A Bit About Uralica
So people wonder, what is Uralica all about?
This nation was founded on 18 March of last year by Jarkko Salomäki (then known as KingJarkko) and several other leaders of the Uralicist movement which had started a year earlier, among these being Dr. Ovdey Shlomov, Jyrki Koskela, Martin Jarvilaturi, Mikhail Suvanov, and Jason Fisk. The ideal behind the Uralicist movement was to provide a homeland for the peoples that spoke the Uralic languages other than the three major ones - Finnish, Hungarian and Estonian - and the idea turned out to be quite successful.
Although in theory, the Uralicist movement called for ALL Uralic languages to be made official, many of these were either extinct or close enough to it that this became impractical. However, with Uralica's two-tier official language system, there are still numerous languages spoken in Uralica - only a small fraction of the population are monolingual and only half a percent are only bilingual. This combined with a passion for education and culture has given Uralica a very unique flavour. Take a stroll down the main streets of Syktyvkar, the Uralican capital, and you will plainly see and hear this culture. More often than not you will notice Uralicans switch languages in mid-conversation.
Not all the languages spoken in Uralica are Uralic, of course. Given how Uralica is situated within what was once Russia, Russian is one of the most common languages. Also, due to heavy influxes from the Finnish and Estonian diasporas in North America, and the Canadian Mennonite population, English is a major language of the nation. This proves useful in business, where English is a dominant language on Planet Bob.
A less major non-Uralic official language is Plautdietsch, the Low German language spoken by some Canadian Mennonites. It has undergone something of a linguistic revival in Uralica.
In total, the official languages number thirty-one:
Official Legal Languages: Finnish, English, Russian
Offical Tribal Languages: Komi-Zyrian, Komi-Permyak, Moksha, Erzya, Udmurt, Khanty, Mansi, East Mari, West Mari, Plautdietsch, Hungarian, Skolt Sami, Inari Sami, North Sami, Lule Sami, South Sami, Kildin Sami, Nenets, Nganasan, Selkup, Estonian, Veps, Livvi, Karelian, Võru, Kven, and Meänkieli (also called Tornedalen Finnish)
A few other languages are spoken. In a recent census, there were speakers of Bashkir, Tatar, Yakut, French, Hebrew, German, Norwegian, Swedish, Enets, Latvian, Yukaghir, and the last-known speakers of Vod, Liv, Ume and Pite Sami, and Ingrian, within Uralica.
The predominant religion in Uralica has always been Christianity, although there is also a sizable population of Jews. The Christians are divided into four denominations between which there is much interaction and camaraderie: Roman Catholicism, Uralican Orthodox, Uralican Evangelical Baptist, and Mennonite. These beliefs play a large role in Uralican daily life, and also influence Uralica's foreign policy - after all, Uralica did start as a nation in the Christian Coalition of Countries. The Eternal-ZI Abstinence Act was passed after ruler Jarkko Salomäki signed the ZI Peace Pact (when in the CCC), meaning that Uralica will never partake in the enforcement of an Eternal-ZI regardless of her alliance. This is based on the Christian ideal of forgiveness. Also, tech-raiding is, by Uralican law, unconstitutional, which squares well with both Christian and Judaic anti-theft principles.
On the ligher side, the religious beliefs of the nation have inspired a great deal of musical and cultural activity. No example is better than that of Finnish Christian death metal/thrash act Pelastus (Finnish for "redemption") who are among the best-selling bands from Uralica.
Aside from their uncanny linguistic prowess and Judeo-Christian beliefs, Uralicans have a strong musical tradition that takes the best of its contributing ethnicities and combines them into a very flavourful mix. Sometimes the result is something new. The Finnish kantele for example has found its way both into classical music and into the mainstream music scene.
As classical music in Uralica goes, it is not uncommon to hear Tchaikovsky and Sibelius played in the same night. And up-and-coming Uralican composers are serenading international audiences with their compositions. Whether it be the Neo-Classical stylings of the nation's ruler, Sirkka Numminen, or Ruslan Kamyshin, or the Symphonic Electronic sounds of Jyrki Koistinen, Karl Miller, Klaas Janssen, or Martin Kosk, the local composition is quickly earning its reputation.
Mainstream music is also quite varied. Rock/metal music and electronic music dominate the local scene, with urban music listening in Uralica mostly coming from abroad. Bands like the aforementioned Pelastus, industrial metal group Digitoxicosis, thrash group Cold Steel, and rock bands Cranked, End of Sorrows, The Slashers, Konduktor, and The Myllyjärvi Family are popular abroad in the rock and metal circles, while the acts emerging from the TranceAddicts Club in Kirov have far-reaching audiences in trance (Krystallite, Ruslan Tikhonov, Nikolai Shevchuk, Kari Ojala, Rutger Guussen, Ashford Road, Sointula), ambient (DC76, Mika Ukkonen, Ethereal Vortex, TundraSounds), and industrial (Bane Of The Machine, Enemy's Enemy, Blacklight Theory, Digital Exorcism, Sonic Terrorist Network).
If you're interested in paying the nation a visit, I suggest you do so. The people are very friendly and easy-going towards tourists of all nationalities, and there are so many things to see and do within the nation. Syktyvkar, the capital of Uralica, is particularly noteworthy, having over a third of Uralica's top 100 tourist attractions and sights, not the least of which are the Uralican World Trade Centre, the Uralic Cultural Centre, the Filharmonia, Syktyvkar Stadion (home to the Uralican national men's soccer team and several club teams), and several beautiful churches and cathedrals.
There is always free drop-in sport in towns of population over 500, which, along with a radio station, is both required and funded by the Uralican government. Kick a soccer ball around with some locals, play a few rounds of tennis or badminton, or maybe give team handball (käsipallo) a try. If sport isn't your thing, perhaps check out one of Uralica's numerous public libraries, go to a concert, or catch a movie. If you're staying for a longer period of time, perhaps you might consider taking a course at Uralikan Yliopisto, the state university of Uralica.
I hope you enjoy your time here.