Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Forgotten Lands: Dheshet

Thanks to UnWise Owl for uncovering a map of Coregos, which has been added to that country's post.


Kingdom of Dheshet

Capital: Amaninantu
Population: 570,000 (2001 estimate)
Area: 28,300 km2
Independence: unknown; pre-8th Century

Economy: Poorly developed formal economy. Exports include barley, timber, gypsum, and potatoes. Since the 2001 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, it is suspected that Dheshet, with its minimal law enforcement capacities, has become a hub for the international trafficking of Afghani opium and heroin.
Per Capita Income: US$4,220
Languages: Peshi, Nepali
Literacy Rate: 37%

Nestled in the remotest reaches of the Himalayas, Dheshet is one of the few bona fide monarchies persisting in the modern world. Although an elected parliament selects a prime minister who is the titular chief executive, real authority rests entirely with King Magnu Peshaman, who ascended to the throne in 1978.

The origins of the Kingdom of Dheshet are shrouded in obscurity. Local legend holds that the Pesh people were charged with the task of maintaining the “Pillars of the Earth,” the Himalayas. Were their kingdom ever to perish, the legend has it, the pillars would crumble and the sky would fall, destroying humanity. The spectacularly isolated valleys of Dheshet became known to the West only in 1847, when they were chanced upon by the Himalayan expedition of Sir Willard Winscott. Symbolic of the country’s continued isolation is its status as one of the few countries to decline membership in the United Nations.

The Pesh, who constitute 85% of Dheshet’s population (12% Nepalese, 3% other), are among the most physically distinctive of all peoples. Having adapted over the centuries to the thin air of their high-altitude homeland, they are, despite their generally diminutive stature, exceptionally deep-chested. The lung capacity of the average Pesh has been measured at nearly half again that of the average American.

Crises and controversies have disrupted life in the Himalayan countries of Tibet, Nepal, and Bhutan in recent decades, but Dheshet continues to persist in an apparently benign obscurity. Whether this is due to the spectacular isolation of the kingdom, the contentment of its inhabitants, or the forceful centralized authority of King Peshaman, is difficult to say. Only time will tell if, and how, Dheshet must eventually engage more fully with the outside world.

The language of the Pesh is called “Peshi” by outsiders but is known to its speakers simply as ka nattu – “the language.” It is related to no other known language.

Flag: A small field of orange within a larger field of green, itself set within a red banner. Adopted by royal proclamation in 1967, the flag seems to have no specific symbolic content. It is however typical of the enthusiasm shown by the Pesh for vibrant, often jarring, colors. Visitors speak of the first visit to a Dheshet town as “a literally dizzying assault on the senses, with brilliant color shining out seemingly from every stone” (Penderton, North from India).

National Anthem: “Kingdom of Mists and Valleys.”


Elaine said...

The flag looks suspiciously like a Storm Quilt. Just sayin'.

Dug said...

I went to a pretty good Peshi restaurant last time I was in Davenport. Apparently there's a large expatriate community there in the Kirkwood section. They climb up the Mississippi River Bluffs in Lindsay Park when they get homesick. The curried potato barley and spinach dumplings were excellent!

Then again maybe I'm remembering all of this a bit fuzzily.

Elaine said...

BTW, @Dug--what were your beverage choices at the 'Peshi' restaurant??

Dug said...

That Peshi Barley Sake make you crazy like a yak in heat!

Elaine said...

No wonder you were remembering 'fuzzily.' Them yaks is pretty hairy, eh?

Michael5000 said...

It has been speculated that part of the reason that Dheshet has become such a narcotics hub is that, having access to the Peshi Barley Sake, the local population has no interest in competing mind-altering substances. This idea is of course highly conjectural.