a) real-life modern Germany and its history (the cities more or less look like modern Germany 20 Minutes Into the Future)
b) The Roman Empire (a major inspiration for ranks, titles, uniforms and even army organisation. Latin is also still widely taught at school)
c) Switzerland and Israel (specifically the military readiness, especially for self-defense)
d) the Galactic Empire from StarWars (this is where what the Imperium strives to become technologically and maybe also militarily)
Culture of the Leonistisches Imperium
It is imperative to understand the history of the Imperium to decipher the many cultural influences on its people and how they resulted in the contemporary culture of Leonism.
See Leonism: A brief overview for the history of Leonism.
All native Imperials are white people, descendant from either Germanic or Roman people, mostly a mix of both. The Germanic traits of tall, blonde and blue or green eyes people is dominating. Red hair is also not uncommon, while dark hair and brown eyes are less common. Slavery or colonisation did not feature in Imperial history, thus the country retains its homogenous ethnicity and has no darker skinned population or descendants of former slaves or colonists. Immigration was banned with few exceptions until very recently.
Christianity used to be the dominating religion of the Imperium, since it supplanted Roman and Germanic paganism in the 5th to 10th centuries. Since the 20th century Leonism has been increasingly atheist, with atheism rates reaching 97% in current times. Those who do still practice a religion must do so in the privacy of their homes, since public practice of religion is forbidden.
The main language of Leonism is Deutsch, a variant of German. There are strong influences of Latin in the language, and language is still widely taught at secondary schools despite no longer being a spoken language anywhere in the borders.
Local dialects are well and alive, and are not generally looked down at. The most famous dialect is the Frisian spoken in South Frisia, in and around Blaumeisehaven. It is stereotypically associated with seamen and maritime life in the rest of Leonism. The mountainous regions of the North have dialects more akin to Bavarian, while the "purest" Deutsch is spoken in and around the capital, Leestcheck.
Education is a key focus for the Imperial government and his heavily funded. Mandatory Kindergarten starts at age 3. At age 6, all children enter the Grundschule (primary school) and stay there until age 12. In the 7th grade, children are distributed according to their talents, into either Gymnasium (prepares for an academic qualification) or Oberschule (prepares for a vocational qualification). Mandatory school ends at age 18 (12th grade). All school leavers are automatically drafted into mandatory military education, completing the basic training and a specialist training of their choice within 1 year of minimum military training.
Students who finished the Gymnasium go on to study at a university, with another four years of study at minimum (five or six for more complicated courses such as law or medicine). Students who finished the Oberschule go to a vocational school, where they recieve duale Ausbildung dual vocational training, which mixes lessons in vocational school with on-the-job training in companies. A lot of vocational training is also offered by the military.
Those desiring to enter a military career as professional soldiers must finish either a university course or a duale Ausbildung vocational training course.
The military is an integral part of Imperial life. All citizens who are physically able serve at least a minumum one year of basic training and remain as reservists with at least 2 weeks of refresher training each year until they turn 60. Conscientious objection is not possible. At least 4 billion of the over 7 billion strong Imperial population are able to serve in times of war, making the nation highly capable to defend itself in case of external attack.
Barracks exist in almost any small town, often staffed by a core crew of only a handful of professional soldiers (who make up about 1 percent of the population) who are assisted by swarms of reservists as needed. A regional militia exists in each such town which is the focal point of mobilisation in case of external attack or a decleration of war.
After basic training, citizens are allowed to carry their issued service weapon(s) back home to increase readiness in case of war, although this rule has recently come under attack after decades of peace. Many citizens opt out of this rule, as their local barracks are often very close anyways and they thus don't see the need to take their service weapons home.
Apart from service rifles kept at home, weapon ownership in the Imperium is rather low. Crime is extremly rare thanks to the well funded and omnipresent police force, so very few people see a need to be able to defend themselves, and if they do they typically take up various hand-to-hand combat courses rather than arming themselves. Gun laws do allow for private gun ownership, although all guns and owners need to be registered and undergo a criminal background check.
The most common use for private guns is taking part in competition shooting, followed by hunting, especially in the rural regions. Many sports shooters do not have own guns however, instead relying on the club-owned weapons at their local rifle club.
Imperial citizens prefer their regional cuisine, which variess strongly from region to region. The southern coastal provinces are known for their preference for seafood, while the Northern provinces prefer sausages and pork. Potatoes are well liked all over the Imperium and used in a majority of dishes, both as the main course and as a side dish. Meat is generally eaten by the vast majority of the population, with vegetarianism being almost unheard of. It is not eaten on a daily basis and is expensive, as meat production is low due to the focus on quality and sustainability, as well as animal welfare.
Imperials prefer cats over dogs by a wide margin as favourite pets. Rodents are also used as pets but less often. Singing birds may not be allowed to be held as pets. The Blaumeise (blue tit), a small songbird with characteristic blue feathers on his head and back, is the national animal of the country. Similarly sized songbirds such as the Spatz (sparrow) or the Rotkehlchen (robin) are also very highly regarded. This often leads to headaches for the cat owners of the nation, as cats like to kill exactly these smalls bird species.
Fussball (football) is the favourite sport of the country. As the name says, players are only allowed to touch the ball with their feet, except for the goalkeepers. A league competition with both national ("Imperiumsliga") and lower tier regional leagues exists, with almost every province or city having their local team of choice on some level.
The second most liked sport is competition shooting. Each town and citiy has at least one, often multiple Schützenvereine rifle clubs who also compete with each other in local, provincial and nationwide league competitions.
Other familiar sports, although vastly less popular than the two above, are Handball, Volleyball, Hockey, Basketball, Golf, Tennis and Athletics. All these sports are usually organised into and done in clubs.