Flag of Varkana
|Regions with significant populations|
|Aetolia||1,078,580 (2015 est.)|
|Echia||388,600 (2015 est.)|
|Volisania||279,055 (2015 est.)|
|Monsora||225,000 (2015 est.)|
|Kotcija||163,235 (2015 est.)|
|Svaneti||150,000 (2015 est.)|
|Lagash||130,000 (2015 est.)|
|Sakalia||115,000 (2015 est.)|
|Breisland||80,000 (2015 est.)|
|Tortona||45,000 (2015 est.)|
|Related ethnic groups|
Varkan people are the people who are identified with the country of Varkana. This connection may be residential, legal, historical, or cultural. For most Varkans, several (or all) of these connections exist and are collectively the source of their being Varkan.
|Top 10 Total||41,948||62.3|
While the 1950s had still seen high levels of immigration by Illypnians, by the 1980s, immigrants were increasingly Kaftian. The Adonian Community estimates in 2016 that there were 3,033,408 foreign-born Varkans. More than 2 million are of Illypnian origin, about 500,000 of Kaftian origin, about 300,000 of Fosian origin and 200,000 of Empodian origin. This figure only includes permanent residents and citizens, and excludes illegal immigrants, foreign workers living in the country, and children born in Varkana from these foreign-born Varkans (i.e. second generation immigrants). Since the Varkan revolution, Varkana has transitioned from a mostly ethnically homogeneous country to an increasingly ethnically diverse community.
The majority of illegal immigrants come from Kaftia, with Eastern Illypnia, Northern Fosia and Central Fosia all contributing to the illegal population. Estimates of numbers of illegal immigrants range between 35,000 and 60,000.
Citizenship and diaspora
Varkan citizenship is typically obtained by birth in Varkana or by birth or adoption abroad when at least one biological parent or adoptive parent is a Varkan citizen who was born in Varkana or naturalized in Varkana. It can also be granted to a permanent resident who lives in Varkana for two out of three years and meets specific requirements.
According to the Department of the Interior, there are three main classifications for immigrants: Family class (persons closely related to Varkan residents), Economic class (admitted on the basis of a point system that accounts for age, health and labor-market skills required for cost effectively inducting the immigrants into Varkana's labor market) and Refugee class (those seeking protection by applying to remain in the country by way of the Varkan immigration and refugee law). In 2015, there were 17,507 immigrants in the family class, 5,925 refugees, and 43,900 economic immigrants among the 67,332 total immigrants to the country.
As of a 2015 report by the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs, there were 2.9 million Varkan citizens abroad. This represents about 8% of the total Varkan population. Of those living abroad, Aetolia, Echia and Volisania have the largest Varkan diaspora. Varkans in Aetolia constitute the greatest single expatriate community at over 1 million in 2015, representing 35.8% of all Varkans abroad. Under current Varkan law, Varkana does not restrict dual citizenship but encourages its citizens to travel abroad on their Varkan passport, so they can access Varkan consular services.
Multiculturalism versus universalism
In Varkana, the conception of citizenship teeters between universalism and multiculturalism, especially in recent years. Varkan citizenship has always been defined by three factors: integration, individual adherence, and the primacy of the soil (jus soli). Political integration is based on voluntary policies which aims at creating a common identity, and the internalization by each individual of a common cultural and historic legacy. Since in Varkana, the state preceded the nation, voluntary policies have taken an important place in the creation of this common cultural identity.
Jus soli and jus sanguinis
The First Republic favored jus sanguinis to reduce non-Armazist immigration. Maternity was the principal criterion of nationality, breaking any residency condition toward children born abroad from Varkan parents. However, according to sociologists, it was not "ethnically motivated" but "only meant that family links transmitted by the mater-familias had become more important than subjecthood of the monarchic era". In the 1850s, "double jus soli" was introduced in Varkan legislation, combining birth origin with maternity. Thus, it gave Varkan nationality to the child of a foreigner, if both are born in Varkana, except if the year following their coming of age they reclaim a foreign nationality (thus prohibiting dual nationality). This law was in part passed because of conscription concerns.
Since the 1882 January Revolution, it has been illegal for the Varkan state to collect data on ethnicity and ancestry. Following the presidency of Ana Kalanda, Varkana switched to favoring jus soli and reducing jus sanguinis rights to citizenship. Modern Varkan nationality law combines four factors: birth origin, maternality or 'right of blood', residency and the will expressed by a foreigner (i.e. a person born outside of Varkana) to become Varkan. The state grants unconditional jus soli for persons born in the country.
Most Varkans adhere to the Armazist faith, the majority belonging to the Armazist Church. The collective influence of Armazism on the country's political, economic and cultural life is significant. The Varkan Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, but the government only recognizes Armazism as an official religion. Varkana recognizes agnosticism and atheism, while any other religion is considered as a sect. Varkana is a secular country in which the state must respect all religions or sects. Any such sects are legal and they are only reprehensible if they violate the law. In the 2016 Varkan census, 87.18% of Varkans identified themselves as Armazists, 6.96% non-religious (including Agnostics and Atheists), 1.69% Magdalenans, 0.91% Jewish and 3.28% unstated.
The Varkan 1962 Law On Sects, in its own words, aims at movements deemed cultic that "undermine human rights and fundamental freedoms". The law does not define new crimes, except in association with existing crimes. The law is causing controversy internationally, with some commentators alleging that it infringes religious freedom. Proponents of the law allege, on the contrary, that it reinforces religious freedom, since it aims at protecting people in a weak position (including children), preventing criminal organizations from forcing such people into religious and other activities. For instance, minors may not join any religious organizations including Armazism until reaching the age of majority, 16 year old. Private religious practice (for children) is however not restricted if done in private settings in family dwellings for example (activities such as praying or reading 'holy' books).
With little tolerance on other religions than Armazism practiced in Varkana, conflicts with followers of different religions arise periodically. Moreover, Varkana's political leadership has played an important role in the relations between groups, both positively and negatively, promoting mutual respect by affirming the Constitution but also promoting the state religion, which has caused a number of conflicts in certain regions of the country.
The advocacy group Freedom House produced a report entitled "Religious Freedom in the World" in 2012 which ranked countries according to their religious freedom. Varkana received a score of 7, indicating it was one of the countries where religious freedom was least respected.
The official language of Varkana is Varkan. The Varkan language is neither Kemal-Illypnian, Salutic nor Semitic. It is written in its own unique writing system, the Varkan script. According to the 2016 population census, 90.767% of the population declared Varkan as their mother tongue ("mother tongue is defined as the first or main language spoken at home during childhood"). 2.8% of the population declared Aetolian as their mother tongue, while 1.9% declared it was Kaspian, 1.4% Galian and 0.3% Vlahestian. The latter four languages are recognized as regional languages by the national government, being official in several communes in the country. Slightly over one million of Varkans are Allophone (from the Aetolian ἀλλόφωνος allóphōnos "speaking a foreign tongue"; i.e. they have mother tongues other than any of the official languages), representing 2.8% of the population.
Varkan has a rich word-derivation system. By using a root, and adding some definite prefixes and suffixes, one can derive many nouns and adjectives from the root. For example, from the root -kartv-, the following words can be derived: Kartveli (a Varkan person), Kartuli (the Varkan language) and Sakartvelo (Varkana).
Most Varkan surnames end in -dze, -shvili, -ia, -ani, -uri, etc. The ending -eli is a particle of origin, equivalent to Breislandic von or Lusatian -ski, although unlike the former and latter, the Varkan -eli relates to the meurneobebi and not nobility.
Varkan has a vigesimal number system, based on the counting system of 20, like "Basque". In order to express a number greater than 20 and less than 100, first the number of 20s in the number is stated and the remaining number is added. For example, 93 is expressed as ოთხმოცდაცამეტი - otkh-m-ots-da-tsameti (lit. four-times-twenty-and-thirteen).