Society of Varkana

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The society or culture of Varkana has been shaped by geography, by profound historical events, and by foreign and internal forces and groups. Varkan literature, music, cinema, art, theater, comedy, media, television, philosophy, architecture and education are important aspects of Varkan society. Sport is an important part of Varkan society; numerous globally renown athletes and sport teams originate from the country, especially in football, rugby and tennis.

Population distribution and regionialism

Varkana's density is distributed unevenly on its territory, whereas the northern coastal communes are far more populated than the southern and western ones. The difference in density and several climates and geopolitics of communes has lead to the creation of various regionalisms, not only forged by linguistic or economic patterns.

The evolution of the Varkan state and culture, from the Antiquity to today, has however promoted a centralization of politics, media and cultural production in and around Senaki and then Klow, and the industrialization of the country in the 19th century has led to a massive move of Varkan people from the countryside to urban areas. At the end of the 19th century, around 50% of the Varkan people depended on the land for a living; today Varkan farmers only make up 6-7%, while 73% live in cities. Policies enacted by the First and Second Republics also encouraged this displacement through mandatory military service, a centralized national educational system, and important statism. While government policy and public debate in Varkana since the Third Republic has returned to a valorization of regional differences and the decentralization of certain aspects of the public sphere, the history of regional displacement and the nature of the modern urban environment and of mass media and culture have made the preservation of a regional "sense of place or culture" in today's Varkana rather difficult.

Social class and work

Varkan society and its culture are considerably fragmented. Social class, generally described as a combination of educational attainment, national importance and occupational prestige, is one of the greatest cultural influences in Varkana. Nearly all cultural aspects of mundane interactions and behavior in Varkana are guided by a person's location within the country's social structure. This structure evolved drastically since the Varkan revolution, passing from an income-based social class system to a knowledge-based social class system.

Distinct lifestyles, consumption patterns and values are associated with different classes. Those at the top of the social ladder (ruling elite) commonly identify education and being cultured as prime values. Persons in this particular social class tend to speak in a more direct manner that projects authority, knowledge and thus credibility. A strong preference for natural materials and organic foods as well as a strong health consciousness tend to be prominent features of these higher classes. Higher education elite individuals in general value expanding one's horizon, partially because they are more educated and can afford greater leisure and travels. Working elite individuals take great pride in doing what they consider to be "real work," and keep very close-knit kin networks and value their social relationships before anything else.

Working elite Varkans may also face occupation alienation. In contrast to Higher Education elite who are mostly hired to conceptualize, supervise and share their thoughts, many workers enjoy only little autonomy or creative latitude in the workplace. As a result, skilled working elite tend to be significantly more satisfied with their work than unskilled working elite.

Political behavior is affected by class; more affluent individuals are more likely to vote, and education and personality affect whether individuals tend to vote for one party or another. In Varkana, occupation is one of the prime factors of social class and is closely linked to an individual's identity. The average work week in Varkana for those employed full-time was 32.9 hours long with 30% of the population working more than 30 hours a week. The average worker in Varkana enjoys 30 days of vacation annually. In 2014 the average Varkan worked 1,215 hours per year.

Family

Growing out of the values of Armazism and rural communities, the basic unit of Varkan society was traditionally held to be the family. Over the 19th century, the "traditional" family structure in Varkana has evolved from extended families to, after the Great Adonian War, nuclear families. Since the Varkan revolution, however, there has been a return to extended families, especially in Armazist families. On the other hand, immigrant populations and populations that are not in the Armazist faith have experienced a rise in nuclear families and divorce rates.

Today, family arrangements in Varkana reflect the diverse and dynamic nature of contemporary Varkan society. The nuclear family concept (two-married adults with a biological child) and childless/childfree couples constitute the majority of families nowadays.

Ethnicity

Due to a law dating from 1840, the Republic of Varkana prohibits performing census by making distinction between its citizens regarding their ethnicity. According to PERSON, "The classical conception of the nation is that of an entity which, opposed to the ethnic group, affirms itself as an open community, the will to live together expressing itself by the acceptation of the rules of a unified public domain which transcends all particularisms". This conception of the nation as being composed by a "will to live together," supported by the classic lecture of PERSON in 1882, has been opposed by the Varkan far-right, in particular the nationalist Renewal Party which claims that there is such a thing as a "Varkan ethnic group". The discourse of ethno-nationalist groups such as the Renewal Party, however, advances the concept of "indigenous Varkan" which they equate to Kartvelians or more generally Karto–Rionian people. Polling agencies such as ZRK also classify Varkans based on ethnolinguistic groups such as Karto–Rionian, Kaspian, Galian and Tsalian.

Varkan people are not asked to define their ethnic identity, whichever it may be, by the Government. The usage of ethnic and racial categorization is avoided to prevent any case of discrimination; the same regulations apply to religious membership data that cannot be compiled under the Varkan census. This classic Varkan republican non-essentialist conception of nationality is officialized by the Varkan Constitution, according to which "Varkan" is a nationality, and not a specific ethnicity. This is, however, not to be confused with the migrants' national backgrounds, which are recorded through the place of birth, mainly for Mesogean statistical purposes.

Modern Kartvelian people are a mixture of the haplogroups J2 and R1b-U152. Based on DNA analysis, there is evidence of ancient regional genetic substructure and continuity within modern Varkana dating to the Antiquity. DNA analysis also demonstrates that ancient Aetolian colonization had a significant lasting effect on the local genetic landscape of Northern Varkana and Eastern Varkana, with modern people from those regions having significant Aetolian admixture.

Eastern Varkans (ie Galians) and the modern Northern Varkans are closest to the Aetolians while the Central and Western Varkans (ie Kaspians and Karto–Rionian people) are closest to the Echians. Southern Varkans (ie Tsalians) are closest to Svanetians and Ashakarrans. Karto–Rionian people in particular have acted as the continuous cline between the different regional groups, although it features predominantly the haplogroup R1b-U152.

Technology, gadgets, and transportation

Since the Middle Ages, Varkana has been an important contributor to scientific achievement. U/C

Varkan people usually embrace new technologies, easing their day-to-day life and preserving the environment. Conventional railways and seaways have been left aside in favor of automobiles and airplanes in the early to mid-20th century until the 21st century where high speed railways became more popular. Nowadays, conventional ground railways cover all over Varkana, which enables villages of communes to connect with each other without the use of personal automobiles. Most domestic freight transits on railways or roadways via trucks. Personal automobiles are still common, but less than in other countries due to the high cost of owning a car. Conventional gas automobiles have been outlawed in 2005, and now all cars run on electricity, with charging stations all over the country. Varkana has a very high proportion of scooters per capita, mainly used for intracommunal transportation.

Drugs, alcohol and smoking

In Varkana, smoking is prohibited in public places (museums, monuments, cinemas) or on public transport. Restaurants are all non-smoking, except restaurants with special permits. Cannabis and tobacco are the most smoked substances, notably in shisha cafés, where people gather to smoke in hookahs socially. Both the sale of tobacco and cannabis are highly regulated, with health safety prevention posted on products. The government has a state-monopoly on the sale and distribution of alcohol and drugs, with national rehab centers throughout the country. Any drug consumption is legal in Varkana since the 2008 law on drugs. The new law maintained the status of illegality for using or possessing any drug for personal use without authorization. However, the offense was changed from a criminal one, with prison a possible punishment, to an administrative one if the amount possessed was no more than ten days' supply of that substance. The punishment usually involves forced rehabilitation.

One gram of heroin, two grams of cocaine, ten grams of opium: these are the drug quantities one can legally purchase and possess in Varkana, carrying them through the country in a pants pocket, without fear of repercussion. MDMA, the active ingredient in ecstasy, and amphetamines, including speed and meth, can also be possessed in amounts up to one gram. That's roughly enough of each of these drugs to last 10 days. The number of drug addicts who have undergone rehab has also increased dramatically, while the number of drug addicts who have become infected with diseases has fallen significantly.

Any driver under the influence of alcohol seriously compromises the safety of passengers and other road users. As a result, driving with a level of alcohol in the blood equal to or higher than 0.5g per litre of blood is prohibited. The communal or national police can test for alcohol levels in a driver's blood. It is prohibited to travel (even on foot) under the influence of alcohol along a highway. Anyone who allows a minor to drink until they are in a state of drunkenness is committing a crime. It is prohibited to sell or offer alcoholic drinks to minors aged under 16 years old (in drinks outlets, shops and public places). It is also prohibited to introduce alcoholic drinks into establishments for physical and sporting activities.

Sports

Football is the most popular sport in Varkana

Sports are an important part of the culture of Varkana. The three major professional sports leagues in the country are Varkan Tennis Association, the Varkan Rugby Union, and the Varkan Football League; all enjoy massive media exposure and are considered the preeminent competitions in their respective sports in the country.

Sports are particularly associated with education in Varkana, with most secondary schools and all universities having organized sports. University sports competitions play an important role in the Varkan sporting culture, and certain university sports — particularly university rugby and football — are at least as popular as professional sports.

Rugby was first introduced in the early 1870s in Varkana and is the second most popular sport in the country after football. Elite Varkan clubs participate in the domestic club competition. Clubs also compete in the Mesogean knock-out competitions, the Mesogean Rugby Champions Cup and Mesogean Rugby Challenge Cup. Communal and national-wide level contests and tournaments are held every winter and summer for all sports.

Association football is the most popular sport in the country by number of participants and TV viewers. The Varkan top division, the Pirveli Divizionis, is the most watched league in the country, and one of the most important leagues in the Mesogean by MFK coefficient.

Several major tennis tournaments take place in Varkana, including the Varkan Masters, part of the ATP masters series. Tennis is the third most popular sports in Varkana and is growing in popularity. Skiing is also a popular sport in Varkana, especially in mountainous areas in the south and west of the country where most Varkan ski resorts are located.

Cuisine

Alazani red rice

The cuisine of Varkana is diverse, owing to its various communes and the number of native and immigrant influences. The types of food served at home vary greatly and depend upon the commune of the country and the family's own cultural heritage. The cuisine offers a variety of dishes with various herbs and spices. Each commune of Varkana has its own distinct culinary tradition. In addition to various meat dishes, Varkan cuisine also offers a variety of vegetarian and vegan meals.

Varkan cuisine is the result of the rich interplay of culinary ideas carried along the trade routes by merchants and travelers alike. The importance of both food and drink to Varkan culture is best observed during a feast called supra, when a huge assortment of dishes is prepared, always accompanied by large amounts of wine, and that can last for hours. In a Varkan feast, the role of the tamada (toastmaster) is an important and honored position.

The Varkan various climates contribute to the fertility of the land, which in its turn results in the richness of the country's cuisine. It is famous for an abundance of vegetables and greens used seasonally in the dishes. Fresh herbs, including mint, coriander, dill, basil, parsley, tarragon, leek, chive, thyme, marjoram, green onion, and watercress are very popular and often accompany main dishes. Tapenade is also an extremely popular appetizer in the country with various different varieties unique to Varkana. The Iremian Sea is home to many edible species of fish, including the sturgeon, salmon, kutum, sardines, grey mullet, and others.

The Alazani red rice is native to the Alazani valley and is used in a variety of dishes. Varkana's most famous dish is kvabi, made from small steamed balls of semolina with different toppings. Black tea is the national beverage, and is drunk after food is eaten. It is also offered to guests as a gesture of welcome, often accompanied by fruit preserves.

Clothing

By 2008, the androgynous look was in style. Both men and women wore skinny jeans, trousers, simple shirts and button-up shirts. Minimalist fashion is the main modern trending fashion in Varkana. These include white trenchcoats with black sleeves, biker jackets and houndstooth coats. Another popular look for females which is still popular in the early 2010s is the short-cut dress, sometimes boho-chic, and sandals. Long maxi coats, often belted and lined in sheepskin, appeared at the close of the 2000s.

A Varkan man wearing a greencoat and a casquette ronde

Popular female trends were lycra yoga wear, knee-high boots with pointed toes, Varkan style trenchcoats and peacoats, tunics worn with wide or thin belts, capri pants, longer tank tops worn with a main blouse or shirt, Ana Kalanda inspired New Look dresses and sandals, leggings, and "vintage clothing" including hippie and Boho inspired dresses with paisley patterns. Popular accessories included aviator sunglasses, large hoop earrings, shutter shades, swatsikas and rosaries, large silver belt buckles, Armazist beaded jewellery, slave bracelets, small leather handbags, and simple jewellery made from recycled eco friendly materials like hemp, wood, sea shells, glass, seeds, and white metal.

A Varkan woman wearing knickerbockers, a sailor shirt, scarf and a beret

Since the 2000s, men in Varkana wore short suit jackets, the old long jackets being used merely for formal occasions. In the early 2000s, men's fashion was characterized by extremely high-waisted jackets, often worn with belts. Lapels on suit jackets were not very wide as they tended to be buttoned up high. This style of jacket seems to have been greatly influenced by vintage socialist uniforms. Trousers were relatively narrow and straight and they were worn rather short so that a man's socks often showed. Trousers also began to be worn cuffed at the bottom at this time.

By 2005, wider trousers commonly known as Klow bags came into fashion, while suit jackets returned to a normal waist and lapels became wider and were often worn peaked. Loose-fitting sleeves without a taper also began to be worn during this period. During the late 2000s, double-breasted vests, often worn with a single-breasted jacket, also became quite fashionable. During the 2000s, men had a variety of sport clothes available to them, including sweaters and short trousers, commonly known as knickers. For formal occasions in the daytime, a morning suit is usually worn. For evening wear men prefer the short tuxedo to the tail coat, which is now seen as rather old-fashioned and snobby.

Men and women's fashion also became less regimented and formal. Men favored short jackets with two or three buttons rather than jackets with long tailcoats as well as pinstriped suits. Unisex casual-wear often included knickers, short pants that came to the knee.

The most formal men's suit consisted of a black or midnight-blue worsted swallow-tailed coat trimmed with satin, and a pair of matching trousers, trimmed down the sides with wide braid or satin ribbon. A white bow tie, black silk top hat, white gloves, patent leather Klow shoes, a white silk handkerchief, and a white flower boutonnière completed the outfit. The tuxedo vest can be black or white, but, unlike the obligatory full-dress white tie, tuxedos ties are always black. Men usually complete their tuxedo outfit with all the same accessories as the full-dress suit, except that instead of top hats they would wear dark, dome-shaped hats called bowlers. Just like women, men had certain attire that was worn for certain events. Tuxedos were appropriate attire for politics, small dinner parties, entertaining in the home, and dining in a restaurant. During the early 2000s, most men's dress shirts had, instead of a collar, a narrow neckband with a buttonhole in both the front and back. By the mid-2000s, however, many men preferred shirts with attached collars, which were softer and more comfortable than rigid, detachable collars.

Hats

For women, the beret is considered popular, while Kaftia fashioned colored headscarves are very popular, especially with younger women. The slouchy beanie has also make a comeback in the early 2010s. For men, the newsboy cap is very popular. It has the same overall shape and stiff peak in front as a flat cap, which is also relatively common, but the body of the cap is rounder, fuller, and paneled with a button on top, and often with a button attaching the front to the brim (as the flat cap sometimes has). They are worn by boys and men of all social classes. The fedora is worn by men, usually of authority, including police officers, politicians and teachers.

Education

Religion

The Didymatheous in Abasha, the largest Armazist temenos in the world. It is dedicated to the twin gods Aetole and Apollo

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. The Wolf Institute estimated in 2016 that 87.18% of Varkans were Armazists, 6.96% non-religious (including Agnostics and Atheists), 1.69% Magdalenans, 0.91% Jewish and 3.28% of other religious background.

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.

Housing

In the first years after Great Adonian War, Varkana experienced a continuous housing crisis, in the context of the Adonian Depression. Although the Third Republic successfully carried out reconstruction following the war, this did not substantially reduce housing requirements, which were intensified by urbanization, population growth, immigration, and the deterioration of buildings (by the turn of the 21st century, 35 percent of the nation's housing predated 1950).

There are a wide variety of dwellings in Varkana

The government encourages construction through premiums, loans (particularly for low-rent housing), and tax incentives. Communal and other public bodies also have engaged in a vast program of subsidized public housing, which was especially prominent in the 1960s and 1970s. It is now being promoted yet again since the mid 2000s. In 1970 the procedure for receiving building permits for private construction was greatly simplified, and since 1985 mayors have been responsible for granting construction permits and devising local housing policies for both the public and private sectors. The government has also sought to encourage home ownership through low-interest loans. As a result of continuing suburbanization, far greater emphasis was placed on building houses rather than apartments. Reforms in 2005 updated long-term development plans and detailed land-use plans. The current emphasis of urban policy is on rehabilitation and the construction of apartment buildings in urban centers, stopping the general suburbanization.

The population of rural areas has been declining over time as more and more people migrate to cities for work and entertainment. The great exodus from the farms came in the 1900s; in recent years fewer than 7% of the population lives on farms. Electricity and telephone, and sometimes cable and Internet services are available to all but the most remote alpine regions. With the implementation of aristocratic communalist policies, the youth has reflated jobs in the agriculture sector, notably in part-time jobs. Many higher education students are studying in rural areas through online means while working in the agriculture field.

In the early 21st century, more than half of Varkan households lived in apartments, while the remainder lived in houses. At the turn of the century, the average Varkan household spent about one-fourth of its disposable income on rent. Housing stock is not evenly distributed throughout the country. In some communes, such as Klow, housing is at a premium, while in other smaller and medium-sized communes, there is a surplus of housing stock. On average, just over two Varkans live in each dwelling. Approximately two-fifths of the housing stock is owner-occupied; nearly half is rental; and the remainder is owned by cooperative tenant owners.

Sexual relations

Courtship and cohabitation

In Varkana, according to one report, there is a longer time interval before children move out of the house, which affects dating. As a result, parents offer advice about dating although it may not be heeded. People interested in Varkans are advised to befriend them first. Even though Varkans can be viewed as warm people, they are less likely to "share intimacies" until they are well into the relationship. Different from other Western countries, there is no "multi-dating" in Varkana: that is, when in a relationship, it is assumed that both parties are exclusive to each other. Multi-dating in Varkana would thus be considered as not being in any relationship but rather simply as having casual sexual intercourse with different partners.

Couples often meet through religious institutions, work, school, or friends. The trend over the past few decades has been for more and more couples deciding to cohabit before, or instead of, getting married or being in a civil union. Varkana has domestic partner laws that confer legal support for couples not under union. Men and women are equally expected to make the first move and it is badly seen to pay for your partner unless you both have agreed to it.

Adolescent sexuality

Adolescent sex is common; most Varkans first have intercourse in their teens, the average age being 16, which happens to also be the legal age for sexual intercourse. The current data suggests that by the time a person turns 18, slightly more than half of females and nearly two-thirds of males will have had intercourse. More than half of sexually active teens have had sexual partners they are dating. Teen pregnancies in Varkana is rare and is at around 5 per 1,000.

Some sexual attitudes and behaviors in Varkan culture differ markedly from those in other Western societies. Armazism promotes sexuality as an aspect of prosperity for the gods, creating more Armazists ready to serve them, and individuals might turn to private religious practice for improving their erotic lives or reproductive health. Prostitution in Varkana is legal and highly regulated to ensure the protection of the sex workers. Pornography is also highly regulated and widespread, where government messages are displayed in every pornographic material to display the relation between that material and Varkan laws. For instance, in BDSM sexual roleplay situations, the message would remind the consent laws of Varkana, among others. The State provides sexual education, promoting the use of contraception and procreation after civil union/marriage.

In Armazist families, it is common for the parents to talk about sexuality to their children when they get around 12 years old. At around that age, children also enter Secondary education in the Varkan education system, where sex educators are available in each school, as provided by law. Sex educators are meant to complement the sexual teaching made at home, emphasizing on contraception, sexual transmissible diseases, proper consensual sexual relationships and maximizing sexual experience and pleasure teachings. Surveys showed that sex education done at home was mostly about related to information about STDs and unplanned pregnancy. Around 85% of students in Secondary schools met and had help from sex educators.

An Armazist marriage in Northern Varkana

Civil union, marriage and divorce

Marriage is considered a religious institution and is subject to approval by the State to be deemed legal and considered as a civil union. Civil Union is the ultimate and only legal partnership in Varkana and is guaranteed equal access for same-sex or interracial couples. As such, marriage is considered entirely a religious matter and the State has no rights to intervene. But the State reserves itself the right to refuse to recognize and therefore legalize a said marriage if it is not constitutional.

A same-sex civil union in Senaki

In Armazism, marriage is often done in private homes with a daduchos, often alongside the legal proceeding of a civil notary. Any kind of clothing is appropriate, as marriage in Armazism is only to pay respect to Hera by showing the goddess a couple's intention to procreate and start a family. Same-sex marriage is not allowed by the Armazist Church, but same-sex civil unions are completely legal in the country. In other religions, marriage traditions and rules vary. In Islam, polygyny is allowed while polyandry is not, with the specific limitation that a man can have no more than four legal wives at any one time and an unlimited number of female slaves as concubines, with the requirement that the man is able and willing to partition his time and wealth equally among the respective wives. As slavery, and many other practices allowed in a Muslim wedding are illegal in Varkana, the number of Muslim weddings legally recognized is almost completely restricted by these factors. For example, as sexual intercourse is legally recognized only at 16 years old, the minimum age for a Varkan to be in a civil union is also 16, whereas sexual maturity in sharia law is typically understood to mean puberty, thus when people may marry.

In Varkana, divorce is a legal process in which a notary dissolves the bonds of matrimony existing between two persons, thus restoring them to the status of being single and permitting them to union with other individuals. The legal process for divorce may also involve issues of spousal support, child custody, child support, distribution of property and division of debt, though these matters are usually only ancillary or consequential to the dissolution of the civil union. Religious rules on divorce apply only legally if the two parties agree to it.

Varkana allows "no fault" divorce proceedings, but a notary may still take into account the behavior of the parties when dividing property, debts, evaluating custody, and support. No-fault divorce on grounds such as "irreconcilable differences", "irretrievable breakdown of the union", "incompatibility" or a period of living apart is available in Varkana.

Matrilineality, naming customs and gender roles

Maia of Kartli, the founder of the Queendom of Kartli, the predecessor of the Varkan nation; painting by Volisan artist Baldomer Miró

Varkana has traditionally been a matrilineal society with property, family name and land passing down from mother to daughter, although that has changed since the Renaissance, with property and land being equally shared between a couple's children. However, family name is still matrilineal, with Varkan naming customs making it so a Varkan individual has one given name and two family names from each parent. Since every individual has two family names, the family name given to the child by each parent is their respective matrilineal name.

Gender roles in Varkana have historically been complementary in nature, meaning that men and women had separate but equally important roles in society. Traditionally, women are considered the head of the family, responsible for the household and raising children. The land, livestock and other mobile property were owned by the women, whereas personal property is owned and inherited regardless of gender. Most women could read and write, while most men were illiterate, concerning themselves mainly with farming, herding livestock and other male activities. This gradually shifted starting in the 16th century where economic property became owned and inherited regardless of gender over time due to the education of men. The influence of patriarchal Aetolians during the Dinaric era also contributed to the rise of men in politics. Even during the Renaissance, men controlled all military aspects, trade, diplomacy, and perhaps more importantly the Kreba. While both men and women had the right to vote (restricted by property qualification), this right was slightly favoring men as Varkan property law extended to personal property. While personal property could be inherited by all genders, men usually benefited the most. They comprised the vast majority of members of the Varkan Bürgertum. Universal suffrage was granted to all citizens by President Giorgi Patsatsia.

Inga Korsantia, the first democratically elected female President of Varkana

Since the 1870s, traditional gender roles of male and female have been increasingly challenged by both legal and social means. With the advent of socialism in the country, emphasis was put on gender cohesion and the abandon of gender roles which were deemed rooted in capitalist thinking. The responsibilities of the ideal industrial Varkan woman meant that she matched working quotas and did everything for the betterment of Socialist Varkana. These expectations came in addition to the standards demanded of women in the domestic sphere. Labor laws also assisted women. Women were given equal rights in regard to insurance in case of illness, eight-week paid maternity-leave, and a minimum wage standard that was set for both men and women. Both sexes were also afforded paid holiday-leave. The socialist government enacted these measures in order to produce a quality labor-force from both of the sexes.

During the Great Adonian War, women participated heavily in combat and were especially used as spies by the SSD. In most countries, women tended to serve mostly in administrative, medical and in auxiliary roles. But in the Varkana, women fought also in front line roles. Over 200,000 women served in the Varkan armed forces in the Great Adonian War, mostly as medics and nurses, which is over 5 percent of total personnel; nearly 75,000 of them were decorated. Only one of them, Makvala Sotkilava, received Varkana's highest award, the National Hero of Varkana. They served as pilots, snipers, machine gunners, tank crew members and in the Red Brigades, as well as in auxiliary roles. Few of these women, however, were promoted to officers.

However, after the war there was a return to more traditional and conservative values in many areas of social and family policy. Abortion became illegal, legal differences between legitimate and illegitimate children were restored, and divorce once again became difficult to attain. The 1950s continued the traditional ideology - the nuclear family was the driving force of the time. Women held the social responsibility of motherhood that could not be ignored. Things changed again in the 1960s, with the presidency of socialist Inga Korsantia. Abortion was unconditionally legalized and became the sole right of women, while marriage reform completely secularized the practice and civil unions became the legal norm. Divorces increased while women became more career-oriented. Second-wave feminism was prominent during that time and contributed to the inclusion of sex education in the Varkan education system, the rise of birth control and prevention of domestic violence and sexual harassment.

The 1990s saw third-wave feminism become more prominent in Varkan politics, becoming one of the pillars of the Varkan revolution at the turn of the century. Fourth-wave feminism soon rose through the internet and Varkan Intranet and immediately followed the third-wave in the 2000s. Gender has become increasingly blurry with the 2000 Constitution recognizing three physiological sexes: namely Male (კაცი, k’atsi), Female (ქალი, kali) and Intersex (ანდრომიანი, andromiani). Intersex people in Varkana have the same rights to physical integrity and bodily autonomy, and protections from discrimination on the basis of sex characteristics as male and female Varkans. For instance, intersex medical interventions on minors with intersex conditions is illegal. As of 2018, Varkana recognized three corresponding genders to their physiological counterparts: man, woman and androgynous. However, transgender people have been allowed to change their legal gender since 2000.

Death rituals

It is customary for Varkans to put to earth within a couple days of the death of a loved one. The body of the deceased may be embalmed and dressed in fine clothing if the family wishes to, however in an Armazist tradition, the body must be put to earth without any coffin, though it may also be incinerated beforehand. Usually, large stones are put on the body before it is buried, unless the body was incinerated in which case tossing the ashes into the sea or a body of water is the custom. Other religions have more ceremonious and complicated rituals. Friends, relatives and acquaintances gather, often from distant parts of the country, to "pay their last respects" to the deceased. Flowers are brought to the body and sometimes eulogies, elegies, personal anecdotes or group prayers are recited. After the burial, there is always a feast, celebrating the death of the deceased as they will be reincarnated or condemned to stay in the Underworld after being judged by Styx. Condolences are never to be offered to the widow or widower and other close relatives, as it is a sign of disrespect.

While traditionally inhumation was favored, in the present day the dead are often cremated rather than buried, particularly in dense and highly populated communes. Sky burial and burial at sea are also common as alternatives to cremation. In Varkana, Armazist necropolises and other religions' cemeteries are commonplace, where tomb monuments are erected for the deceased. By law, a commune must have a necropolis to house "monuments for the dead". There is no distinction between an Armazist cemetery or one of another religion under Varkan law, but social pressure and religious preferences often influences religious minorities to honor their dead in their own cemeteries. Since the communal necropolis is public land owned by the commune, any resident of that commune who dies will have a plot allocated to them in the necropolis. Some large communes have several necropolises. For religious minorities, the establishment of a private religious cemetery can be legally difficult and expensive. The average cost of a non-Armazist funeral in Varkana is about 15,000 lari according to a 2011 study by the Government of Varkana. The high prices of private funeral plots has led religious communities to build centralized national cemeteries to take advantage of economies of scale. This is notably the case of the Jewish Cemetery of Fargo in the Greater Kaspi Area.