Eleven Years of Sandus, An Auspicious Occasion despite Hardship

Today marks the eleventh anniversary of the Creation of Sandus on 26 May 2009. Back in 2009, Sandefreistikhan, as our country used to be called, declared its independence from the Republic of Trénois, a micronation created by a group of friends in central Maryland. Since then, Sandus has grown into a modest country over the years and, while things have changed, our country has remained very much the same.

Next year, in fact, in February and April 2021, we will celebrate the tenth anniversary of the State of Sandus and thereby also the tenth anniversary of my reign as Sôgmô.

On this Day of Creation, we remember our national philosophy and celebrate its achievements in our life. We recall that all people suffer in life, and that they suffer because of desire. We remember that the life that is happiest is one not given to extremes, that traverses the middle way. We have the capacity to help each other in their times of suffering and struggle, and we must do what we can as a small yet world-minded community to help others—even in whatever small way we can. This help, this community, is not bounded by categories; it exists beyond, we hope, dualities of being and not-being that categorises our country’s thought and aspirations.

This is one brief summary of our philosophy, and it is needed at a time of global pandemic more than ever.

This evening the Sanôba and I will prepare a small “cook-out” feast and meet many of you online, as we have all come to learn to do in the past few months. (We will be having a vegetarian feast, of course, as I am currently celebrating Saga Dawa, the month of the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and death.) One year ago we came together in Quercus Candida to enjoy each other’s company, our grandest occasion yet. We talked about Sandus in its contemporary political world, and this year this is also on our minds as the world faces the novel coronavirus. I look forward to our conversations this evening as we enjoy food and celebrate together and wonder what this year has in store.

Sandum citizens at the celebrations for the tenth anniversary of Sandus’s creation in May 2019.

This year we are especially glad to represent our philosophy, one about which we have always been vociferously public and which we have never hidden. Our philosophy is a beacon of light in a dark world, but it is not the only lighthouse in the world. It is simply ours, the one around which we have gathered. Born on a continent of dispossessed, transient peoples and refugees, the Sandus we envision is one that is a harbour, a haven, and a sanctuary for all who are already us in thinking and meditating—that life is suffering, that we ought to possess the very means of our worldly preservation, and that we allow all to find their own path to salvation or individual freedom.

This is the country that we have come to love and appreciate, one shaped by today’s comradery, formed by past conditions, and one with a vision for our future.

the Honourable Sôgmô C. Soergel Publicola