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Farens

Sama suomeksi täällä   The Farens are the major ethnicity of the Faren Lowlands region of the Southern Continent. Their native language is Nem. The largest Faren settlement, and the currently largest city on Salan is Fares (Silford) . The Farens are not one nation, but form multiple city states that are often in conflict with each other.

Naming Traditions

Unisex names

The Farens usually have only one name. The names are most usually names of plants and animals, but there are also popular adjectival names, such as Valin 'fair', Yán 'big' or Léte 'happy'.   To differenciate between individuals, Farens use either patronyms or name of their homeplace. Thus a full name of a person can be Pásal ('rowan') child of Elm and Saura ('seed') from Çarimbal (New Tower). Both first names and patronyms are usually gender neutral, but it's common to primarily use the patronym of the same sex parent.

Culture

Culture and cultural heritage

Food culture

Due to the broad trade networks, the rich Farens have access to a wide variety of luxury food items grown both on the continent and the islands. The richest can enjoy meat daily, unlike the poor who survive on grain, beans and fish. The typical beverage is either wine or beer depending on the area.   The most important meal of the day is the dinner, eaten right before the sunset, either with the family or in feasts with friends and collegues. The feasts can last for hours, and will include multiple courses and additional program such as music, dancing and poetry. They are also an important occasion to socialise and make business deals. The other meal of the day is eaten in the morning before heading for work, and usually consists of left overs from previous day's dinner. During the day, Farens will only have a short break at noon to eat some bread and fruit, or to stop by at a food stall in the city.   Farens love mushrooms that grow plentifully in the Lowland woods. Zeribians are horified by this custom, because they usually only use the tropical mushrooms on the Eastern Islands for poisons.

Common Etiquette rules

When meeting, Farens greet each other by bringing both of their hands together, often accompanied by bowing. Between close friends it is common to either hug, or touch the hands and bring the foreheads together for a moment. Touching and physical closeness is common, even between different social classes and genders.

Common Dress code

The Farens, regardless of sex, usually dress in a tunic. The tunics are often simple on one-colored, but can be decorated by emroidery or colourful scarfs.   The tunic is fastened with a traditional woven belt. The type of the belt and it's patterns transmit information about the wearer's status and background. The rich can afford better quality of work, finer material such as silk and expensive bright colors, while workers wear shades of brown, black or off-white, but usually try to afford a well made belt for a bit of decoration.   While travelling or during cold weather, the Farens wear a cape, and sometimes trousers. The common foot-wear are sandals in the warmer North, and boots in the cold South.

Art & Architecture

Wealthy Farens live in large one or two storied houses, that have rooms circuling a central yard from all sides. The houses have small personal rooms, and a common space used for dining and receiving visitors. Many houses have access to running water, that connects to a fountain on the yard.   The common peoples' houses are similar in shape, but are at least three stories high, and every family only has a small apartment. The yard is shared, and can be used for cooking and washing. The apartment buildings usually share one toilet. There are often shops and other businesses in the ground floor. The entrance to the yard from the street is often guarded in middle class houses, but it's common that the inhabitants on the yard are watching for each other, and the apartments don't have any locks. In warmer areas they might even not have doors.

Common Customs, traditions and rituals

Most Farens are farmers, but the countryside is protected by the local city states that can support a large urban communities too. Many Faren city states are democratic, but in practice only the richest part of the citizens has time to participate in running the day-to-day business of their city state.   Farens' formal attire always includes a traditional belt, and usually a personal mug, that is used to perform a tradition of drinking with a friend. The mugs have a small ear that is that is designed to be hanged on the belt. The belts and mugs usually have similar designes, that both go in the family.

Birth & Baptismal Rites

Most kids die young, so the Farens do whatever they can to protect them. An offer is made to the ancestors on the naming day of they newborn. They also get a protective neckless to ward of evil spirits.

Coming of Age Rites

The Faren adulthood starts at 15. Lower-class people usually get married then, but the high classes are still expected to pursue education first. They get their full rights as a citizen when they turn 25, and are then allowed make decisions fully independently, and to get most political positions in the city states.

Funerary and Memorial customs

The Farens believe that the spirits of the dead continue the visit the bodies after the death, and reside close to the earthly remains. They believe it's important to place the bodies in nice, safe places. The Faren graveyards are visited by the relatives often, and they often have a picnic or even a feast among the graves to spend time with the ancestors. In the countryside, the dead are buried close to the homes. If the deceased can't be buried in a safe place (e.g. dying in a battle) the body is usually burned.   The most terrible fate that a Faren can imagine, is dying by drowning in the sea. That would mean an eternal existense alone, in the bottom of the ocean.

Ideals

Beauty Ideals

Most Farens have brown, slightly curly hair, but one might see light or even ginger hair on the people living further South. The young of both genders usually have long hair. The adult males usually keep their hair short or mid-lenght and have a neatly trimmed beard, while the women have long elaborate hair styles. Both genders wear make-up, earrings and jewellery, but other piercings are uncommon.

Gender Ideals

The differences between genders are less visible than with the Zeribians. Most professions are open regardless of gender, especially for the rich.

Courtship Ideals

In Faren culture bisexuality is the norm. The young Farens are encouraged to try sexual relationships with their own sex, because it protects them from unwanted premarital pregnancy. It is considered to be a responsibility of every adult citizen to marry and produce children, but many continue to have extramaritial same-sex relationships. Exclusive homosexuality is often thought to be childish behaviour, but is often quietly accepted. In some communities same-sex partners can even get officially married.   The Farens usually marry only one partner, and it is considered unfaithful to have extramarital sex with the opposite sex. Divorse can be taken by both partners, but they have to compensate the left partner. They can and are encouraged to marry again. In the case of a divorce, children are usually divided by partners.   It is common that a young married couple doesn't live together instantly. It is though that the young mother should live surrounded by her older female relatives at first, and only move once she and the newborn are safe. If they already have a house, the wife can temporarily move back to her family home. This tradition has lead to the houses often being inherited matrilinearly. Otherwise the inheritance system is mixed: the boys usually inherit from their father and girls from their mother.
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Naming traditions
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History
   
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Languages

The most spoken language of the Farens is Nem Ressalit. Nem is distantly related to Aradal, spoken by the Ara people in the Serme Mountains.   Based on the shared vocabulary it can be assumed that the ancestor of Nem and Aradal was spoken in the lowlying valleys in the root of the mountains, where the Farens spread west to the plains, while the Ara migrated to the highlands.   Farens generally believe Ngad i zerib (Zeribian language) to be very difficult and don't often learn it, but there is widespread bilinguality between Nem and Aradal especially in the multiethnic trade city of Tasalwíri.    

History

It is evident based on the linguistic evidence that the Ara people of the Serme Mountains and Farens are related. The evidence is supported by the old folk stories, that tell of a time of wander, when the Farens were travelling west. Their arrival to Farinos (Silver Stream) seems to be recorded in the mostly undeciphered writings of the Elder People, because Faren names can be read in the late texts. The First writings in Nem are from soon after that. The first dated texts appear in the celebration of the year 200 AH, 200 hundred years since the founding of Fares (Silford).
  494 AH the Republic of Free West Island is founded. It happened following large scale internal conflicts between the Faren city states, that caused some politically unpopular people to search for new lands. Zeribian Revolution of Der Fem (West Island) rages 800-820 AH, and leads to the Faren republic being destroyed, largely because they are unable to gain allies on the mainland. This is a good example of how the Faren nations are not one unanimous group.

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Articles under Farens



Cover image: by Jakub Michankow

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