10 Facts about the Sandum Armilustrium

The Sôgmô and the Party Secretary are celebrating the Armilustrium this evening, and Sandus is all together getting ready for the holiday! Here are some 10 fun facts about Sandus’s most important cultural holiday:

  1. The holiday is really ancient. The holiday has been celebrated since at least Roman times, and dates far back into Roman prehistory. By the time of Augustus’s death in 14 CE, the holiday had lost the importance of its more archaic rituals—but the holiday seems to originally refer to the end of the military campaign season.
  2. The name means “purification of weapons.” The holiday’s name, Armilustrium, comes from the Latin phrase arma lustro, or “I purify the arms.” A lustrum was a Roman religious ceremony which ritually purified an object, in this case weapons. But in other lustra, the Roman people were purified.
  3. There are no weapons purified today. In Sandus, the Armilustrium has been transformed into a pacifist holiday. Instead, we purify and wash our books as symbols of the weapons of yesteryears.
  4. The holiday is NOT Sandus’s version of American Thanksgiving. The holiday closest to Thanksgiving is Athena’s Day (29 November). The Armilustrium is more similar to the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, or zhōngqiū jiē (中秋節). Sandus even has similar traditions, such as a festive meal with friends, family, and chosen family and the cleaning of the house.
  5. Sandus has celebrated this holiday since 2012. That is only a year after the founding of the State of Sandus, and three years after the creation of Sandus as a micronation. The only cultural holiday with a longer history is Remembrance Day (9 May).
  6. The holiday was first celebrated so that Sandus would become more isolationist during the winter months. The holiday originally was celebrated to mark an end to a diplomatic season, much like the role of the Ancient Roman holiday. After the Armilustrium, Sandum diplomacy would typically cease because of the school year and more business was done internally.
  7. Baklava has been traditionally served for the holiday since 2013. The pastry’s honey is meant to recall the end of summer and the earth tones are meant to remind eaters of autumnal colours. Interestingly, the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival has moon cakes, while we have baklava!
  8. In 2012, the Sôgmô attempted a croquembouche for the holiday. The French pastry was too difficult and technical for the Sôgmô to make, however, and ended up being a mess. Hope still remains to make the croquembouche a traditional food item for the holiday!
  9. State media has broadcast the holiday since 2012, though some years Channum Unum replays old ceremonies of the holiday. This year the holiday is expected to be broadcast live from Quercus Candida at l’Appartement du Sôgmô.
  10. Adam von Friedeck, Party Secretary of the CPS and King of Überstadt, has flown out from Überstadt to take part this year. This marks the first time two Sandum citizens will celebrate the holiday together, and hopes have increased to have more citizens visit with the Sôgmô for future holidays. The Royal Family will also fly out later this week to be with the Sôgmô during the holiday.

King Adam will attend Sôgmô’s Armilustrium dinner, marking second Sande-Überstadti state visit

Armilustrium 2018

The Sôgmô has announced that they will hold a dinner for friends and colleagues to celebrate the Armilustrium ahead of the 19 October holiday on 15 October. The dinner, which coincide’s with þess university’s autumn break, will be held in the royal Appartement du Sôgmô and will include traditional food for the holiday. At first, it was an occasion to celebrate the holiday with the Sôgmô’s chosen family, but it has now taken on a greater significance for Sandus as a whole.

Following a courteous invitation to the Party Secretary and the King of Überstadt, Adam von Friedeck has announced that he has accepted the Sôgmô’s invitation and will attend þess dinner. The visit will both be the second state visit by the King of Überstadt and the first visit by the king to Sandus’s capital as a Sandum citizen and Party Secretary.

Read the Sôgmô’s invitation here for a state visit and the King of Überstadt’s response here.

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A copy of the dinner invitation, with the Appartement du Sôgmô‘s address redacted.

The dinner will feature traditional food, such as baklava, Three Sisters Soup, and roast chicken, as well as other autumn desserts and delights, and will also feature communal drinking for those who imbibe alcohol. Since the dinner also falls on the occasion of the October Horse, a Roman holiday which featured a horse race and the sacrifice of the winning horse, the Sôgmô’s dinner will also feature a horse and racing theme—though, to be sure, no horse will in fact be sacrificed.

Guests have been requested to bring one book in order to be washed, representative of the traditional Sandum ritual of cleaning the home and washing books important to one’s life, which in Sandus taken on the meaning of philosophical weapons, or “arms.”

On 19 October, for the Armilustrium, according to tradition, Roman legions would enter the city and stop in an area on the Aventine hill to perform a lustrum, or ritual cleansing ceremony, of their weapons and of the soldiers. Presumably, this ritual stretches far back into Roman pre-history to mark the end of the campaign season and, as some anthropologists have argued, as a means of mitigating blood guilt and guilty consciences from the summer’s violence.

Sandus is not into war. It is instead a pacifist micronation and, unlike many other micronations, does not even have a decorative armed force. Instead of lustrating our arma, whence Armi·lustrium, we wash our metaphorical weapons: books. Specifically philosophical books, and other books important to our way of life. In Sandus, this holiday has become something of an Autumnal festival and, today, many of our citizens celebrate this holiday—shown by the fact that Adam von Friedeck will join in the Sôgmô’s celebration. von Friedeck celebrates the Armilustrium every year since the tradition began in Sandus in 2012.

Happy Armilustrium!

 

Citizens to Receive Free Flag Pins

On 29 September, the Sôgmô sent out a poll in the Council asking for citizens’ opinions on two flag pin designs, one including a flag pole and one without; citizens voted overwhelmingly for a design without a flag pole. The flag pins, which are to be manufactured to celebrate Sandus’s 10th anniversary, will be given to Sandum citizens free of charge, while the remainder of the 100 pins will be given to allies of Sandus and to friends of the Sandum People.

Sandus’s 10th anniversary will be celebrated in May 2019.

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The Council’s winning design features a waving Sandum Bicolour without a flagpole.

Equinox Report: For A Familiar Autumn

Autumn has long been considered a season for us that has held much cultural importance. It is a cosy time, a time well spent betwixt rouge falling leaves, with hot drinks on a cool night, and socialising with friends and family during celebrations of our holidays like the Armilustrium or the National Day of Socialism. It is a season spent with our family, which in Sandus is a combination of our ascribed and chosen family. It is a time spent in the wonders of nature and rejoicing and being thankful for our humble lives—lives we labour for and we control in our small, fiercely-independent country.

This equinox marks not just the beginning of Autumn, a season which is very joyful and nostalgic to many Sandum people, but today also coincides with a Sandum holiday celebrated now for five years: Celebrate Bisexuality Day. Celebrated here since 2013, this is a holiday that has been part of Sandus’s cultivation of a distinct culture, as here it is a day to not just celebrate bisexuals but also celebrate bisexual themes in art and in our lives. A third of Sandum citizens are, after all, bisexual, while a half of Sandus are LGBTQ+.

This celebration during a time of equal day and night relates our country to themes of liberality, to openness and tolerance, to a conscious, purposeful, intentional life. It is a calm life, spent without reservations and without regrets.

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Charity Taxes: $1,600 USD, 88 hours volunteering
With only a few charity tax declarations in, this past Summer has been another record breaking season for the State of Sandus. Of only three charity tax declarations so far, Sandum citizens have donated $1,628.71 USD to charity in the past season, as well as volunteered their time for 88 hours total. This means that this past season was the second most charitable to date, and puts the State of Sandus within $100 of donating more than $5,000 USD to charity in the last year!

As more declarations are made, this section will be updated.

Three Officers of State support Council Reform
Over the last season, the Facilitator of the Council and the Sôgmô have prepared plans for a reform of the Council, Sandus’s democratic assembly. On 11 July, Facilitator Hatsu Ryuhu published a four-point plan for the Council’s reform, which include:

  1. The Sôgmô has a ceremonial and emergency role as head of state and chairperson of the Council, while the Facilitator will become Speaker.
  2. The Speaker will be elected for six months.
  3. Citizens who are members of the Council will be known as Councilors.
  4. There will be an annual Speech from the Throne on the State of the State, sometime near the Spring Equinox.

The Sôgmô has produced a bill which has been shared with the other Officers of State that builds on this plan, with some modifications. In it, all three Officers of State have a role to play in the Council, a new office of a chargé·e d’affaires where councillors are deputised to perform and exercise a function, and an established constitutional convention has been written down. This plan will be presented at the upcoming Party Congress in November 2018.

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Party Congress 2018: For the Sandum Cultural Worker
The 2018 CPS Party Congress now has a set date, 3 November 2018. The congress will focus on the election of the Party Secretary and especially on the theme of cultural production. While last year’s theme was focused on the subject of the Sandum identity, relatively close to this year’s theme, the theme of this CPS Party Congress focuses on the production of culture and specifically on how Sandum citizens construct culture in Sandus.

The sitting Party Secretary has begged the question about how we shall commemorate our tenth anniversary “in a way that aligns with the Sandum philosophy.” To what extent is Sandum citizenship about producing culture? How is culture a production, and how does that production relate to the intellectual production prevalent in Sandus today?

All these questions and concerns will be the subject of the Party’s congress in November.

State Media Cooperative plans Council, Party logos
The SMC has planned logos for the Council and the Citizens’ Party of Sandus, which are meant to focus on simplicity and on the symbols related to the constitutional organs. The proposed logo for the Council features a letter C in the shape of a Roman comitium, an architectural structure that was used for elections and assembly meetings during the Roman Republic. Thus, the symbolism of the Council’s logo reflects the classical republican nature of the Sandum constitution.

The Party’s logo features the English abbreviation of the name of the Party, CPS, in lower case below the Party flag. The simple logo is meant to reflect the wordmark for the State of Sandus with changes in font and style, which is meant to represent a cohesive political vanguard in the State of Sandus.

These logos are expected to be presented and possibly approved by the relevant organs by the end of the season.

Preparing for October: Armilustrium Planning and Getting the Public Involved
During this season, the Sôgmô introduced an informal Facebook chat group meant to encourage discussion with many Sandum citizens at once, and the group has already led to some changes in how Sandus is run. In a discussion on how to encourage citizens to take part in Sandum holidays, Sisenna Melville recommended encouraging people to create rituals for the holidays and publishing them in advance of the holiday.

Only important holidays are expected to follow these programmatic ends, and these may include:

  • the Armilustrium, 19 October
  • Athena’s Day, or Sandum Thanksgiving, 29 November
  • Christmas, 25 Decemer
  • Festival of Peace, mid-January
  • Losar, or Tibetan New Year, February
  • Regifugium/Matronalia, or Sancta New Year, 1 March
  • Minervalia, 19 March
  • Passover, March-April
  • Easter, March-April
  • Veneralia, or Sandum Love Day, 1 April
  • Lemuralia, part of Remembrance Day, 7-15 May (on only the odd numbered days)
  • Lammas, 1 August
  • Yom Kippur, September

These holidays, and maybe more, will be some of the first examples of rituals produced under this new system. Sisenna Melville has offered to produce the first ritual for the Armilustrium, and the Collegium Sacerdotum is taking offers for the others.

Sandus, Überstadt developing academic certificate

Academic institutions from both Sandus and Überstadt are cautiously optimistic about developing an academic certificate program, tentatively called the Certificate of Higher Micronational Learning, or CHML. The certificate is being developed as part of an academic consortium between the two social countries, with plans for more member institutions, and is open to involvement from other micronations outside of the two countries’ Social System.

Inquiries can be made to the State of Sandus at KremlumSandus@gmail.com.

The certificate is intended to fulfil the first year of higher or tertiary education, and is meant to be completed with 10 to 13 courses—10 courses for institutions which follow semesters and 13 for quarters. Students enrolled in the certificate program will be able to take any consortium member institution’s courses, and will also be required to take a certain number of courses in key micronational disciplinary fields—such as from the arts, humanities, and social sciences to law and language or communication.

The certificate is meant to provide a well-rounded factual and theoretical knowledge within various fields of study related to micronationalism. This certificate is especially useful for those interested in micronationalism or who wish to develop their skills as a micronationalist. It teaches micronationalists about the ancillary fields related to micronationalism and is also meant to support the development of interdisciplinary micropatriology.

Sandum and Überstadti academics have tentatively committed to teaching at least one class in 2019 during the springtime. Such classes could include humanities classes on the history of micronationalism, micronational themes in literature, an introduction to law, and a micronational communications class. What is more, both academics have agreed that, despite being the instructors of a course, they will also be students in whatever course they teach while both institutions are working toward developing the certificate program further. In other words, both will be the facilitators of learning—striking the balance between micronational colleagues and successful intellectuals and educators.

Academics and intellectualism are important to both countries, as both their leaders are pursuing graduate-level education. Sandus, in fact, even has a national order of merit tied to educational attainment; it is the only order in which the sovereign of the order is not automatically the most senior rank. The Sôgmô’s family all outrank það.

Sôgmô & Slabovian King meet, MicroCon registration expected in September

The Sôgmô and the King of Slabovia, George I & II, met Friday to visit, share dinner, and to discuss micronational news and events. Both monarchs visited a local restaurant in the Sandum capital province, Quercus Candida, and walked around the province’s only city, Ann Arbour.

The Sôgmô was joined by the Sanôba Consort, Oliver. It was the Sanôba’s first official micronational engagement.

Both leaders primarily discussed planning for the 2019 MicroCon in Hamilton, Ontario, as well as local, international, and intermicronational politics.

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(L-R) The Sôgmô and Sanôba Consort of Sandus with King George I & II of Slabovia.

Veritum Sandus sat down with the king in a local café in Quercus Candida, Sandus, to ask him a few questions.

Slabovia (est. 1984) sees changes since 2015

Slabovia is a micronation founded officially in 1984 which today now has around 50 citizens. King George’s first coronation was in 1998 and his reign lasted until 2010, when another king, King Penny, briefly ruled before George returned to the porcelain throne in 2011 as “George 2.0.”

The country began, like many micronations, as a running joke on a forum between four founding friends—George, Rankin (now Slabovia’s chancellor), Pat, and Dave. The latter two have taken a step back from running the nation in recent years.

In 2015, Slabovians became increasingly aware of the existence of micronationalism beyond their own borders and proceeded to make contact with other micronationalists in time for the first MicroCon in 2015, which was organised by Molossian President Kevin Baugh. When interviewed by Veritum Sandus, King George reported that since 2015 Slabovia has become increasingly interested and inspired by the intermicronational community, leading the country to develop along more serious lines. Or, as he put it (in the typical Slabovian manner of wordplay), “we’re upping our micronational standards, so up yours.”

Since then, Slabovia has seen development along more serious and realistic lines. Foreign relations was one of the starkest differences King George described, saying that the nation was not even aware of other micronations existing before 2015 in the lead up to MicroCon. Now, a little over three years later, Slabovia has taken up the mantle of organising the 2019 MicroCon in Hamilton, Ontario, a distinguished international honour for an otherwise well established micronation which has made itself stand out in micronationalism in such a short time.

King George stated that it was at least partly due to their history of almost thirty five years of existence that convinced Kevin Baugh of Molossia that the country was ready to organise the third MicroCon.

Next, King George remarked that Slabovia now has its own law of succession because of this change toward a more serious micronationalism, where the king selects the heir who is thus ratified by the people, while the king can remove their heir from succession at their own will.

However, as a micronation made in humour, especially Canadian humour, the country remains a primarily amusing nation project. The nation identifies as somewhere between British dry humour and the blatant, bombastic comedy of the United States, the King described, and he continued that due to this light-hearted history there has been some push-back on some of the more serious and realistic projects the King has suggested since 2015. In other words, think Family Ties and Michael J. Fox, we were told.

But Slabovia’s newest project is delving into one of the micronation’s cherished areas. As philately, or the study of stamps, is to Padrhom, so is phaleristics to Slabovia. The King revealed that he had been in talks with his chancellor to establish and to unveil a new micronational phaleristics institute or museum, where micronations can present, explain, and exchange information about their medals and honours.

MicroCon 2019 will take place 19-21 July 2019

King George 2.0 announced to Veritum Sandus that MicroCon 2019 will take place on 20 July 2019, meaning that events will begin on 19 July and last until 21 July in Hamilton, Ontario. The specifics about the hotel will be released in September, when the information and website for the convention and conference will be set up online and be made public. Hamilton is centrally located near Niagra Falls, close to both Toronto and Buffalo, NY. The city also has its own international airport, serviced by Air Canada, Sunwings, Swoop, Westjet, and even Norwegian (starting 31 March 2019 from Dublin).

The conference and all major events will take place in the same hotel, unlike the 2017 MicroCon which had events in separate locations in Dunwoody and Tucker, Georgia, United States.

Both the Sôgmô and the Sanôba Consort have stated that they will attend the 2019 MicroCon. King Adam I of Überstadt, both a Sandum social citizen and a close Sandum ally, said he would also likely attend.

King George expects the convention to have 50-100 participants coming from across North America and Europe. At least half a dozen micronations have already committed to attending. All signs point to the third MicroCon increasing in size from the second, which was already larger than the first.

At the recent 2nd OMF Summit in Vincennes, France, almost half of the organisation’s members stated that they would attend the 2019 MicroCon in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Sandus will be joined by its French-speaking allies from Saint-Castin, Aigues-Mortes, Angyalistan, Flandrensis, the Formori nation, and possibly others like Padrhom.

The first few days of the convention will include one or more day excursions with transportation arranged by the United Slabovian Empire to the environs of Hamilton, such as a winery tour, a tour of the local zoo or aquarium, or a Toronto Blue Jays game, all followed by an evening reception at the hotel.

The second will see the conference itself, with talks, a catered lunch, and a meet and greet session at the end, before a short break for dinner and dance. At the dinner, medals are expected to be exchanged, as has become customary at previous MicroCons.

Finally, on the third day, there will be open time and possibly other planned events, though the king informed us that other details have not yet been finalised. At the 2017 MicroCon, the remaining participants who had not left by then went to enjoy a bowling contest.

Some have already asked where MicroCon will be in 2021. After the 2017 MicroCon, however, a committee was set up of former MicroCon organisers and they will decide what nation will organise the 2021 MicroCon. This decision will take place at the 2019 MicroCon, however. The committee, he said, would ask for bids to organise future MicroCons, meaning future organisers must submit a proposal to the committee. “A bit like the IOC (International Olympic Committee),” the king said, “minus the corruption.”

[SC] Greeting & Addressing the Sôgmô and the Sanôba Consort

Like most heads of state and of government, the Sôgmô has a specific style of address when one greets það, and for the first time the Appartements du Sôgmô (the current seat of sagamorial power) in Sandus’s capital province, Quercus Candida, have clarified the ways to address the Sanôba Consort.

There are no obligatory manners of addressing and greeting the Sôgmô, but there are distinguished and traditional ones which are considered to be respectful if one uses them. In Sandus, however, it is traditionally and (in the case of titles of nobility) legally forbidden to correct another individual if they have mistaken one’s style of address. This means that, while the correct use of our styles of address are appreciated and considered respectful, not using them is not offensive.

Other titles and style of addresses in Sandus, as well as their rules and regulations, can be read about in the Decree on the Sandum System of Nobility.

 

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© UniCORN, Thibault Plaire

the Honourable Sôgmô Gaius Soergel Publicola

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There are no specific physical gestures that must be made to the Sôgmô, and bowing or prostrating is specifically discouraged. The Sôgmô may bow their head slightly and place their right hand over their heart, but the most common action is just to shake hands in the common modern way. If the Sôgmô is meeting with French-speakers, they might perform a bise.

When meeting the Sôgmô, the correct form of address is ‘the Honourable Sôgmô,’ and subsequently either simply ‘Sôgmô’ or ‘Comrade Sôgmô.’ When referring to the Sôgmô in a spoken conversation, the Sôgmô’s pronouns in the third person are ‘he,’ ‘they,’ or—especially when referring to the constitutional office—’það.’

‘Your Excellency’ or, when referring to the Sôgmô, ‘His Excellency’ are not traditional in Sandus, but are still appreciated as tokens of respect. Referring to the Sôgmô as ‘Your’ or ‘His Majesty’ is expressly discouraged.

 

Sanôba Consort Oliver

the Faithful Sanôba Consort Oliver Armstrong

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As with the Sôgmô, there is no specific physical gesture that is traditional when meeting the Sanôba Consort, though a simple handshake may be exchanged.

The Appartements du Sôgmô have recently clarified that, when meeting the Sanôba Consort, his style of address is ‘the Faithful Sanôba Consort’ and subsequently ‘Sanôba’ or ‘Sanôba Consort’ afterwards. His third person pronoun is ‘he.’

As a member of Sandus’s gentry according to the Sandum Table of Noble Ranks, he may also be addressed as ‘Mister Armstrong’ and ‘Oliver Esquire.’