|Conventional short name:|
|National motto: Ill Dragun Rhys dug' ill modd!|
|Others:||Kerno, Brehonecq, Manoeg|
|King:||Pedr V ffeil Padern|
|Population:||approximately 5 million|
|Independence:||from Roman Empire|
|Declared:||de facto; Roman Empire foundered|
|Recognized:||c. 500 AD|
|Currency:||Llîr=20 sollt=240 ceiniod|
|Organizations:||Federated Kingdoms, Commonwealth of Nations, League of Nations|
Brithenig is spoken in the part of Britain known as Rheon Kemr, the Kingdom of Cambria. The history of the Kingdom began when the Romance-speaking Britons united together under the leadership of the semi-legendary King Eirlan I Emreis against the incursions of the Saeson invaders. They halted the advance so successfully that the southern part of the island was divided between the Chomro, who speak Brithenig, and the Saeson, who speak English. One consequence was that the pre-Roman Celtic language went into a decline from which it never recovered.
The border between Kemr and Saesoin begins at the Avon in the south, crosses Salisbury Plain, skirts around the Cotswolds to leave the Thames valley in Saesoin and runs up the Pennine Mountains to the River Ribble. The centre of the Kemrese kingdom is in the Severn Valley. The border disputes between the Chomro and the Saeson lasted for several centuries until they agreed to ally together against the threat of Viking raids which threatened both kingdoms. After the Viking period they continued to remain on amicable terms.
After the Norman Conquest many Saesonig nobles preferred to take refuge at the Kemrese court than remain in Saesoin. The new Norman overlords were as unsuccessful in their assaults on Kemr as the Saeson had been, but culturally many institutions in Kemr emulate those that were established in Saesoin by the Normans. By tacit agreement the Normans fought the French while the Chomro expanded into Ireland.
Modern Kemr is a constitutional monarchy. The reigning monarch is King Pedr V ffeil Padern, who succeded his grandfather, King Gereint XIII ffeil Padern, on his death in 2004. The title of the crown prince is Dug' Kemr, the Duke of Cambria.
During the middle ages Kemr maintained strong but tenuous links with the Byzantine Emperor in Constantinople, as the surviving remnants of the Western and Eastern Roman Empires respectively. Only after the fall of Constantinople to the Turks did the Princes of Kemr address themselves as kings. The traditional association between Kemr and Constantinople continues to this day. All legal documents are still dated to the reign of the Emperor of Byzantium eight centuries after his death. Attempts to restore the empire to Istanbul has been largely consigned to popular fiction, and conspiracy theories...
The Kemrese government is a bicameral parliamentary democracy. The Prime Minister, ill Toisag is a member of the lower house. Kemr is divided up into provinces, based on historic boundaries, each administrated by a provincial council headed by ill Rheithur, 'the governor of a province'.
The aristocracy still exists, an exhausted force in modern democratic Kemr, no longer having automatic representation to the upper house of the Kemrese parliament. Their dynasties still continue to thrive and intermarry between themselves and other well-born families in the Federated Kingdoms and Europe. They are highly representative in the areas of heritage and commerce. Some are notorious; many are watched with interest in popular media. Many lords are still addressed as illystr, 'most honourable.'
The traditional extended family, once the basis of Kemrese social law, has taken a beating in the last two hundred years. But in some areas the selection of ill cabient, 'the chief of the kindred', still endures. The right of representation to ill centref, the hundred-town assembly, has been lost, but the cabient still has ceremonial and social prestige. Roman and Celtic customary legal systems form the base of Kemrese law. Modern Kemr is more a common-law than a civil-law country.
Internationally Kemr is part of the Federated Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Cambria. The Kemrese parliament sends representatives to attend the English and Scottish parliaments as full voting members, as well as receiving them from the other two legislatures. Moreover King Pedr and Queen Diana I of England and Scotland maintain a tradition of exchanging Privy Councillors. As in the eyes of the law the Cabinet is a committee of the Privy Council, there are invariably Cabinet members in each Kingdom who are M.P.s from the other Kingdoms. A detailed system of Committees of Correspondence maintain uniformity in matters of external defense, and formerly in matters of the overseas possessions as well.
Within Kemr, Brithenig has an alternative name, Comroig, the language of the Chomro. A Comro is someone whose native language is Brithenig, a name derived from a old Celtic word meaning 'fellow-countryman', as opposed to the Saeson invaders from the east who were seen as interlopers. In contrast the word Kemrese in Brithenig describes someone or something from Kemr including the English-speaking minority who live there.
Bi-cameral senad or parliament. Legislation is initiated in the lower house, passed through the upper house, and signed into law by the king. The lower house is an elected body. The chief of government is the Toisag, or Prime Minister. The Toisag appoints senadurs to serve as ministers of the crown within the cabinet.
Kemr is divided into provinces with local governing bodies. Two provinces, the Isle of Man and Dûnein, are recognised as historically autonomous entities with the right to call their own parliament. The elected governor of a province is called a rheithur.
A province is divided into smaller divisions, centref or hundreds. These are political units that elect a representative to the Senad in Castreleon.
A list of provinces in Kemr includes:
The history of the Kemrese began in the sixth century CE when Romano-British principalities united against the Saeson invaders. Under their kings they used Roman order and discipline to establish a united principality in western Britannia. Later writers would call this time an age of empire, and the leader of the Comro people the Terruin, the king of the land. The last of the principalities to enter into this relationship with the Princes of Kemr was the Kingdom of Dumnonia. In the seventh century they joined with the Mercians to establish a hegemony in the north of England over the nascent Kingdom of Northumbria, a hold that wasn't broken until the Viking invasions. Kemr remained in conflict with England until the end of the thirteenth century when the English were finally driven from their territory. Until the start of the nineteenth century Kemr favoured allying with princes and states contrary to the wishes of the English. After that Kemr entered a Federation of Kingdoms to their mutual benefit with England. The rest of Kemrese history has mostly been boring since then.
Kemr quickly made advantage of its position in Europe during the colonization of the new world and the age of the great empires. Brithenig speaking communities can still be found overseas.
- North: Ribble river.
- West: Irish Sea.
- South: English Channel
- East: the Fence, a demarcated line from the Avon to the Pennines.
Kemr is one of the larger importers of tea in the world. Most Cambrians prefer a cup of tea to a cup of coffee, generally speaking.
See Post Gemr for information about Kemrese stamps.
The national language is Comroig (Brithenig).
Official languages include Kerno and Manoeg.
Half of Comro men do not wash their hands after using the toilet.
One third of Brithenig speakers are nervous about bilingualism. When talking to other language speakers or abroad they prefer to speak Brithenig to strangers very slowly and clearly than attempt to switch languages.
The state religion is Cambriese Rite Catholicism. Other Catholic rites, especially Latin, are practiced in Kemr. The head of the Catholic Church in Kemr is the Abbot-Patriarch of Glastein.
On issues of religion the Kemrese monarchy rejected the Synod of Whitby. The Christian Church in Kemr remained autonomous from the Catholic tradition introduced from Europe. The organisation of the established church was monastic and tended to be otherworldly. While it profited from the patronage of the monarchy the church maintained the right to criticise the abuses of the status quo when its leaders possessed the strength of will to do so. During the twelfth century the Catholic Church successfully sought to bring the independent Kemrese church under the doctrinal authority of Rome. The Protestant Reformation created a significant disestablished minority in the British Isles, enough that religious wars were fought there, but not enough to disturb the pre-eminence of Catholicism.
The use of the vernacular rather than Latin was formally accepted by the Cambriese Rite in the modern era. Toleration towards other religious groups was not legislated for until the early modern period. Judaism had not been significantly introduced to Kemr before the high middle ages.
Over a hundred years the churches and chapels were the centre piece of community in Kemr. Cultural activities went hand-in-hand with attending mass. This movement of church planting accompanied the period of industrialisation that took place in Kemrese history. Christian morality defined what was acceptable in Comro society. As material and intellectual culture diversified, religious involvement has declined. At the beginning of the 21st century less than 10% of the population attend any church regularly. In a secular society the churches speak as one voice among many.
Modern Kemrese society is now pluralist. Exploring new spiritualities is no more uncommon in some parts of Kemrese society than it is in any other modern nation. There are two established modern Buddhist monasteries in Kemr.
The Evangelic Church in Kemr is the oldest Protestant body. It is recognised as an established church for the purpose of church tax.
Other religions in Kemr include Islam, Buddhism and Crevethism.
Rugby appears to have replaced religion as the paramount interest for the average Kemrese citizen. (One commentator noted at the time that the only thing that generated more disturbance than a rugby victory was the controversy over identity when Kemr was invited to join the European Community.) Each of the southern valleys of Kemr has its own rugby team. The northern provinces are equally staunch Soccer-playing territory. Whatever code is being played visitors are often surprised the Chomro can move from supporting a Kemrese team to any team playing against England -- including flags and bunting! Hence the t-shirt slogan: Ill Comro gwer apheidd dew thîm: Kemr, e alch yn k'iog contr Saesoin! Statistics prove that a national defeat leads to an increase in domestic violence. Whether the same is true for the same influence on the change of government remains unproven.
Music is an integral part of Kemrese culture. Even the smallest towns in Britain sport some sort of town band; larger places may support several brass bands, even orchestras and operatic societies. Traditional music centers around the harp and the pipes; throw in a fiddle, a concertina and a drum for good measure. Many locales also sport traditional groups of this sort. The sweet sounding pipes typical of the southwest of Cambria have two chanters, each played by a hand, and no dedicated dronepipe. Skilled players can play tune and counterpoint or tune and drone by careful manipulation of the tone holes. The pipes common in the northern parts of Kemr are a more mechanised instrument, having extra keys, variable drones and regulators. The English greatpipes have a single large chanter and a bass drone somewhat similar to that of a Galician gaida drone, but with more of a bell flair.
Mind you, it's not all traditional music! There are plenty of Zidicó and Fuzió groups around, not to mention Jass, Contrey and Estompieir, most famously the Summer Kings. The Kemrese call their own indigenous Celtic Jass fusion Ceass, derived from Shelta teas, hot. Then there are the foreign influenced musics (particularly Turkish and Dalmatian influences) and "proper art" music (Vivaldi, Heinekin, Bach, Gwilelmin, et r.).
Zidicó originated in the Zydeco tradition of la Louisianne, and hearkens back to traditional French musics. It combined with the music brought up from the Caribbean by slaves (itself a combination of Moorish influenced Spanish music, Anglo-Kemrese music and West African forms) to from Jass. Fuzió (fusion) is a typically British form and is the admixture of principally Jass and Zidicó with native folk traditions (think Celtic Rock *here*). Contrey is the music typical of northern Louisianne and western America: it is not at all dissimilar to country *here*, and retains a strong tie to its ancestral Anglo-Scottish roots. Estompieir is a kind of modern dance music that evolved out of the Jass movement. It has no direct or obvious equivalent to any form *here*, but might bear some similarities to swing. Its name derives from a word that means "stomp" or "stamp"; and is somewhat evocative of its rhythmic and energetic steps.
Foreign musical groups are also quite popular in Kemr. Two Arvorec groups that have many fans around Britain are "Taely" [similar to Clannad] and "Prwyster Gweresydaed an Caemyn" [er, Mad Priests of the Road].
Kemrese Election results since 1918
1918 was the first election under nearly universal suffrage after the First Great War. It was marked by a decisive majority for the new Labour Party, breaking the monopoly of power previously reserved for the Conservative and Liberal Parties. The Lower House of the Kemrese Senate has 151 seats. These election results do not include the 10 seats that are reserved for the Dumnonian Senators.
1918 Lab 85 Lib 36 Con 20
1922 Lab 60 Lib 44 Con 37
1926 Lab 59 Con 46 Lib 32 Nat 03 Com 01
1930 Con 63 Lib 45 Lab 23 Nat 06 Com 04
1934 Con 54 Lib 39 Lab 37 Nat 07 Com 04
1938 Lab 57 Lib 56 Con 15 Nat 11 Com 02
1942 Lib 61 Con 48 Lab 30 Com 02
1946 Lib 68 Con 42 Lab 31
1950 Con 54 Lib 45 Lab 35 Nat 06 Com 01
1954 Lib 50 Lab 40 Con 35 Nat 06 Com 01
1958 Lab 58 Con 53 Lib 21 Nat 07 Com 02
1962 Lib 55 Con 54 Lab 25 Nat 07
1966 Lib 54 Con 47 Lab 39 Nat 04 Com 04
1970 Lab 66 Con 55 Lib 11 Com 04 Nat 03 Eco 02
1974 Con 61 Lib 52 Lab 18 Eco 04 Com 03 Nat 03
1978 Lib 59 Lab 58 Con 15 Nat 04 Eco 03 Com 02
1982 Con 62 Lab 49 Lib 15 Nat 09 Eco 05 Com 01
1986 Lib 52 Lab 43 Con 35 Nat 05 Eco 04 Com 02
1990 Con 60 Lab 54 Lib 14 Nat 01 Eco 04 Com 01
1994 Con 56 Lab 38 Lib 29 Nat 07 Fre 05 Com 04 Eco 02
1998 Lab 54 Lib 53 Con 19 Fre 06 Nat 05 Eco 03 Com 01
2002 Lib 49 Con 41 Lab 22 Nat 11 Fre 09 Com 05 Eco 04
2006 Lib 53 Con 32 Lab 29 Nat 10 Fre 09 Com 04 Eco 04
2010 Lib 47 Con 33 Lab 29 Nat 10 Com 10 Fre 08 Eco 04
Communist Party "Com": radical party of the left. Works together with Labour.
Conservative Party "Con": the traditional party of the right. Supports King, Country, Land-owners, and the established church. Hurrah!
Freedom Party "Fre": neocapitalist party of the right. The Freedom Party considers that the Federation of Kemr, England and Scotland should be disolved, arguing that it is bureaucratic and a burden on the tax payers of all three kingdoms. Nor do they support government initiatives to protect language and culture in Kemr. Often referred to as the Lundy party as it is believed to be sponsored from this privately owned island in the Severn.
Ecotopic Party "Eco": eco-socialist party of the left. Small and can work with the Labour or Liberal Parties on common interests. Peace, love and treehuggers. Advocates a progressive energy policy that looks beyond an oil-dependent economy.
Labour Party "Lab": The workers' party, generally considered left of the Liberal Party. Represents the concerns of working men and women, and the trade unions.
Liberal Party "Lib": the traditional party of the left, after the establishment of the Labour Party it moved to the centre of the Kemrese politics. It is considered moderately left of centre and supports middle-class values. It is supported by the Protestant minority in Kemr as the party of disestablishmentarianism. The Liberals are a party prepared to make deals with others in order to govern. At various times it has been in coalition with both the Labour and Conservative Parties, never similtaneously. In some perspectives, both positive and negative, it is the compromise choice.
National Party "Nat": The political voice of xenophobic nationalism in Kemr. It is on the right of the Conservatives, whom it supports when the Conservatives hold the Toisagdad. The Nationals demand that Kemr withdraw from the Federation. They oppose all recognition of citizen rights to minority groups, including first-language English speakers, and (privately) the Kerno. During the Second Great War the National Party was outlawed and their political leaders imprisoned.
Generally the party with the largest number of seats in senate is called upon to form a government. Only once, in 1918, has a one party government formed. Since then the largest party forms a coalition with one or more other parties. During the Second Great War the four legal parties formed a coalition of national unity under the Liberal leader Calweir Brecryg.
The current Toisag is Gion Boibont of the Liberal Party.
On the 17th June 2006 Kemr celebrated 600 years of parliamentary government. This date is traditional, based on the senate called by the national hero Prince Ewain.
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