Otekian entertainers in Namo during the 2015 Liberation Day celebrations
|Regions with significant populations|
The Otekians are descendants of Slavs who are believed to have migrated to present-day Txotai during the 6th century, around the same time of the Slavic migration to Luziyca. After settling in Txotai, the Otekians established a confederacy of tribes led by the Patriarch of Gusev, who is viewed as an important spiritual leader of the Otekians to this day. Millions of Otekians fled from Txotai to Luziyca after Namor suppressed an Otekian separatist rebellion in the region, forming the bulk of the Otekian diaspora.
Today, over five million Otekians reside in Namor, where they are a recognized minority group. Otekians are the largest ethnic group in the Autonomous Republic of Txotai; however, they do not make up most of the region's population. In addition to the Otekians living in Namor, there are over two million diaspora Otekians, most of whom live in Luziyca and are descendants of refugees from the Txotai War.
The word Otekian has its roots in Oteki, which means "home" in Luziycan. Oteki first appeared in written records during the sixth century when Slavs settled in Txotai, although Otekian, or "people of Oteki," initially referred to all residents of the region, including the native Argilians who were eventually assimilated into the Slavic population. The Jidu dynasty, which did not distinguish between Otekians and other Slavic peoples, called all Slavs Otekimin (奥帝基民), a practice that was continued by the Hao dynasty after it took control of Txotai in 1719. It wasn't until the Republican era when the official definition of Otekimin started to change, with the Republic of Namor using Otekimin to describe only Slavs living in Namor, while the People's Republic of Namor redefined Otekimin as Slavs from Txotai.
Prior to the Slavic migration, Txotai was mostly inhabited by Argillians, a legacy of the region's rule by the Lysandrene Empire. Many of the Argillian city-states in the southern coast of Txotai were reestablished after the Lysandrene Empire fell in 102 CE. The Argillians were later converted to Christianity by Saint Luther.
During the 6th century, Slavs started migrating across Borea, settling in Txotai in large numbers. Before long, tensions between the Argillians and Slavs escalated into military conflict. To defend themselves against the Argillians, the Slavic tribes of Txotai formed the Otekian confederacy, which eventually forced the Argillians into submission. In recognition of the Otekians' control of Txotai, the Apostolic Catholic Church appointed Luther II as the first Otekian Patriarch of Gusev in 584, beginning a tradition where an Otekian was always appointed Patriarch. While most of the power in the Otekian confederacy belonged to the chieftains of the individual tribes, the Patriarch was responsible for settling disputes between the tribes, a role which established the Patriarch as the de facto leader of the Otekian community.
The Otekian confederacy ended in 1129 after some Otekian tribes rebelled against Patriarch Timeus II and declared independence from the Apostolic Catholic Church. Timeus called on the Peivet Jidu dynasty to put down the rebelling tribes, and Txotai quickly came under Jidu control. Despite being conquered, the Otekians had a warm relationship with their Jidu overlords. The Jidu viewed the Otekians as a reliable partner in its quest for expansion and recruited Otekians into the government and military, but forbade intermarriages between Otekians and Peivet due to the Peivet tradition of endogamy.
As the Jidu expanded southward, some Otekians settled in Namor Proper. Because of their loyalty to the Jidu, the Otekians were viewed by many local Kannei Namorese as collaborators and harassed by anti-Jidu rebels. The Otekian population in Namor Proper declined as the Jidu dynasty disintegrated and the Dan dynasty, which tried to rid Namor of Christian influence, forced all Otekians living under its rule to assimilate into Kannei society or face expulsion. Most Otekians moved to Txotai, which was controlled by the Solomonic Jidu dynasty, while a few stayed in Namor Proper and assimilated. Their descendants became the Kannei Otekians.
The Solomonic Jidu continued to uphold endogamy, preventing Otekians from becoming members of the royal family. However, Otekians made up most of the Solomonic Jidu bureaucracy and military, effectively reassuming their status as the dominant ethnicity in Txotai. The Solomonic Jidu was eventually overthrown by the Otekians in 1719, prompting the Hao dynasty, an ally of the Solomonic Jidu, to annex Txotai. The Hao appointed the Patriarch of Gusev and an Otekian governor as co-rulers of Txotai, and Txoist influence in the region was stamped out as part of a series of agreements between the Hao dynasty and the Apostolic Catholic Church.
The unification of Luziyca in 1863 led to a rise in nationalism sentiment among Otekians, with nationalists arguing in favor of independence from Namor or union with Luziyca. These ideas were extremely popular among the Otekian clergy and soon gained traction in Luziyca as well. During the First Namo-Luziycan War, a Luziycan expeditionary force invaded Txotai. Luziyca annexed Txotai before granting it independence, forming the First Republic of Oteki. The First Republic introduced elections to Txotai, but restricted suffrage to Otekian Christians. The government's preferential treatment of Otekians marginalized non-Otekians in Txotai, leading to an exodus of many Kannei and Peivet that lasted until Liberationist Namor took over Txotai in 1925.
An agreement between Namor and local Otekians replaced the First Republic of Oteki with the Otekian Self-Administration, but the OSA was quickly undermined by tensions between Namo and Otekian nationalists. In 1941, Otekian separatists staged a coup that overthrew the OSA and declared independence from Namor, sparking the Txotai War. The war caused mass displacement in Txotai and ended with Namor retaking the region in 1945. During this period, many Otekians fled overseas, forming the Otekian exile community. A vast majority of Otekian exiles settled in Luziyca, where the Otekian government-in-exile was founded and militant separatists such as the Knights of Saint Luther continued their operations against Namor.
After the war, Namor launched a full-scale suppression of the Otekian independence movement. Traditional Otekian villages were replaced with new settlements in the New Housing Movement, which was credited with improving the standard of living in Txotai but also criticized for destroying the cultural heritage of Otekians and placing them under close surveillance. The Namorese authorities encouraged the teaching of Namorese in Txotai schools to reduce the influence of Luziycan in the region, which they associated with Otekian nationalism. The 1960s saw millions of Kannei moving to Txotai as a result of the Northern Development program, and the Otekian majority in Txotai started to decline. This trend would continue until Otekians made up only a plurality of Txotai's population.
The lifting of martial law in 1991 led to an increase in Otekian cultural expression. The revival of Otekian drama and music, coupled with continued Namorese suppression of Otekian separatism, gave rise to what some scholars have identified as a "new Otekian nationalism" that considers Otekians to be Namorese but culturally distinct from the rest of Namor at the same time. The new Otekian nationalism has allowed Otekians to preserve their cultural and ethnic identity without being seen as endorsing independence from Namor, although some Namorese nationalists have objected to all forms of Otekian identity as attempts to undermine interethnic unity in Namor.
Otekians are a recognized minority group in Namor. According to the 2015 census, 5.3 million ethnic Otekians live in Namor. A majority of Namorese Otekians in Namor reside in the Autonomous Republic of Txotai, where they constitute 46% of the region's population. This makes them the largest ethnic group in Txotai but not the majority group, as the Kannei presence in Txotai continues to grow.
Within Txotai, Otekians are the majority group in four prefectures — Arnata, Korkino, Kovdor, and Miassa, while in the prefectures of Loxi, Irbet, and Lagania, a plurality of the population are Otekians. Only Kusef and Kaltan have Kannei majorities.
A few Otekian communities are scattered across Namor Proper. Known as the "Kannei Otekians" due to their assimilation into Kannei culture, they are the descendants of Otekians who settled in Namor Proper after the Jidu dynasty conquered it. After the Jidu dynasty fell, the Otekians who remained in Namor Proper were ordered to renounce Christianity and adopt Namorese customs. Most chose to leave Namor Proper and returned to Txotai, while a minority stayed behind and accepted assimilation. Gradually, the Otekians in Namor Proper were cut off from their brethren in Txotai and became a community of their own.
The question of Otekian identity has become a focal point of studies about Otekian people in Namor. Polls have found that Namorese Otekians identify with Namor less in comparison to other ethnic minorities, with a majority of Otekians preferring to identify themselves as Otekians rather than Namorese. In terms of geographical identity, most Otekians regard Txotai as their "homeland" rather than Namor as a whole. However, polls have also shown that most Otekians do not deny their Namorese nationality. Some scholars have drawn comparisons between Otekians and other non-Monic minorities in Namor, such as Katranjians and Lecs, who identify as Namorese citizens but are reluctant to place Namorese identity before their own ethnic identities due to the perception that Namor is a Monic nation from which they are culturally distinct.
The Otekian diaspora developed during the mid-20th century after millions of Otekians fled Txotai as a consequence of the Txotai War. Known as Otekian exiles, they were initially treated as refugees before being granted citizenship in their countries of residence.
Luziyca is the country with the most number of Diaspora Otekians, with over 2.5 million Otekians living in Luziyca. Most Luziycan Otekians live in the state of Chayevsky, while some live in Bethlehem, Pristanische, and Semprihevosk. while some live in Following the Txotai War, the Otekian government-in-exile was established in Granitsygrad, Chayevsky, which became a hub for Otekian separatist activity. Refugee camps were set up in Granitsygrad, sponsored by both the Luziycan government and the government-in-exile. Over time, as more exiles obtained Luziycan citizenship, the refugee camps were dismantled and Otekians started living in permanent housing.
Today, almost all Otekians in Luziyca are Luziycan citizens and prefer to identify as "Diaspora Otekians" rather than "Otekian exiles," viewing the latter term as derogatory and outdated. The relationship between Namor and Luziyca is the most important political issue for Otekians in Luziyca, with many Otekians opposing Luziycan reconciliation with Namor due to Namor's continued rule over Txotai. Many also support Txotai's independence from Namor, although the number of supporters for independence has dwindled in recent years as more Luziycan Otekians, especially the younger generation, favor greater autonomy from Namo instead.
Otekians have a Slavic culture similar to that of Luziycans, although there are significant differences between Otekian and Luziycan culture, mainly that religion plays a greater role in daily life. Both Luziycans and Kannei Namorese are considered more secular than Otekians. Foods that are integral to mainstream Namorese cuisines like rice and noodles are absent in Otekian cuisine.
Otekian cuisine consists of local foods such as fish, game, and berries. Because the Otekians rose out of a hunter-gatherer civilization, people traditionally eat what they hunt. Consumption of alcoholic beverages like wine is popular due to the cold climate of the Otekians' ancestral homeland, although other drinks such as water and milk are also prominent.
Otekian Luziycan, a dialect of Luziycan spoken in Chayevsky, is the first language spoken by Otekian people. There are several differences in pronunciation between Otekian Luziycan and Standard Luziycan. Besides that, there are differences in vocabulary, as Otekian Luziycan has words of its own as well as loanwords from other languages.
Both Luziycan and Namorese are taught in schools in Txotai, as they are the region's two official languages. As a result, most Otekians in Namor can speak Namorese at an intermediate level but speak it only when conversing with Kannei Namorese or non-Otekian ethnic groups. At home and in conversations between Otekians, Luziycan is used.
Otekian music is extremely conservative. Much of the music pertains to religion; as a matter of course, secular music is frowned upon because it is believed that all music must be dedicated to the glory of God, although it gradually became more tolerated in the 19th century, although the musical patterns and styles remained conservative. Just like in neighboring Luziyca, choirs are popular and more preferred than rock music, heavy metal, and rap. However, under Namorese rule music has become increasingly liberal and there are less social restrictions to what can or cannot be considered good music.
A majority of Otekians are Apostolic Catholics. A Tesong survey found that 44% of Otekian Christian adults in Namor attend church at least once a week, the second highest of any Christian ethnicity in Namor after the Peivet. The survey further reveals a generational divide with regards to church attendance — 52% of Otekians who attend church once a week are 60 years old or older, 31% are between the ages of 35 and 60, and 17% are between the ages of 18 and 35.
In the Apostolic Catholic Church, Txotai and northern Namor fall under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Gusev, whose head, the Patriarch of Gusev, is considered the second most powerful figure in the Church after the Pope. Since the appointment of Patriarch Luther II, the Patriarch has served as a spiritual and political leader of the Otekian people. Every Patriarch after Luther II had been an Otekian until Patriarch Joshua, a Peivet, was selected by the Namorese government to succeed the late Patriarch Ivan III.
Saint Luther is regarded as the patron saint of the Otekian people. Saint Luther's Day, which falls every year on October 18, is a public holiday in Txotai.