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|Culture of Westland
Westlandic culture refers to the idiosyncratic norms of the Westlandic People. Westlandic culture is highly homogenised, with little outside influence largely to the state's self-dependant attitudes. While modern cultural traits can be seen to have been, or still are, enforced by the state, independant expression and artistry flourish, with cultural expression widely encourage by the state at the same time. Westland's colourful and heroic history resonates through with centuries old traditions blended with modern morals, with a highly social liberal cultural psyche.
Visual ArtWestlandic Art has long been closely associated with the country's political situation. Socialism and Progressive ideologies had led way to the popularity of the Futurist Movement during the 1920's and 30's in the decades folllowing the revolution. Futurism became one of the major art movements in Westland during the period following the revolution when technological advancement was at its prime, influenced heavily by the industrial development which occurred during this period. Notable artists during this time included Mikail Odin and Kaska Ekkelbö. Art was widely encouraged as a way of cultural expression by the government, and the Culture Ministry assisted the artist community heavily during the late 20's, 30's and 40's. The Futurist movement began to die down during the late 30's, and Cubism, influenced by the concepts of Futurism, began to influence the artistic community in Westland.
The concepts of Realism became popular within the artistic community during the 1950's and 1960's, influenced by the stark and harsh realities of Post-War Europe, and later the Cold War, leading the way to Politically charged artistic expression during the 1960's, 70's and 80's which took heavy influence from Dadaism, and Russian Constructivism influenced by Cold War propaganda and the ideology divide during the period. Anarchistic influences also rose during this period.
Contemporary Westland art has followed other European trends. There is a wide variety and range of styles, from Instillation art to Figurative paintings. Some of the leading Westlandic contemporary artists include Oska Handa and Katarina Mikaila.
Westlandic music has a long and colourful history, with strong folk roots and modern influences. It is closely related to Western European music with strong pop, alternative, electronica, and folk traditions. Contemporary Westlandic music can be categorised into two genres, V-pop and Eldamusik. V-pop is the most popular genre in Westland, and entered the musical mainstream during the 1980's. V-pop often has ideological components to it including cautionary tales with moral messages which have specific meanings within Westlandic culture, alongside vibrant visuals. Eldamusik gained popularity during the late 1990's, It revolves around modern revival of traditional Anglo-Saxon music into a popular music form taking influence from Folk genres. The genre varies between traditional folk, alternative rock and electronic influences, and usually incorporates some occult themes, and has been likened to witch-house music style.
The prevelance, ease and availability of internet access across almost the entirity of Westland has led to almost 79% of the population being reportedly regular internet users. 3G Internet connection provided by Folkstelekom is readily available in all major population centres and their surroundings making it easy to be constantly connected, leading to a huge popularity of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram. Social Media is highly popular in Westland, with both young and older people alike. Its prevelance and ease of connectivity has led to a revolution in the way Westlandic people interact and express themselves. Social media's popularity has led to the opening of many Social Media cafes across the country, in which people go to access social media if they cannot in any other way despite the majority of Westlandic individuals owning a smartphone or personal computer. Despite the Westlandic government's history of detaining those who have posted offensive, right-wing, or intolerant posts on Facebook and Twitter, they remain fully accessable to all. In fact, the government has used social media to conduct polls, and referendums since 2010, which has improved voter turnout and people's association with the political system.
While modern Fashion in Westland follows the traits and trends of other Western societies, there are some noticeable differences. There is a significant emphasis placed upon being well dressed and well presented, particularly among the younger generations. However extravagant and 'rich' styles are not popular, as they are closely associated with Upper Class and Elitism, concepts which are abhorred in Westlandic culture.
Since the privatisation of the Service Sector during the 1980's and 1990's, fashion has become more important and more readily available, with clothing shops becoming increasingly more commonplace than they were several decades before, alongside domestic brands and outlets, foreign companies such as Topman who have been permitted to trade, have become popular in Westland. Warm clothing and bright colours are the most prominent styles worn in Westland, alongside rich patterns and block colours. Youth culture has embraced modern fashion trends which are also prevalent in Western Europe.
There is a significant emphasis on reusing pre-owned and pre-worn clothing due to the limited availability and costly nature of buying brand new clothing in Westland. This has created a significant trend featuring retro patterns, colours and styles, which are often adapted and re-designed by people in homemade fashion.
Body Piercings, particularly ear piercings are highly popular among both young men and women in Westland, and have been for several decades. Make-up is worn by both genders, and it is socially acceptable for both masculine and effeminate men to wear, a concept which is met with disapproval in many other western countries. There is a significant emphasis placed upon facial beauty in Westlandic culture, and it is common place for individuals to wear Foundation and Concealer.
Since the 1990's there have been a popular trend among men to wear short back and side haircuts, with long styled tops. Among women, trends usually favour longer hair, which is either worn up in various styles, such as buns, or pony-tails or down with various styles such as plaits, or braids.
Traditionally, Westland is a Protestant country, however the current Strassonist regime discourages established religion and is suspicious of the church as an institution. The Westlandic constitution guarantees the freedom to practice religion, however religious organisations and institutions have faced persecution from the Westlandic government. Many 'radical' religious preachers have been detained and charged with 'intolerance' under Westland's Penal Code, including those of Christian, Muslim and Jewish faith.
Religion is not seen as an integral driving force in Westlandic society and culture. Many religious institutions, including marriage, have been largely stripped of their religious importance and influence, remaining now mainly as a civil institution between two individuals. This was largely due to the Church's opposition to same-sex marriage in the 1920's and the difficulty to legalise it as a religious ceremony.
As of 2014, over 61% of Westlandic people identify as Atheist, Agnostic, or without Religious Beliefs. 35% of Westland people classify themselves as a Christian Denomination. The majority of Christians in Westland are Protestant with only a slim Roman Catholic minority. Additionally, 2% identify as Muslim, 1% as Jewish and 0.5% as Buddhist, 0.3% as Hindu, and 0.2% Shinto.