sagecraft101 asked: Which resources (e.g., coal, oil, iron ore, gold, diamonds, limestone, etc.) are particularly abundant, and in which areas? Which are scarce and where?
Behntasha does not have a lot of hydrocarbon compounds. There are no known deposits of natural gas or oil, and only some small coal deposits near the mouth of the Do-San river. We do however have some uranium deposits, which can be found in the southwestern section of the Sasparilla Spur. This supplies Behntasha with much of its energy.
As for mineral deposits, we have plenty of supplies of copper, bauxite, and iron ore that can be found in the Northern Sasparillas and throughout the Trixie River valley. In addition, we have some copper and bauxite deposits in the southern Sasparillans, near the mouth of the Do-San River. Phosphate and manganese can be found in abundance between the Do-San and Neighle rivers. Small deposits of potash can be found in this area as well.
In Surgorba, additional supplies of potash and iron can be found, though in small deposits. The most valuable element here is titanium.
Well, we are a little perplexed by their culture, and are a little concerned of their ultra-capitalist nature. However we would be more than willing to work with the Orlkjestadis, even have some of their businesses open here. We do have quality and standards regulations though, so there might be a problem importing some of your goods, namely the shirts that smell like rotten fish.
Behntasha is very concerned with having another war within its boarders. Within the past 250 years, Behntasha was divided between colonial forces of Conclespia and the secessionists of Surgorba shortly thereafter. Behntasha clung on to a tiny shoreline on the northern coast of our current peninsula. These wars caused visible damage even in areas Behntasha still controlled, such as the lower Trixie River area and the city of Monthesalona.
With the downfall of Conclespian colonialism 45 years, the short-lived state of Fueslesa broke free. The Behntashan fascist regime attempted to regain their former territory from the monarch set up in this region, which they saw as rightfully theirs. Surgorban military officials feared that they’d be next on the list should Fueslesa fall, and conducted cross-boarder attacks. This period of time lasted about 8 years, when Fueslesa fell. Surgorba was then easily annexed, but insurgency still plagued the area for the next 5 years.
Since than, we have seen that our security is under threat again by the Conclespians, and the overall international relationships within the Pony Lands are tense. We fear that Hippostania might attack us given their rhetoric against socialist ideas, and may use Behntasha as a jumping ground for attacking the Vinyelaujor Protectorate. We try to distance ourselves from involvement as much as possible, but we fear we are being dragged into alliances we can’t avoid.
Bentus Arcadius has been on vacation, on the taxpayer dollars. The only thing he did here was answer questions, and now he’s on paid leave. If you care about Behntasha having education, healthcare, and wine budgets next year, for the love of Celestia, ask SOMETHING!
askmalgrave asked: Will all sectors of the economy be open to upcoming economic reforms?
Current plans are to open up most sectors of industry, but with a few technicalities:
The government will retain most if not all of their current telecommunications and utility assets, including water treatment facilities, telephone cables, and power plants.
Private phone, internet, television, water, and power companies are welcome to set up in Behntasha, provided they comply with all standards set forth by the government, including environmental regulations and communication standards compliance. In addition, power plants must produce electricity at or below the state-owned prices. Similarly, water treatment facilities must pass filtration standards and provide services at or below state-owned prices.
The government will also retain all military-related industries. Foreign companies will be allowed to be established within our borders should they accept a confidentiality agreement.
Details of the arrangement are subject to change as Behntashan parliament debates the economic reform measures.
ask-lubyak asked: How free is the Behntashan market?
Not free at all! What’s your bid now?
In all serious, the market, in its current state, has mostly state owned businesses. Smaller “for profit” businesses are around, namely around agricultural sales and local community services. The current government is dissatisfied of the current state-run business model, and is planning some legislation to open Behntasha up to more private and foreign business.
(OOC: In all seriousness, I will be doing an RP for this.)
sagecraft101 asked: Is there a distinction between "formal" Behntashan good manners and "informal", everyday manners, and when and where are people expected to be on their best behavior?
Oh wow, that’s quite a question. There’s five ethnic groups in Behntasha (including ponies), which distinctions between their cultures. For the sake of time I’m going to go with the ethnic Behntashans, as their the largest group within Behntasha.
In the “informal” sphere, it is considered impolite to make bodily noises, such as farting. Cracking bones is especially frowned upon. Sneezing is unavoidable, but to be polite one must ask to be pardoned. Its considered more polite to sneeze into something, such a napkin, or if need be the inside of your jacket, rather than to let the particulates fly freely into the air. However, this requirement falls more under the “formal” category.
In regards to table manners, the same rule for bodily noises applies. It’s not considered rude to rest your arms on the table, nor drink soup from the bowl itself. In the informal realm, only fruits with low juice content (like apples and pears, as opposed to oranges) and bread products are considered acceptable to eat by hand. In the formal realm, no food is to be touched directly by the hand, and all dishes should remain on the table. There’s not a lot of specialization in terms of utensils, merely a sharp knife, soft knife, soup spoon, tea spoon, salad fork, dinner fork, and desert fork. If the meal has multiple courses, the server is expected to present a full new set of utensils, even if some where not touched. Severs in both formal and informal restaurants generally adhere to pouring alcohol into appropriate glasses for the alcohol. Currently there are about 25 types of wine glasses in widespread use.
In public, its expected to acknowledge someone as you pass them. Typically this is done with a nod. If the locale is too crowded, this custom can be dropped. As a general rule of thumb, in city streets and public transportation its acceptable to drop this, but in stores, less crowded side roads, and hallways its generally followed. Stores are expected to set up their own queue lines. If no queue line exists, it’s first-shove-first-serve. It’s polite both formally and informally to hold doors for women; formally its done by the man holding the door and allowing the woman to walk. Informally its acceptable for men to walk in and prop the door open.
In a formal setting, it’s considered impolite to refer to yourself, or to express your acheivements or actions. This is due to a preception that it presents yourself as “higher” than another, when formal scenarios typically call for a mutual level of high respect from all parties. This presents some problems, like in a business scenario, when things must be reported. Generally this is worked around by stating that things “have been done” but not who the actor is, or to downplay such actions.
Formal rules are to be applied at college-sponsored gatherings (note not the student-run alcohol fests), meetings with company members, family guests, or when addressing a high ranking official or company member. All other areas are informal realms, though good friends can relax these standards.
sagecraft101 asked: What kind of ideal life do Behntashans aspire to have? For example is it common for people to want to live peacefully out in the countryside, or is it more common for the people to desire the fast paced glittering city life, and why is this so in Behntashan culture?
For the most part? People want to live better off then the previous generation. Really not hard to see why, as the economy is in shambles and poverty is widespread. Many don’t see enough opportunities for them to have some upward mobility, so any path that might offer it is jumped on quickly.
In the past, the old prevailing thought was that for Behntasha to be strong, it needs to be unified under a strong authoritative government. Ideally, the government would promote the welfare of the nation by trying to become self sufficient and promote a strong Behntashan culture. However a kleptocractic tendency began to emerge in the government. With the stress of the heavy price of winning the Bloody Years, the economic depression that followed, and an inefficient regime, many citizens—mostly notably university students and laborers—began to propagate the notion that for Behntasha to be strong, it needs not just a strong government, but more importantly a strong society. This change in attitude helped lead to the fall of the fascist regime and place in the current republican state.
There are still many who are dissatisfied with the lack of opportunity presented now, understandably so, but things have been on the mend since mercantilism was ended. Many still attend college in hopes of becoming a doctor or a researcher, positions that provide the best jobs right now, but are rather scarce.
askmalgrave asked: What is the current political structure in your country?
Simply put, it’s a unitary parliamentary republic, with a bicameral parliament. Elections are held on for both the lower house and upper house. For the lower house, a provinces’ seats are allocated to a party using proportional representation. Seats in the lower house are proportional to province population. In the upper house, which has one seat per province, it is first-past-the-post elections.
The lower house appoints a prime minister as a head of government, which is in turn approved by the upper house. The prime minister may then choose to appoint members of either the upper or lower houses to head various government ministries.
Regarding province rights, the provinces are explicitly given powers in the constitution. Any issues deemed to be suitable for a province to set its own legislation on requires an amendment to said constitution. Currently provinces are allowed to levy their own taxes, recognize regional languages, establish police forces, and declare rights of civilians. However, province laws cannot trump national law; for instance, a province may alter its own tax rates, but not exempt itself from national taxes. Nor can it deny any rights that the national government gives civilians.
Note that some of the southernmost regions, collectively called Surgorba, are not provinces and are ruled as territories directly by Behngazha-appointed governors. Governors will choose a group of members, mostly non-Surgorbese or pro-Behntashan Surgorbese citizens, to form a territory parliament. Citizens in these territories are allowed to form councils and submit concerns they may have, but do not have any legislative power. They may have certain executive powers should the territorial parliament deem it appropriate to maintain peace and prosperity, but not without the explicit granting of such power. Surgorban territories have no representation in the national parliament.
sagecraft101 asked: With regards to entertainment in Behntasha, what are some theatrical or similar cultural traditions in Behntasha, what is your most famous play, what is it about, and why is this relevant to Behntashan history?
Ah… the theater. Quite the tradition, due for a timely reemergence this decade. Suffered a rather unfortunate demise under the former fascist regime. They still allowed some plays to be featured, but only what they approved of course. I shudder to recall those horridly rigid characters, only human or pony in shape alone, and pretentious plots!
Ah but here I go again, rambling… Well the most famous theater in Behntasha would probably be the Cerillo Theatre in Vilokos, which grew to its prominence from the patronage of the d’Lasagna family.
Currently there is an ongoing play that is reaching quite a noteworthy status called “Macchinadegli Uomini”, recounting the tale of a young man as he fights during the Bloody Years (a period of time where Behntasha fought to reannex our eastern and southern provinces), and his family as they struggle to make ends meet.
Other than that there is a traditional Behntashan theatrical performance, Filavetta, characterized by a lack of speech, rich orchestration, and storytelling through dance and exaggerated motion. Its mostly popular up in the northern sections of the country, but the Behntashans seem to love it.