe in the right to carry firearms or the right to abuse hard drugs, therefore barring us from the attributes of libertarians. Indeed, in Sandus, Libertarianism in Sandus is seen as being the extreme of classical liberalism (or, in macronational America, ‘conservatism’).
One behaviour of the Sovereign People is to constantly look for intent, reason, and purpose. In all our actions, we look for this and it has become an attitude of the Sandum lifestyle. It is through this attitude, then, that we act without ego, unnecessary pride, and grandiose self-esteem. Some believe this not to be true; indeed they often crusade to make public our egotistical actions and our belief that we are above all other micronations. However, as those who truly spent much time with the Sandum delegation in London would have noticed, Sandus has a very taciturn people. This silence is due to the fact that we intend to observe (reason) and find purpose in what to do and say.
More attitudes include acting healthily, upholding a progressive work ethic, showing care and compassion for others, being faithful or trustworthy to others, and following the rest of the Sandum Morae d’Ancestrae. Indeed many of these attitudes follow either the Sandum version of the Roman Mos Maiorum or the Buddhist Five Precepts. Not only are these mores the beliefs of how a Sandum citizen should act but they are also the behaviour of Sandum citizens.
Beliefs – the empirical truths or moral and religious convictions of a people.
Sandus clearly has many beliefs, religious and moral. Our morals, like the behaviours of our Morae d’Ancestrae listed above, are long and complex. However, at the same time the State must preserve the right to freedom of conscience. All in the same as belief is that of the Sovereign People’s in terms of Socialism, as well. This is one area the State can improve its policies concerning beliefs: incorporate the beliefs of all Sandum citizens whilst respecting them and no longer simply voice the beliefs of the Sôgmô at Kremlum Sandus; id est, open up venues such as Sacerdotium, Veritum Sandus, and the Voice of Sandus to all citizens to express their views. By following policies of liberalisation in terms of social beliefs, Sandus can adopt other points of view, expand, and enjoy a broader range of diversity and tolerance.
Sandus has many beliefs, perhaps too many to write here. Broadly, they are categorised into four topics: Philosophy, Religion, Socialism, and “other”.
As I have written in our book, the philosophy – referring to Buddhist philosophy – behind Sandus is clear and rather obligatory. It has become a citizenship requirement, in a sense, to believe and uphold the Four Noble Truths. That is, to believe that life is suffering; suffering arises from desire, ego, fear, ignorance, and hatred; suffering can be extinguished by removing desire; removing desire can be done by following the Eightfold Path: Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Actions, Right Livelihood, Right Understanding, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, Right Concentration. In the Sandum view, we believe that these truths and this philosophy go beyond religious distinctions, meaning that one can be a Christian or a Muslim (to use examples) and still believe in these truths.
Religious beliefs include those of polytheism, which an astounding amount of Sandum citizens believe in. Some also believe in transcendental views of a single god, et cetera. Sandus ought to refine its policies from this area especially. We have fought to preserve polytheism and expand Sandus’ use through them, all while ignoring monotheisms. Sandus must liberalise in this affair of beliefs.
Socialism is another de facto requirement for being a Sandum citizen. In terms of the actual belief, that is straight forward; what we must do now is to follow an economic producing State to begin production through cooperatives and through the CCPS we must liberalise political expression for fellow citizens.
Other beliefs are rather wide. In them, we can include the basis of the Sandum flag which symbolises purity and Socialist and Buddhist passion dividing and conquering suffering. Perhaps we can also include Libera and Realism into this category or the Philosophy category, because both are important to the policies of the State.
Customs – the habitual practices of a people. Traditions – the customs of a people preserved over time.
Sandus has a few diverse, mismatching customs: lighting incense when praying, making libations when invoking Pagan gods, our style when writing, et cetera. One policy of the State should be to increase customs and to incorporate them together. Because the difference between custom and tradition are obscure, we have included them together. It is clear that our customs must expand to include daily habits, but State policy can not be utilised to regulate what citizens do each day; therefore, these customs must grow organically. In terms of holidays and festivals, Sandus has quite a few traditions. However, in terms of coming of age, weddings, funerals, et cetera, Sandus has few traditions. This, however, is one place where the State can create advisory policy by creating an over-reaching cultural authority to combine the two sub-authorities of the Sancta calendar and Sandum language & style. This over-reaching cultural authority ought to organically foster the creation of traditions and, possibly, customs.
In terms of traditions, Sandus does have quite a few: celebrating Christmas as the Dies Natalis Solis Invictus, commemorating the Solstices and Equinoxes as work days, hold elections on the Winter solstice, celebrating the Secessio and the Foundation, observing remembrance on May 9th and celebrating the 26th. For each of these, Sandus has traditions which we follow: watch the Russian march down the Red Square and eat Russian blueberry pies on May 9th, celebrate the 7th and 8th of November (the October Revolution) and April with CCPS party congresses, et cetera.
These customs and traditions must expand, especially in terms of daily life.
Art – activities or objects to emulate reality that are made special and aesthetically pleasing to a people.
Sandus, again, has few examples of art. In terms of art, along with many micronations, we mostly have propaganda posters. However, in terms of different modes of art, Sandus has nearly none. With the prior category’s suggestion for policy, with an over-reaching cultural authority in the State and whilst pursuing policies of liberalism within Sandus, Sandus ought to foster an art movement in which Sandum citizens can express themselves. This movement ought to be completely independent of government policy and control and simply be endorsed and exhibited by the State under our Socialist ethics on cultural and self expression. At the moment, no festival in Sandus or its calendar of festivals is dedicated to art; therefore, perhaps certain weeks each month can be dedicated to the creation of art in Sandus. Following this, and especially in context of the month of September, perhaps the festival of the Ludi Romani, which is a festival of sports from the 5th to the 19th, can become a festival of arts. Topics must go beyond just a simple emphasis on the State and include artist’s own topic preferences, though we still do hope for some patriotic works of art. Liberalism is the key for arts.
Clothing – the collective habitual garments of a people.
When people think of Sandus, they think robes. But this is merely one style of clothing. The State, perhaps through a cooperative dedicated to clothing production, ought to create a more universal and regulated form of clothing. In addition to the style of robes we have now, perhaps we ought to include other styles of robes and, perhaps, togae. Tunicae should also be created, as well, in addition to other forms of clothing. Accessories and jewellery could also be added to Sandum clothing, such as brooches to hold the robes together. Other ideas should also be submitted by Sandum citizens, thereby introducing worker democracy in the role of production of clothes through a cooperative. The cultural styles of clothing should be regulated by the cultural authority but production and input into these styles ought to be according to the clothing cooperative.
Food – typical foodstuffs eaten by a people.
Food in Sandus is another area which must be developed. It is a mismatched array of desserts, main dishes, and snacks. Beef Bourguignon, Beef Stroganoff, Chicken Kiev, Hungarian Goulash, Tunisian Couscous, and many others. However, few of these have other aspects which are eaten in Sandus that are coherent. For instance, crêpes do not go as a dessert with Hungarian Goulash just as Russian blueberry pies do not go with Beef Bourguignon. Should an over-reaching cultural authority be created, it ought to include specific styles and see what goes with which. Perhaps this cultural authority could in fact create a cook book of foods related to Sandus and her styles. At the moment, no cooperative would be necessary for food production, therefore the cooperative of the cultural authority should accept the views and styles of all Sandum citizens to create a completely Sandum cuisine.
Language – the way of communication of a people.
Sandus does have a constructed language with the majority of all active citizens can either speak or comprehend. In addition to this, many Sandum citizens speak French, German, and especially English. Because language grows and evolves out of purpose, no policy but supporting lingual expansion by effort and attempt can be used to influence this. The language & style authority, though having the authority to change Sancta as a language, could hardly do so for a language that is expanding out of evolution. It can alter current style and language practices but the ultimate creating force behind it must be that of the speakers.
More work must be done on the culture of the State. Of course, this is not to say that Sandus has not achieved some sort of culture over this three years of existence, but of course more work must be done. In terms of customs and traditions, with liberalisation of the Sandum society and her beliefs, the Sandum people may form a more habitual, daily life style. Art, Clothing, and Food must be expanded on simply by increased work by the Sovereign People, by the Sôgmô, and by the cooperatives.
This report and research on the components of culture within the State has made it appear as if Sandus has had no progress or advancement in concerns of our culture. This is not true; Sandus has a very advanced culture in terms of micronations, which often lack culture, following in the Active Micronational Cultural Development Theory of Realism. However, as in all things, there is progress and advancement to be made. It is clear that Sandus does indeed have a culture and, in this sense, it has been constructed from the top-down. In the Sandum sense, there is nothing wrong with this in terms of micronationalism; however, liberalism will allow other Sandum citizens to express their culture and to expand the roster and role of the Sandum citizens in the State. This report has been created not to assess Sandum culture but, rather, to see the areas in which Sandus and her culture can expand, connect the dots, and become more coherent.
The example of the State of Sandus may also be used in the creation of micronational cultures around the world, following the universality of Realism in our micronational way of life.
— Sôgmô Sörgel.