This Philia Fortnight reflects the first time this report has been published since early 2013. These reports traditionally report on cultural innovations in the State of Sandus, guided by the «Philia» policy — which decrees that the main aim of our independent nation-state ought to be pursuit of cultural independence and cultural development. However, due to the reduced activity yet continued work on the part of Sandum citizens and the Sandum State, this report will focus on both cultural innovations and cultural events (i.e., not necessarily innovations) that are reflective of the State of Sandus and our socio-cultural development as a nation.
Sandum «Sister» Tower
Celebrating the 2014 CCPS Party Congress
In late October, the Sôgmô constructed a tower in Second Life representative of Sandum architecture for a folly contest, named the «Sandum Sister Tower» after the Seven Sisters of Moscow. This tower, found on the State of Sandus Facebook page under the album entitled «Sandus in Second Life: Sande Amici», commemorated the 2014 CCPS Party Congress. This award-winning tower (Sande Amici was awarded first prize and received 5,000L) was similar to other forms of Socialist Realist architecture and had one large central tower and four other peripheral towers. The symbolism in the tower was awe-inspiring: from colours and the East-West layout of the windows and the entrance, to the use of Sandum emblems and wheat motifs representing Tellus Agrarian Cooperative. The large windows and the airy space of the tower made the interior open to the light — and represents in many ways the visual effects reminiscent of the Sandum Tricolour. Though the light effects of the tower were amazing, the tower was topped with the great symbolism of the State’s coat of arms and the motto «Populus Sandus» in the cupola of the tower and with the Sovereign Eagle at the very pinnacle of the tower.
the Sandum Internationale
Commemorating the Renaming of the Party
At each 2014 CCPS Party Congress, the Sandum version of the Internationale is sung. Consisting of only 12 lines, the Sandum version is not very long — compared to other versions of the Internationale which number many stanzas. But the philosophical importance of the Internationale is vital to understand the Socialist and Proletarian culture of Sandus. It is the Sandum Internationale which establishes the unique Sandum lien between Socialism and the Buddhist philosophy, in which the State of Sandus proclaims «the age of suffering is done.» Though the general symbolism of the Sandum Internationale focuses on Socialism, several lines do refer to Buddhism and, as a result, portray the Party’s role as a meritocratic body of Sandum citizens who uphold the tripartite Sandum Philosophy: comprised of Buddhism, Socialism, and Sancta.
Finally, although it has never previously been discussed and defined in great breath, the Sôgmô is currently working on defining the third element of the Sandum Philosophy — Sancta — and the language of «Each must do their duty» appears to reflect the definition the Sôgmô is working with tentatively before he will publish his treatise by Saturnalia.
Arise, all People from ye slumbers,
Arise, Oppressèd of the World.
The Revolution comes like thunder
And the age of suffering is done.
Away with all ye desires,
They’ll only break us!
Each must do their duty,
The time to revolt is now!
So, Comrades come rally,
For the struggle carries on.
Unites the People’s State!
New «National Day of Truth» Poster
Since 15 November 2009, Sandus has commemorated the anniversary of the faux “Sandum Civil War” which brought about the demise of the People’s State of Sandus with the National Day of Truth. To celebrate the fifth anniversary of that event, the Office of the Sôgmô has released a new poster for the holiday, depicting the Roman goddess Veritas from the Canadian Supreme Court in Ottawa. Veritas is depicted in this image with a somber look with her shadows having been made darker and the lighter portions of her body made lighter, so as to increase the contrast between the two. However, the emphasis on the various shades of grey which make up the image — as opposed to black and white — reflect the Sandum Philosophy’s emphasis on perception and perspective, as each individual has a different perspective than another. In the Dhammapada, this is recorded as “we are what we think; all that we are arises with our thoughts; with our thoughts, we make the world” — and reflects that truth may exist but that each sentient being sees and understands it differently.
The ‘truth’ of this day is that Sandus has transformed itself five years after the Sandum Civil War. Rather than speaking exclusively to the Sandum Philosophy, this holiday likewise speaks to Sandus’s development of Realism in the same time period in which it has developed its national philosophy and ideology. Realism has become for us more than an evocative term: it is the way in which our People think, engage with the State, and understand situations and make decisions. No better event can demonstrate this than the 2014 CCPS Party Congress & Conference, in which many Sandum citizens utilised Realist thinking to raise their concerns and pioneer solutions to problems facing our State. Indeed, when Sebastian Linden of Rudno announced his country’s independence, it was with Realism and its Activation Energy theory that the Sôgmô, as a Sandum citizen, commented.
For us, 15 November 2009 is a shameful and unimportant day. It commemorates a time when Sandus was governed for enjoyment and fun, and by the personal whim of the individual who has become the Sôgmô. But, taken in the context of five years of Sandum history, the National Day of Truth provides a wonderful perspective on exactly what Sandus — a small nation, smaller than some larger and less advanced micronations — has become and has done. Many speak ill of our country for what it is yet, while we should not cloud the Realist virtue of our minds with Nationalist thinking, we ought to commemorate — nay, celebrate — the National Days of Truth & Harmony for what Sandus has achieved and will continue to achieve.
One Year Later: Sande Amici’s Continued Relevance
One year since the founding of Sande Amici in early November 2014 to replace the costly «Sandum Server for the Philia Advance» on Minecraft, Sande Amici has seen continued importance. Originally designed to represent an idyllic Sandum village, with a small house and a small acropolis set in a North American theme, Sande Amici has recently become a snapshot of a Sandum town: a forum complete with a café, a curia, a regia, and a temple. Events are still held at Sande Amici, the next one being the «Iphis by P. Ovidius Naso» event and the most recent being the recent celebrations of the National Day of Socialism, Indigenous People’s Day, Celebrate Bisexuality Day, and the Nemoralia & Vertumnalia art exhibit. Sande Amici has also grown beyond its original plot of land in ROMA Subura since November 2013; today, Sande Amici has six other plots of land stretching from Purple to Colonia Nova in the Confederation of Democratic Simulators.
Sande Amici’s relevance is not just to build diplomacy between Sandus and other micronations and to raise micronational and micropatriological awareness, it is likewise a space for Sandus to build up its culture. Sande Amici boasts our headquarters in ROMA Subura, but we now also boast a stand in Purple; a «School of Sandum Sociocultural Work», a forum, a museum and baths, and a small office space in Colonia Nova. Moving ahead to Athena’s Day, Saturnalia, and the January Festivals of Peace, these spaces will become all the more important as Sandus prepares to grow as a cultural entity under the guidance of the Sôgmô and Party Secretary Adam von Friedeck, who has voiced his intention to work for the continued growth of Sandus’s patrimony. Already, in the period of this Philia Fortnight, Sande Amici has provided us with two new cultural innovations: wearing a red poppy on the National Days of Truth & Harmony and the Sandum Sister Tower (described above).