The Culture of Hulstria and Gao-Soto has its chief early influences from Dundorfian and Luthori settlers of colonial Hulstria. Even before Hulstria achieved independence in 1650 it had its own unique social and cultural characteristics such as dialect, music, arts, lifestyle, cuisine, and government. Hulstria and Gao-Soto is today dominated by two primary cultures, the Hulstrians and Gao-Showans, and third culture, the Welsh, the smallest out of the three main cultures in Hulstria and Gao-Soto. Hulstrian culture is by far the most dominant of the three with more than 85% of the population claiming to be Hulstrian and speaking Hulstrian. As a result the cultural fabric of the nation is mainly, if not all, Hulstrian. Gao Showa culture, while not the dominant culture, has remained relatively strong even though it historically has constantly been under fire from Hulstrian ethnocentrists. However in more modern times, the Hulstrian have seem to have decided that since the Gao Showa are not actively trying to undermine them as they once use to, they and their culture are no longer viewed as threatening.
Lifestyle & Customs Edit
The people of Hulstria and Gao-Soto are friendly, courteuous people who appreciate the virtues of a civilized existance. Economic prosperity and low unemployment have provided the foundations of a lifestyle that values consensus above conflict. There is stereotype of the Crownlander citizen: elegant, sophisticated, artistic, a lover of classical music and cream pastries, one who studies newspapers for hours in a coffee house. There are many aspects of course to the culture with its history playing a large part in modern culture. Both Hulstrians and Gao-Showa seek the balance the world of work and thrift with time for conservation and the enjoyment of good food, beer, and music. Cafes are favorite meeting places for Hulstrians to eat, drink and talk.
In Hulstria and Gao-Soto, shaking hands when greeting and parting is an important social courtesy; even children shake hands when greeting. Common greetings include Guten Morgen (good morning), Grub Gott (May god greet you), Gutten Tag (good day), and Guten Abend (good evening). Professional, royal, and other significant titles are important among the adult population and are used whenever a person is known; otherwise citizens combine titles such as Mr. or Ms/Mrs with the last names when addressing acquaintances and strangers. First names are used among friends however and amoung young people. Hand gestures are used conservatively in polite company, as verbal communication is preffered. Motioning with the entire hand though in Hulstria is considered more polite than using the index finger, depending on the situtation. Hulstrians are noted to be very polite and courteous in public; men often open the door for women and usually help them with their coats among other things.
Crownlanders enjoy entertaining in their homes and having guests; dropping by unannounced is impolite. Hulstrians and Gao-Showans both tend to make arrangements or impromptu visits in advance or by telephone. Invited guests are expected to arrive on time or again notify one on a delayed precense; punctuality is important especially among Hulstrian culture.
Hulstrians are known for their relaxed and happy approach to life; although a relaxed people, Hulstrians are also very hard working. Citizens in the Imperial Crownlands value cleanliness, neatness, and order; litter is rare. Crownlanders love to learn and to engage in conservation that ranges from politics, what book they are reading, the weather, and current trends. Hulstrians are noted to be also very fond of their environment and take pride in their country's beautiful landscape and architecture. Society additionally values its professionals, politicians, royalists, academics, and artists; cultural arts are important to all segements of Hulstrian society, as citizens are extremely proud of their culture's contributions to Dovani and Terran civilization.
Food & Drinks Edit
Crownlander cusine is a mixed one yet offers plenty. The Hulstrian culinaries offer pork, beef, and poultry; duck, goose, and turkey are also well enjoyed. Game meats, especially boar, rabbit, and venison are also widely available around the year in the nation. Lamb and goat are additionally available, but are not very popular for most Hulstrians. Vegetables are often eaten in stews or vegetable soups, but can also be served as a side dish. Carrots, turnips, spinach, peas, beans, and many types of cabbage are very common; Sauerkraut is especially popular.
Hulstrians start the day with not much more than a cup of coffee, a roll, and scrambled eggs. This is considered a very traditional breakfast though not the only breakfest Hulstrians have obviously; there is a wide variety of choices to have in ones first meal of the day. A second kind of breakfast is the Gabelfrubsttusk, litterally meaning fork breakfast; this usually includes foods such as eggs, sausages, bacon, ham, fruits, pastries, pancakes, and the like. For small, mid-afternoon breaks during the day, Hulstrians usually have something light with coffee.
The Wiener Schnitzel, a veal fillet lightly fried in egg and breadcrumbs is a purely Hulstrian cusine. One well known Hulstrian speciality is the regional dish from the Region of Hulstria, the Strudel. The Strudel is made up of flour and water with various sweet and savory fillings that include, though not limited to, apples, cheese, cherries, or mincemeat, enclosed in it. Another specialit is the Sterz, made up of pork with vegetables and sweet rye bread.
A wide variety of cakes and tarts are prepared throughout the country, most commonly made with fresh fruit. Apples, plums, strawberries, and cherries are used regularly on cakes; Cheesecake is very popular and almost always made with quark. Doughnuts (which have no hole) are usually balls of dough with jam or other fillings inside, and are known as Berliner, Kreppel or Krapfen depending on the region. Eierkuchen are large, relatively thin pancakes.
Hulstrians enjoy over 20 types of beer, including Weizen, Roggenbier, and Rauchbier. Hulstrians are known and praised for their love for beer; breweries are very common in the Crownland of Hulstria and pubs are favoriate social hangouts for adults. Gao-Showans enjoy a drink called soki, which is hot beer but are not usually known to be much drinkers as the Hulstrians. As for the Wlesh, there are a number of Welsh beers but they lean to enjoy wine more; vineyards are most commonly associated with the Welsh population of the country. Coffee on the other hand however is most famously assiocated with Hulstrians; coffee houses are very popular among the Hulstrians. Hot chocolate is widely popular with Hulstrians as well. Tea is popular with the Welsh and Gao-Showan.
As for the Gao-Showan population of Hulstria and Gao-Soto, the Gao-Showan culinaries offer seafood, including many types of fish. Anchovy Bass, particularly Striped bass, Bluefish, Butter fish, Blowfish, Eel, Flounder, Grouper, Haddock, Halibut, Herring, Kingfish, John Dory, Lamprey, Mullet, Sanddab, Sardine, Salmon, and Tuna are popular. Lobster, Sushi, Shrimp, Clam, Oyster, Octopus, Mussel, Snail, Squid, Scallop, and Uni are other popular seafood dishes. These seafoods are usually combined in soup and rice dishes, with rice being an important item in Gao-Showa diets.
The Welsh are known for their beef and dairy cattle, but best known for its sheep, and thus lamb is the meat traditionally associated with Welsh cooking in Hulstria and Gao-Soto. Specific dishes associated with the Welsh include Bara brith, "speckled bread," which is a sweetbread which is traditionally made with raisins, Zante currant, and candied peel. Cawl is a Welsh stew with lamb and leeks. Cockles are very popular in Wales and served in a variety of ways although usually steamed. Crempogs are Welsh buttermilk pancakes. Faggots are Welsh pork meatballs. Glamorgan sausage is cheese in breadcrumbs in the shape of a sausage. Laverbread is a Welsh seaweed delicacy. Welsh cakes are small cakes cooked on a bakestone. Lob Scows is a popular stew in Holyhead and Anglesey, a version of the Liverpudlian 'Scouse'. Welsh rabbit, or Welsh rarebit, is toast with cheese and butter. The Clark's Pie, an internationally famous pie first produced in Marchau.
Cuisines and beverages from all over the world can be found in some form in Hulstria; with Hulstria's borders with Kazulia and Sekowo, the three nation's cuisines often get integrated, and eventually make there way into each respective society. Such practice has been coined "Cuisine diffusion".
December 25th Christmas is celebrated in very traditional ways. Families gather Christmas Eve for the traditional Christmas Eve dinner consisting of roast goose, mashed potatoes, and all the fixins. Christmas morning the children often awake very early to see what the Weihnachtsmann(Santa Claus) has brought them. They wake up their parents and rush down to see their presents under the Christmas Tree. Later in the day families travel to a relative's house for Christmas Dinner. Of course the reason for Christmas is the birth of Jesus Christ, and many families attend church either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day or both.
Varies according to Church Calender, Easter is also celebrated in the tradition fashion. The "Easter Bunny" hides plastic eggs in the family's yard. The family goes to church and once they return the children begin to hunt for the eggs. Often children are also given Easter Baskets filled with candy by relatives. After the fun and games, families go to Easter Dinner at another family member's house. The dinner can consist of anything from deviled eggs, salads, and cookies, generally centered around a Ham.
July 23rd Hulstria Day is the most patriotic day of the year. On this day the people hold picnics, pool parties, parades, and barbecues. Once the Sun goes down, fireworks light up the sky and often run continuously from dusk to dawn.
December 26th Remembrance Day is the day after Christmas. It use to be a normal day, however, after the Christmas Day Bombings it became one of the most solemn days of the year. It was picked as the day to remember the bombings by the Imperial Government because they couldn't make Christmas the national day of remembrance. Many people spend the entire day in Church.
The Eighth Day of June of every year is known as Constitution Day in order to celebrate the ratification of the Constitution of the Imperial Crownlands of Greater Hulstria. All government offices, local and federal, except those vital to public safety, are closed throughout the course of the day.
The Setsubun celebrations occur at the beginning of each season. The festival starts with a visit to temples where priests throw edible charms to the gathered crowd. Prayers are said and the charms used to cast the spirits accumulated over the season from the home to allow the spirits of the new season to enter.
The charms are then eaten whilst facing the compass direction associated with the season.
Urabon is celebrated from mid July to mid August and largely concerns the veneration of the dead. The way this is observed varies from region to region but most areas celebrate in the evening with a festival of the local community with usual fairground attractions. This is generally followed in the evening with fireworks displays and stargazing at which large amounts of alcohol are consumed.
Shogatsu and Omisoka
Shogatsu and Omisoka are the festivals of the new year and these days happens between the 31st of December and the 3rd of January. On the 31st families will meet at their clan shrine to take part in new years chanting and prayers with the temple priests. At midnight a bell is rung and the people return home for the night. From the 1st-3rd of January extended families will meet for a feasts games. Gifts are often exchanged. Toward the end of this period the heads of clans will meet with the Emperor as a, now largely traditional, form of parliament.
Hulstria and Gao-Soto is a rich confection of architecture representing many periods and styles, ranging from elaborate baroque monuments to modern innovations. The Imperial Crownlands is famous for its castles, palaces, and Cathedrals, among many other architectural works. Some of Hulstria's most famous palaces and castles include Fliederbrunn Palace, Korlburg Palace, Castle Hulstria, and the Phönixstein Castle. Many of Hulstria's castles were constructed during the Rothingren Imperial Dynasty (1650-1756).
Two of the most famous palaces are the Fliederbrunn and Phönixstein; the baroque-style Fliederbrunn Palace was built by Sigismund von Vorm in a period of ten years (1665-1675) and was originally commissioned by Emperor Franz I of Hulstria. Fliederbrunn Palace is the official winter residence of the House of Rothingren-Traugott in Hulstria and Gao-Soto, though is looked at the primary symbol of the monarchy in the nation; Fliederbrunn includes several parks, a museum, a large library, chapels, and it's very own theatre amongst many others. The palace is also home to the Terra's oldest zoo, the Tiergarten Fliederbrunn. Phönixstein Palace was also commissioned by Franz I and was built in 1665, also taking 10 years to build, by Sigismund von Vorm as well; Phönixstein is also property of the House of Rothingren-Traugott though serves as the primary summer residence of the Imperial Family.
Hulstria is very wealthy in Lutheran tradition and religion. Hulstria and Gao-Soto's oldest cathedral is the Hulstrian National Cathedral in the capital, Kien; the Hulstrian National Cathedral is noted to be one of the tallest cathedrals in the world. Both the coronations and funerals of Hulstrian Emperors are most often held here; its large size and capacity to hold large amounts of people make it a prime location for large gatherings, religious, and marriage ceremonies. Other architectural achievements in Hulstria and Gao-Soto include the Imperial Diet building, the Kien Imperial Military Hospital, and the Kaiserforum, a large park containing several structures and statues. The Imperial Diet building is the home to the legislature of Hulstria and Gao-Soto and is one of the largest seats of parliament on Dovani in both of size and representation.
Hulstrians love the outdoors; taking walks is a traditional pastime. Mountain climbing, cycling, and tennis are all popular activites, especially with the younger portion of the population. Gardening is also popular very in the plains of Hulstria and Gao-Soto. Hulstrians are noted for their excellence and roots within winter sports. Due to Hulstria's sub-artic climate and long winters, winter sports and activites are widely popular among citizens. This is shown in Hulstria and Gao-Soto's national sport, Curling, which originated in Hulstria and Gao-Soto. Curling a highly popular pastime in Hulstria and Gao-Soto; the Hulstrian National Curling Team has won several regional, national, and international awards for their sports, many consider the Hulstrian NCT one of the best curling teams in the world. Skiing is enjoyed by many citizens as well, especially in the Crownlands of Hulstria, Mitrana, and Hilgar. Other highly popular sports include Ice Hockey, Ice Fishing, and cross country. During the summer hiking is popular, with the nation's famous mountain ranges providing plenty of walking. When not participating, citizens are noted to be avid spectators of sport.
Hulstria has a temperate climate during the late spring, summer, and early autumn, and during these months many people play golf, rugby and football, whilst most winter sports continue at indoor facilities during the off season. In recent years Baseball has become a popular amateur sport especially in urban/city areas. Swimming is also a very popular sport. During the summer additionally, boating and boat racing are celebrated in the Crownlands of Budenlar and Kuratha, the only two Crownland's with a sea coastline.
Gao-Showans have in the past years have taken up the sports of baseball, rugby and table tennis; Gao-Showans are not however winter sports people, like the Hulstrian citizen. Gao-Showans, other than the noted baseball and rugby, are more indoor sports players noted by their keen interest in bowling, karate, and basketball. The Crownlands of Hilgar and Kuratha have the nation's most basketball courts and arenas; it is almost certain with the large Gao-Showa population in Hilgar that they would take interest in the sport. National and international level contests and tournaments are held every year for table tennis and various other sports associated with the Gao-Showa. Sumo wrestling, while not practiced as much in modern times, is considered a traditional sport within the more elder Gao-Showa.
Sport in BudenlarEdit
Sport in HulstriaEdit
Sport in HilgarEdit
Sport in KurathaEdit
Sport in MitraniaEdit
Cinema & the ArtsEdit
The film and cinema culture are very well accepted by Hulstrians; Hulstria and Gao-Soto has a long history of works in the film industry; major movie studies are primarily located in Hulstrian-dominated Crownlands though acters have spawned from all over the Imperial Crownlands. Hulstria was one of the first countries on Dovani to have working cinemas and have since to become of the leading cinematic leaders on the continent; Kien in earliest days became the epicenter of film-making during the invention of motion-capture/moving film and still today in modern times remains a cultural center for theatre. Early motion capture films include the "Revolution of a Nation", "The Corina Skull", and the "Educaters"; the "Revolution" was a war-film about the independence from the Holy Luthori Empire in the 1600s, the "Skull" was a mystery-thriller about a mysterious murder involving a noble family member, and the "Educaters" was noted as being one of the first romance films produced in Hulstria. Today in modern times Hulstrians enjoy political/crime thrillers, historical, comedies, and war films; they also like regular dramas and romance. Famous acters of Hulstrian cinema history include Thomas Herzner, Henry Williams, Siegfried Kracauer, Kurt Gusenburg, and Frederick Reichmann among many others.
A Musical NationEdit
Hulstria's strong musical tradition dates back for hundreds of years; many of the great composers of Terra were born in Hulstria and Gao-Soto and composed much of their pieces here. Kien in particular became a very important for the classical music world during its peak in the 1800s. Several plaques and memorials testify to Hulstria and Gao-Soto's glorious musical past; places such as the Ganssen Museum, named in the honor of Edmund Ganssen, atest to this. Ganssen developed the sympathy and helped make it one of the most used forms of musical composition. Of course however, Hulstria's composers are best remembered through their enchanting music, and the pleasure of a relaxing Kiennese sidewalk cafe is often enchanced by the accompanying strains of a famous waltz. The songs of great Hulstrian composers often are played over Hulstrian radio and television. Every year in May and June Kien hosts the "Kien Festival", a celebration of music, art, and theater; the event is a major fixture of the Hulstrian social calender. Even in modern times classical music reigns supreme. Other forms of music still arose though in Hulstria over the centuries. Rock & Roll, pop, electro, and metal music have also become popular among the population.