Vilani Culture

Traditional Vilani culture can best be described as being communal and conservative, the central planks of Vilani culture were tradition, stability and the needs of the community. The Vilani were an exceptionally harmonious and industrious people, most early Terran explorers were amazed at their politeness and the degree of consensus within their society. Where ever possible all decisions made by the Vilani were made by group consensus after lengthy discussion of all alternatives. However this was not possible and sometimes a quick decision was required. In such cases an individual was required to make the best decision for the interests of the community. However the individual making the decision would later have to justify their actions to a group review. The Vilani constantly planned for long term, attempting to allow variations for all possible contingencies based on their past experiences. Naturally they were unable to fully realise this goal, but when they were faced with unexpected circumstances they would attempt to find traditional solutions to them.

Vilani society was divided into numerous castes, each with a clearly defined place and role in Vilani society. These castes were originally based around a broad grouping of occupations such as: Warriors (Dagashii), Cultivators (Shimsii), Artisans (Rinugii) etc. As Vilani society increased in sophistication, these castes developed subcastes which over time evolved into castes in their own right. Of these many castes, three came to dominate and direct Vilani society. These were the Karunii (Nobles), Badenkii (Merchants) and the Shugilii (Food processors). It was from these three castes that the three governing Bureaux of the Ziru Sirka evolved.

The central institution of Vilani society was the family consisting of a mother, father, their apprentices and any juvenile children they might have had. A child would be assigned to their caste during their early childhood (usually before the age of 8), and often would then be “adopted” by a family of the correct caste (roughly 50% of children were assigned to castes different to their biological parents). The family would live in a communal setting either in or very near to their workplace with other members of their caste. The children would spend most of their time at their family’s workplace, learning their chosen caste’s trade secrets as a lengthy apprenticeship. The child was then formally inducted into the cast during their Amkiidum (coming of age ceremony) at age 18. It was possible (though extremely rare) for an individual to change castes before their Amkiidum if they proved to be unsuited for their chosen caste. This lengthy childhood apprenticeship lead to an intimate understanding of the requirements of their profession and most Vilani were highly skilled in their jobs, however they generally lacked knowledge or experience outside of their specific caste requirements. This was especially true in respect of technology; to the Vilani the rights to develop and improve a technology were owned by the caste that had originally developed them (the heart of the Vilani “Technology Patent” system). Thus a Vilani engineer would have learned how to operate the various drives on his or her ship by rote and be extremely skilled in their operation. However they would not know the principles behind their operation, as this would infringe on the rights of the researcher caste that had developed them; and would therefore find it difficult to repair them unassisted in the event of failure. To overcome the very obvious limitations of this, the Vilani placed heavy reliance on expert diagnostic systems.

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