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Abh Culture
Written by Project Lafiel Staff   
Sep 20, 2007 at 08:23 PM

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Abh - Culture and Traditions

The space metropolis where the Abh's originated from was created to keep and reconstruct the culture of a certain land on Earth. In Crest of the Stars, this land is referred to as "islands in East Asia" and strongly implied that it is far-future Japan. Due to their feelings of collective guilt, the Abh founding fathers vowed to base their new culture on this "unadulterated" Japanese culture; however, just like any living culture, it eventually changed, developed, and evolved as it is being transmitted from generation to generation. Nonetheless, even if they do not openly discuss it or write it down, the Abh's do not deny the history of their "Volk" and "Kultur", transmitting it instead as oral history. The other independent states also know of their origin, but they use (and distort) this information to spread anti-Abh propaganda. Baronh (the Abh language) itself developed from the Japanese used by these ultra nationalists-an artificial form of Japanese devoid of all foreign (such as Chinese, Indic, and European) words.

Abh culture is a very distinct one. The Abh are badly misunderstood by not only their enemies but also by their subjects. This is mainly because they are not keen on explaining about their way of life to others. The fact that most of the basic education is done at home, not at school, also contributes to this.

Legally the Abh are defined as "the royalty, peerage and knights". Thus anyone who has become one of these is called an Abh. But the word Abh has another meaning; the name of a biological species distinct from Homo sapiens. It is the latter meaning that non-Abh people usually think of. These two definitions of "Abh" are identical in most cases but there are occasional exceptions like Jinto. That is, when a lander becomes a legal Abh (e.g., through enlistment to and promotion in the Star Forces), he or she will remain Homo sapiens although any children must become an Abh biologically through the genetic manipulation.

The Abh have no concept of marriage; however that does not mean that they do not have families. They love each other but don't marry; though a couple may live together for a short period of time or even remain together "Till death us do part." The basic Abh family is a single-parent household, though some Abh like to live with their relatives.

The Abh's gestate most often through the use of gestation machines, though, contrary to the belief of most non-Abh, they do often conceive "naturally" (i.e., through coitus) the rest are "test tube babies". Those who conceive naturally most often remove the zygote or embryo from their own wombs to have it transferred to gestation machine, though some more eccentric women would, after a having the embryo genetically examined and modified to ensure its biological integrity as an Abh along with the maintenance of clan traits, have these zygotes or embryos replaced into their own wombs in order to carry it to full term naturally.

Abh's sometimes ask sperm or egg donations from close relatives or even strangers, or the genetic material of people of their own gender or even clone themselves to reproduce. However, most Abh's have children out of heterosexual relationships with people whom they have fallen in love. The offspring of such a relationship is called a "son/daughter of love."

The Abh think it's important to have and maintain unique clan or familial genetic/physical traits and traditions. As for genetical traits, a clan share physical feature (üaritec) unique to themselves. For example, the Ablïarsec , the imperial house has elfish ears called Nuic Ablïarsec (Ears of Ablïarsec). Each clan has its own unique feature and other clans cannot share it. In regard to clan traditions, it is important that a clan preserves and maintains the uniqueness and the practice of these traditions. It is indeed deemed a grave social offence for one to publicly insult the traditions of other clans. It is for this reason that the Abh's take long "parenting" leaves to raise their children not only to personally supervise the primary education of their own children but also to ensure that their traditions are passed on to their offspring.

The Abh are sometimes described as the "Art of Genetic Manipulation" as all of them are beautiful. This is, however, never a source of pride for them. They care more what they do rather than how they look as the latter is a work of their parent, not themselves. Their life expectancy is also longer. They may live more than two hundred years but do not become old in appearance. They grow up similar to humans until they are about fifteen or so and then spend the next twenty-five years aging about ten years in appearance. This is the end of their outer growth and, thus, a two hundred year-old Abh still looks like twenty-five year-old. The Abh call the period before age fifteen "growth" (zarhoth) and the next twenty-five years "maturation" (féroth).

There are two other major physical differences that distinguish the Abh from humans. The first is the space sensory organ (kuushiki-kikan, froch) on the forehead of an Abh. The second is the voyage field (kouhou-ya, rilbidoc) in the Abh brain. The space sensory organ looks like a diamond-shaped pearl and is a bundle of more than one hundred million "eyes". The compound eye of an insect may perhaps be the closest parallel for it. An Abh tiara (almfac) has nearly one hundred million illuminating devices covering the organ, through which information about the three dimensional environment around it is passed. If the tiara is connected to the sensor system of a spaceship, an Abh can "feel" what is going around the ship. The voyage field of the brain, which enables an Abh to operate a ship as easily as we might walk, can process such information.

Abh's are atheists. Nonetheless they celebrate and observe important life events and rites of passage, like birthdays and death anniversaries. Abh's are proud of being a space-faring species and love to call themselves "Members of Stars" (hoshi tachi no kenzoku, carsarh gereulacr). They are born in space and most of them stay there for their entire life. It seems they both disdain and fear the ground world (nahainec).

As to social roles, Abh's generally group these to three: their role as soldiers of the empire, their role as businessmen, and, most important to them, their role as parents.



Last Updated ( Nov 24, 2007 at 11:35 PM )