Ghantish culture

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This page is a resource for common Ghantish culture, behavior and mannerisms.

General Description

The Ghantish are an exuberant, fun loving people who love music, enjoy camaraderie, and who love to eat. They are friendly, especially to foreigners, whom they try to please. They will accept any stranger into their midst and try to include that person into their society. They have an open society that is not inward looking. They are also laid back, and very often time does not mean anything to them, meaning that their lives are not run by the clock. Also the Ghantish have a strong sense of "regional pride", and do not want to separate themselves from their neighbors politically. For their big population numbers, they do not pull their weight in regional politics, and are sort of forgotten. They care more about other things than politics.

Why are there so many poets, artists, and singers from Ghant? It is their culture. Children at a very young age dance and sing and write. In Ghant, one finds many television programs that feature singers. The young children see these programs and copy them. Radio stations play a lot of folkloric music. Parents encourage their children to pursue creative hobbies. Whenever there is a family reunion, children are inclined to sing and dance. Their elders show pride and approval when the children perform, so this becomes something very natural for children.

However, there is also a dark side to the Ghantish. Despite not being "nationalistic", they tend to be very jealous of their ethnicity and way of life, and have a strong repugnance against assimilation into different cultures, and marriages with strangers. Although they are intelligent, they are also naive. They can be outspoken to the point of insult, and they fail to realize that other cultures might see the world differently from them. Although they treat everyone as if they were friends, they don't understand that other peoples might not have that same attitude. The Ghantish don't understand why anyone would not want to be.

Attitudes and customs

Ghantar generally have a traditional liberal outlook. Yet, an important key to understanding Ghantar and their culture (which differentiates them from the majority of their contemporary neighbors) is the high importance they place on the traits of independence and self-sufficiency.

Ghantar are proud of their heritage and language and take great care to preserve their traditions and language. Modern Ghantish remains close to the variations of Ghantish spoken in ancient times. For example, the word for knife means literally "stone that cuts," and the word for ceiling means "top of the cavern".

Despite the introduction of Christianity to Ghant, many traditional beliefs are strongly held, remnants of which remain strong today. According to a 2005 Onmutu Times article, the majority of Ghantar either believe in elves or are unwilling to rule out their existence. There are a number of accounts of roads that have been re-routed and building plans redesigned or abandoned to avoid disturbing rocks where elves are said to live.

Ghantish society and culture has a high degree of gender equality, with many women in leadership positions in government and business. Ghant also has a history of highly progressive gay rights, with couples having been able to register civil unions and adopt since antiquity. Women retain their names after marriage, because regardless of whom a woman marries she remains her father's daughter.

Ghant also has extensive and progressive child protection laws. Ghant is one of the few nations that have outlawed spanking, and also outlaws verbal and emotional abuse and makes child protection a priority. Physical or mental violence is punishable by imprisonment and/or fine, and there is no legal defense.

Foreign Perspectives

"A Foreigner's Ghantish Experience"

For many centuries they have been known in our records and other similar records as a very mystical class of persons, or deriving from a very early mystical race or group of individuals. The information available to us does not throw any light upon their real origin, but we have some facts regarding their present day and immediately past activities, customs and habits.

Some years ago my wife accompanied me on a special tour into Ghant, and naturally we made Huin our headquarters for an extensive investigation. We found it one of the small towns in the foothills of the Mendiak Moutains right at the mouth of the river Nuvul. At the time we visited it, it had a population of about six thousand.

It is a very ancient town of considerable importance, and a home for miners and farmers. In fact, it was from this city that armies first set out for Eskura back in 1519 and 1520. A number of great national conventions or congresses have been held in the city, and in 1660 the Treaty of Huin was signed in this city. Strange to say, at that time the population was fifteen thousand or more.

One of the interesting things which we especially wanted to see in the city was a Thirteenth Century church believed to have been built around 1210, according to some old mystical records, or around the time of the Northern Crusades, and it was built as a principal secret meeting place for the Knights of the Golden Dragon and the Order of the Black Dragon, both of which organizations were united, and of which King Louis I was a member; and even his father had been associated with these knighthoods. In this old church, which has a large gallery around it that distinguishes it from other strictly Christian cathedrals, there is a wonderful organ, one that is larger in many respects than any other organ in Ghant, and which rises from the ground floor high up above and beyond the gallery.

We were fortunate in securing the cooperation of an organist connected with the church who was a descendant of the old mystical brotherhood, and he played the organ for us and its tones were simply marvelous. We found carvings and markings and symbolical inscriptions in this old cathedral showing that it had been used very seriously and regularly by the knighthood, and was originally not intended to be an Ipargurutze cathedral but, we might almost say, a non-sectarian cathedral.

We found many other mystical things about the city, showing that it had been really a headquarters of the knighthoods for a number of years, and that they had taken rare records to the place and had a secret archive in the crypts or cellars beneath the cathedral and in the fortified building in another part of the city, of which only a few ruins remain. But there are a number of sacred shrines in the city still standing which are truly sacred to Ghantish holy men and mystics of all kinds.

Descendants of these knighthoods still live in Huin and hold secret meetings there. We found the natives in the town and around the countryside typical of the Ghantish people, very friendly and intelligent, rather ritualistic and certainly very spiritual and mystical, with distinct costumes and many original and distinctive customs and habits. They were happy, more or less carefree, very musically inclined, and we enjoyed a musical performance in one of their own strange kind of theaters where we found their costume dancing, their singing, and forms of entertainment very enjoyable but quite different from anything else we had ever seen or heard.

The Ghantish people have always had a very wonderful reputation as mystics and as pious people without hypocrisy or insincerity. Fundamentally, they are an unusually honest race of people devoting themselves mostly to agriculture and physical labor, although they manufacture some artistic types of unique clothing or dress wear. The Ghantish hats have become quite well known throughout the world.

The women are charming in their appearance and complexion, in their magnetic personalities, sweet voices, pleasant mannerisms, and extreme cleanliness. The men, of course, are very industrious, and as a race the Ghantish people have fought very hard to maintain their own provinces as independent and neutral in all worldly affairs.

Likewise, as far as Ghant concerns other nations, Ghant has respected their independence and contributed toward a protection for them against the inroad of other nations, politically and socially. Today they are a vanguard against hegemony, who strive to help their neighbors from becoming victims of circumstance and victims of warring conditions around them.

Because of their method of living and their mystical qualities, many foreigners have come to find the Ghantish hard to understand. This was especially true with missionaries who traveled to Ghant. The Christianization of Ghant was especially difficult, and there are still large swaths of the country that were never brought into the faith. The swaths that were tend to have a dubious belief.

The climate is mild in the summertime but the months of September, October, through April and May are bitterly cold, but even in the winter months their dwellings are comfortable. The Ghantish house is perhaps better thought of in terms of a family seat, rather than a mere dwelling place of bricks and mortar and for many Ghantish the mere thought of selling their home, or even a piece of it, is shameful. In the Old Laws (Legezaharra) of Ghant, the Ghantish Etxea (House) had the same properties as an embassy or a church; it was out of the reach of the law and, if a family member was wanted for some serious crime, the lawmen had no right to enter the house, having to sit out the long wait until the suspect deigned to appear.

Traditionally, the Ghantish house is inherited by just one of the children, often – but not always – by the oldest boy. Although, in the past, tortuous negotiations would have taken place in the village plaza as the men tried to marry as many of their children as possible into family homes: “if I let your daughter marry my son and give him my house, then I want you to marry your eldest son to my daughter so that she gets yours”. And so on.

The rest of the siblings had to make their own way in life and although they were ensured a bed and food in the family home while they were single, many left the area to become soldiers, to find work in the Cities, or (more recently) go to universities.

No matter what happens to the rest of the world, the Ghantish will still be there, playing strange sports, speaking a language of ks and xs that no one else understands, naming their houses and facing them toward the eastern sunrise in a land of legends, on steep green mountains by a dark blue sea -- still surviving, enduring by the grace of what Malderi Haribec called "Ghantaldun bizi nahia", the will to live like a Ghantar.

You know you are Ghantish when...

The date is written DD/MM/YYYY. The year isn't shortened, makes for too many two-digit numbers.

You sometimes have to honk the horn because there are sheep standing on the main road.

In summer, you can wear sunglasses at midnight.

You always take your shoes off when entering a house, because you savor the opportunity to be barefooted.

The Summer parade is a big festival that everybody attends.

Snow and wind doesn't hinder girls from wearing dresses and slippers when going out to a party.

You spend alot of money for the Summer celebrations.

You address everybody by their first name- even the Prime Minister.

People from other countries sometimes think that you live in an igloo or a castle.

You love vodka.

You love talking about the weather and you know a lot of different words to describe it.

You have eaten things that people from other countries would find disgusting.

You forget sometimes how beautiful and stunning the landscape of your country is.

You own at least one wool sweater which was knitted for you by your grandmother.

Sometimes you can fall asleep while watching stunning northern lights outside your winder.

Your Great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather built the house you grew up in, and is buried in the backyard.

You know how to open a beer bottle with your teeth.

You love sitting in a hot pot, discussing some important issues with people you don't even really know or just having fun with some friends.

You always eat mashed potatoes, with just about everything.

You miss the water and the air at home when you're abroad.

Cruising around aimlessly for hours with your friends is a big hobby of yours.

You eat a lot of ice cream, no matter how cold it is outside.

"Vacation" means going South for the weekend.

You have to start your car at least an hour before you leave so most of the ice and snow will melt off by the time you leave.

When it rains, you embrace it and dance in it. Why would you cover yourself from the tears of the Gods?

Your bedroom windows are covered in black blankets.

Milk comes in cartons.

You've needed to use your car's sun visor at noon.

You have to learn a foreign language so foreigners can communicate with you.

You've seen antifreeze freeze.

You think it's normal for a town to have all its businesses on one side of the road.

Your snowblower gets more use than your lawnmower. Same goes for your flamethrower.

You don't look north to find the north star; you look up.

You know the two speed limits in Ghant: the ‘get out of my way limit’ and ‘taking cover limit’.

You don't sleep in the summer because it’s too short to miss a minute of it.

During the winter you rarely use your freezer, you just keep your frozen goods on your porch.

You get overly excited whenever you hear that the Lights are out.

You laugh at people who wear coats when the temperature drops to 50°F.

You cannot imagine life without duct tape.

The town you live in is "away from it all".

You use a down comforter in the summer.

A snowmachine/ATV is a necessity, not a luxury.

A snowmachine is something you ride, not something that makes snow.

Six to eight inches of snow is "a little bit".

The only way to get to the town you live in is by airplane or by horse, weather permitting.

You need to drive 150 miles to get to a town that is only 50 miles away.

You consider mountains in other countries "hills".

You don't wash your car anymore, because the dirt is the only thing holding it together.

But when you do wash your car, five minutes later it's as dirty as it was before.

Going outside doesn't necessarily involve the outdoors.

You've had a snowball fight in the summer.

"The lights are out" isn't referring to a power outage.

You can tell how cold it is outside by the frost on the inside walls.

Almost everything you'll ever need can be found at a hardware store or a sporting goods store.

You need 4-wheel drive all year long - for the snow and ice during the winter, and the potholes during summer.

If the airplane bounces only three times, you consider it a good landing.

You drive 65 miles per hour on a winding icy road during whiteout conditions and not even flinch.

You would pay $10 for an old head of lettuce.

You measure distance in hours, not miles.

It has been -20°F for two weeks, warms up to 0°F and you call it a warm spell.

Your house doesn't have an air conditioner.

70 degrees is equivalent to 90 degrees in the rest of the world.

You sleep through an earthquake like nothing ever happened; the only way you know is because the clock fell off the wall.

While on vacation in a foreign country, you see a beautiful girl in a bikini and picture her in snowpants and a parka.

A "cookout" is not all the time outside because it’s entirely too cold for all of that.

-10 is considered "a bit nippy".

30 degrees is shorts weather.

Your brake light is a piece of red cellophane and duct tape.

You've ever used your snowblower on your roof.

You see nothing odd about barbecuing when the temperature is -20°.

You leave your car running all night long because you're sure it will be too cold to start it in the morning.

You have gone to school, work, or both in the dark and came out in the dark.

Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow.

Dial 505 if you have an emergency. It might take a while though.

Ghant speaks Ghantish, their citizens are Ghantar. Ghantish-speakers are Ghantophones.