Flag of Bellyhair
|Motto||Not for sale|
Explorers from Homskili
The island was first settled by Homskilian explorers, looking for wealth, fame or just a quiet place to live. The various states on the island varied wildly in their philosophies, making conflicts a common occurrence in some regions.
The most influential states were:
- Beardest (Bir̅dax) was a strictly religious nation strongly influenced by the Ocraxian belief system. The founders of Beardest were too stubborn to recognize that they set off from the wrong coast and had to circumnavigate Arm of Ocrax. After their adult magazines became unusable because of high humidity, they were forced to land on Ocrax, where they were promptly converted. During the entirety of its existence, Beardest put heavy emphasis on making sure everyone believed the right beliefs. Those who defied the ways of Ocrax and Beardest often disappeared, while those who didn't disappear awaited a much more gruesome fate on the capital's main square. Because the belief system was incredibly unorthodox and often impossible to follow, many suffered under the regime.
- Longsleeps (Log̅slip) was an attempt at a Homskilian colony, but the lack of proper nutrition from a coconut-only diet lead to a series of disastrous decisions. Relatively successful applications of propaganda kept society in order enough for people to survive. Their focus on effective writing and later other media made the country into one of the most glamorous nations ever known to Banaanvraag. An economic recession, however, sharply cut off the nation's exports and therefore decimated the economy, leading to massive revolts and catfights on the streets. What once was a beautiful country unmatched by even Sprose was now a blood-soaked dirt-covered anarchy. A return to an authoritarian, propaganda-loving government managed to save the land somewhat, but it never returned to its past glory.
- Black-Suited Officials (Blāsu kial) were a federation of tribes focusing on order, in particular military order. Their oppressive but efficient regimes left their citizens unhappy but safe, which became a necessity when its neighbor Longsleeps' turmoil threatened to take over BSO's citizenry as well. Strict border security and a zero-tolerance policy kept the people safe, at the cost of even further reduced freedom. This brought on a libertarian revolt that was snuffed out quickly, but claimed millions of lives in the process.
Union of the Lucky
With the enormous amount of bloodshed in a relatively short period of time, the island was severely weakened. The war between Homskili, Sprose and Waffia meant grave danger to the island if Waffia won and, together with their lingering loyalty to Homskili, they decided to unify into a nation incorporating the best of its constituents. The union was called Bel-a-ir, Union of the Lucky. Its prime duty was to serve Homskili in the war by supporting them economically as the war had destroyed the nation's productive capabilities. To achieve this, the former nations were transformed into subsidiaries of the Bel-a-ir investment firm. The investment firm was a temporary solution to tax the citizens and distribute its income among the subsidiaries, which would in turn support Homskili with their war efforts.
After the war
With the end of the war, the need for this set-up also disappeared. Talks were initiated to restore the former nations, however the citizens were much more happy under the much more lenient regime of the Union, and so the Union remained. The country then focused on paying off its debts and so the investment firm set its aim to become profitable for its citizens and its subsidiaries were spun off as separate entities: Beardest fully committed to running the nation's churches and gift shops; Longsleeps became the leading advertising firm and BSO split into numerous competing security companies (not only economically, but also by exchange of gunfire.)
Education in Bellyhair is scarce. Children are required to be able to read contracts and NDAs by the age of three. The tuition for the first year is free, but subsequent years cost up from 500,000 Welji. Most parents opt for bribing the teacher and board of examiners, which usually is an order of magnitude cheaper. Some institutions also allow the parents to trade in the child for a modest sum. What happens to these children is not documented, due to the lack of a national census.
Schools offering higher and advanced education also exist, but one must choose carefully since most schools end up being scams. Rich parents send their children to schools on the continent, which often is cheaper than the numerous scams running about, however procuring a passport is so expensive it's often not worth the effort.
The nation has very few vocational schools, instead children go on an unpaid internship at the various local companies. Many children die.
Officially, the only important metric is the amount on a person's bank account, however since most banks do not allow people to withdraw any money, tallying this is difficult. Instead, people show off their wealth using vanity, so personal image is a top-priority concern for all Bellyhair citizens.
Love as a concept is wholly unknown in the nation. Instead, marriages and children are considered an investment, with typical marriage contracts specifying a five-year lease.