Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Forgotten Lands: Tin Te To

Tin Te To

Capital: Ashan’kur
Population: 1,285,000 (2008 estimate)
Area: 105,650 km2
Independence: 1998

Economy: A modest internal economy is dominated by housing and infrastructure construction, much of it financed through the international community. Highly specialized craft items, including ceremonial knives and swords, jewelry, tapestries, glassware, and exotic cultivated plants bring in a surprising volume of foreign exchange. Tin Te To’s exquisitely engraved postage stamps are highly sought after by collectors, providing a handsome supplement to the national treasury.
Per Capita Income: US$23,660
Languages: Tinitese
Literacy Rate: 88%

How long, O Gods, O how long, wondered the great Tinitese poet To Ko, will my people wander, without a home? This age-old longing of the Tinitese people finally found an answer in 1998, as the United Nations Committee on Homeland Restoration quietly established the new country of Tin Te To from land ceded by China, Russia, and Mongolia. Much of the political and civil effort in the new land has been directed towards developing basic infrastructure in the previously almost uninhabited national territory.

The choice of this region was more political – allowing the three countries affected to share the burden of resolving “The Tinitese Question” – than tied to any specific historical territory of the Tin Te. Indeed, little consensus exists as to where the historical territory of the Tin Te might actually be. An ancient, somewhat fragmented historical record places this “nation of craftsmen,” at various times, far enough to the west to submit to vassalage under the Holy Roman Emperor, and far enough east to have built a trading fleet that is thought to have plied the seas from Japan to as far south as modern Indonesia.

We know that some or all of the resident Tin Te were expelled from South Asia by the Moghuls, and there is some archeological evidence that the ancestors of the Tin Te may have traded with, or existed autonomously among, or perhaps been slaves to, both the Scythians and Pharaonic Egypt. Theories that the Tin Te were a “lost offshoot” of the Inca who had entered Eurasia through reverse migration across the Bering Strait, popular in the 1970s, have been rejected by most scholars as lacking credible evidence. Today, small Tin Te immigrant communities exist in cities all over the world; until the construction of Ashan’kur, the city with the largest Tin Te population was in fact Buenos Aires.

Flag: Tin Te To’s banner, which was unfurled for the first time in a special ceremony on the morning of January 1, 2000, is perhaps unique among flags in its generous use of gray. It is otherwise a conventional horizontal tricolor, with a center stripe of bright royal blue. The symbolism, if any, has not been publicly disclosed by the Tinitese government.

National Anthem: “Our Homeland New Forever.”

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