Thoughts on Orikrindian vs Quariosian culture

It’s kind of difficult to me to say what Quariosian culture is, because it’s made up of so many things/people/histories. It is, by nature, multi-faceted. Quarios is, at the time of Elucuna’s arrival, a relatively new state. It was born, politically, of a merger of two countries, Gotêvi and Lomilin. Gotêvi also consisted of several different nations in its southern regions, such as the Teg and Phul peoples. From an early time, then, these two separate nations were not homogenous, but culturally complex. The first rulers to merge the two countries were Queen Inacaporia of Gotêvi annnnd…some other dude whose name I forget, who was the Prince of Lomilin. Anyway, I think they merged the country both via their marriage to each other and also by a mutually agreed upon pact that would combine their states into one. The process, as you could imagine, was not a quick one. It took years to carefully intertwine the countries into one new country, which now covered the whole of the continent. The name Quarios was previously just the name of the continent, but then began to refer to the new country as well.

The port city where Elucuna lands in Quarios, Naeglitan, is a Gotevian city. It is Gotevian in its cultural origins, the language used there is Gotevian (even though Quarios has two official languages, Gotevian and Lomi, only governmental documents, signs, etc. are required to be in both languages). Glohitan is culturally and ethnically Gotevian (the meaning of ethnicity here, is separated from physical identifiers such as skin color, as people in Quarios have differing skin tones/facial features depending on whether their ancestors came from the north or south of the continent–the northerners tend to be darker in tone, but this fact is not as culturally salient for the Gotevians as other factors of their origins may be), but he is multilingual, and speaks to Elucuna in her native Ori. He considers himself a Gotevian, but also a Quariosian. Many inhabitants of Lomilin would likewise say that they are Lomi, but also Quariosian. Members of the other nations of peoples of Gotêvi identify themselves as Teg, or Phul, or whatever, but also Quariosian. Some of these people would also use the word Gotevian to describe themselves, depending on their personal attitude toward the government/majority culture of Gotêvi.

So all of that is what’s behind my thoughts when I think, “What does it mean for Elucuna to be in Quarios? What is this culture she is encountering?” The thing is, her journey is just beginning, and she will come into contact with myriad aspects of Quarios, and will discover how different from each other they can be. She’ll also discover that what she thinks she knows about Quarios may not always hold true–still other elements of her new surroundings will surprise her. For example, I imagine that Elucuna is a skilled knitter and fiber artist. This is a typical kind of skill to teach girls in upper-class Orikrindian homes. She views this activity as deeply feminine and completely hidden from the world of men. In Gotêvi, however, there are artisanal guilds of fiber artists, and many of their members are male. This is something that both surprises and intrigues here. In Orikrindia, men habitually do not devote any thought or attention, and certainly not any admiration, to the private arts of women (when it comes to things like knitting, embroidery, etc., at least). In Gotêvi, I think she would feel almost overly flattered that a man would show interest in her work and her skills, even though to them, it is just a normal amount of respect as one would show to a skilled colleague whose work is interesting or worthy of attention. Perhaps one of these men who compliments her work or shows interest in it is slightly confused as to why she feels so honored that he would talk with her about it, as for him, he talks with his female colleagues all of the time and does not consider it particularly special.

I have all of these scenarios forming in my head about how Elucuna interacts with, and responds to, the differing cultural environments around her. I hope that my writing will hold tight when it comes time to put these ideas into the story.

~

Mintaka

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