by Max Barry

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3

About Snofjogur


Link
Flag of Snofjogur

Motto:
Faroese: Vísindi, ídnađur og heilnćmi.
Icelandic: Vísindi, iđnađur og velferđ.
Norwegian: Vitenskap, industri og velferd.
Swedish: Vetenskap, industri och välfärd.
Danish: Videnskab, industri og velfćrd.
German: Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wohlfahrt.
English: Science, industry and welfare.

Link
Location of Snofjogur (red) in Europe (dark grey)

Capital and largest city: Anaborg (83°58'N,14°11'E)

Official languages:
Faroese
Icelandic
Norwegian
Swedish
Danish
German

Official religion: None

Demonym:
Adjective: Snofjogurish
Singular: Snofjogurar
Plural: Snofjogurfolk

Government: Unitary parliamentary republic
Moderator: Gudmund Nilsen (2028–2033)

Formation: 21 August 2018
Joined the World Assembly: 11 November 2018
Joined the Leftist Assembly: 24 December 2018

Land area: 20,670 km2 (43.8%)
Territorial waters: 26,530 km2 (56.2%)

Population:
49,107 (founding population)
257,467 (August 2029 census) (non-NS)

Currency: Snofjogurish mark (ℳ) (SFM)
Conversion rate (August 2029 average):
ℳ 1 = Ł 0.670 = € 0.747 = $ 0.848
Ł 1 = ℳ 1.492, € 1 = ℳ 1.340, $ 1 = ℳ 1.179

Yearly gross domestic product (2029):
ℳ 23,601,000,000 total (non-NS)
ℳ 91,666 per capita (7th)

Human development index (2029): 1.261 (very high, 1st) (non-NS)

Timezone: CET (UTC+1)

Date & time format: YYYY.MM.DD.hh.mm.ss
Clock format: 24-hour

Drives on the: Right

Calling code: +07
Internet top-level domain: .sf

Snofjogur is a small, peaceful nation located in the LinkArctic Ocean, north of LinkSvalbard. It is a member of the Leftist Assembly. Its small population enjoys one of the safest environments in the world, as crime is virtually nonexistent thanks in part to the nation's rehabilitation procedure for dealing with criminals but mostly to its well-funded public education and high living standards.

The nation was founded on the three pillars of science, industry and welfare, and its policies reflect this. It is also known for having quickly enacted a number of progressive, liberal and eco-friendly policies. Its socialist ideals have permitted Snofjogurfolk to live in a safe, ordered society and have attracted many foreigners. Nearly all of the population consists of immigrants who arrived during the first few years of the nation's existence.

1. Etymology

Snofjogur (IPA: snoˈfjśɡśɾ) comes from the LinkIcelandic snjófjögur (IPA: sɲoˈfjśɡśɾ), which means snowy Linkfjords. The nation was so named after its founders saw the LinkNorwegian-like landscape of the islands.

2. History

See also: Timeline of Snofjogurish history

2.1. Formation

In early 1807, an Linkunderwater Linkvolcano erupted in the Arctic Ocean. The eruption caused the emergence of four new small islands.

A small group of thinkers who had spent years researching and planning the perfect society saw this as the perfect opportunity and relocated to the islands with their families in 2018, after determining that the islands were safe to live on. They claimed them as an independent territory, since no other nation had annexed them. They established the nation of Snofjogur and shortly afterwards joined the World Assembly and the Leftist Assembly in order to garner support from older, stronger nations.

2.2. VitroGrow Act

Years of scientific endeavours by international teams of researchers culminated in the VitroGrow Act being passed in Snofjogur on 27 February 2019. This is still regarded as the most important development in Snofjogurish history since the nation's founding half a year earlier.

With the technology to grow any kind of organic tissue in laboratories, the need for Snofjogur to import food from abroad ended. This marked a pivotal step in the nation's path to establishing itself as a self-sufficient nation with a strong economy, since the national terrain is incapable of harbouring crops and wildlife available for hunting is fairly scarce.

Another important consequence of the VitroGrow Act was the ability to grow new citizens as needed, which led the government to impose compulsory sterilisation of all of the population. This eliminated unwanted pregnancies and allowed the population to be controlled at a desirable level to avoid overpopulation.

Finally, the availability on demand of lab-grown organs drastically boosted the nation's healthcare system and reduced the number of deaths due to transplant waiting lists or organ rejection.

3. Geography

Snofjogur's territory consists of a group of four islands: from north to south, these are called Norđur, Vestur, Miđ and Suđur. At a latitude of 82.5 to 84.8 ° N, the islands are the northenmost land on Earth and are completely surrounded by sea ice all year long.

The closest land to Snofjogur is Svalbard (LinkNorway), LinkFranz Josef Land (LinkRussia) and LinkGreenland (LinkDenmark).

3.1. Geology

Link
Black sand beach in Suđur

Link
Volcanic rock fields and volcano in Miđ

All four islands are characterised by their extensive fields of Linkvolcanic rock and their black-sand beaches. There are also rocky beaches and regions of red rock rich in Linkiron ore, mainly Linkhaematite.

3.2. Biodiversity

The biodiversity of Snofjogur is limited due to its relative remoteness and inhospitable climate.

Animal diversity

All four islands have permanent Linkarctic fox, Linkpolar bear, LinkSvalbard reindeer, Linkarctic hare, Linkwalrus, Linkringed seal, Linkbearded seal, Linkhooded seal and Linkharp seal populations.

Link
Birds migrating to Miđ during Summer to nest

Suđur is visited all year round by Linkarctic fulmars and in Summer by breeding Linkarctic terns, Linklittle auks, Linksnow buntings and Linkthick-billed murres; LinkAtlantic puffins and Linkrock ptarmigans also breed on the coast of the island during warmer Summers. Miđ is visited by arctic fulmars, little auks and thick-billed murres in Summer. The two northern islands are devoid of birds throughout the year.

Several species of arctic Linkoctopus (including the recently discovered arctic Linkblanket octopus, which was adopted by Snofjogurfolk as their national animal) and arctic Linksquid are native to the waters around Snofjogur. LinkBowhead whales, Linkbeluga whales, Linknorthern bottlenose whales, Linknarwhals, LinkAtlantic white-sided dolphins and Linkwhite-beaked dolphins inhabit these waters permanently, while Linkhumpback whales, Linkminke whales and Linkorcas come here to feed.

Due to Snofjogur having been underwater until recently (in geological terms), it is common to find seashells and fossilised marine creatures even high in the mountains. In fact, three new species have been discovered in this way; one of them, the green-billed fisher turtle, has since been found not to be extinct.

Plant diversity

Vegetation is scarce but hardy. As all four islands lie above the tree line, the largest natural plants are arctic shrubs; the only tree to grow in the wild is the artificially created arctic pine, which was created by genetic modification of the LinkScots pine. LinkLichens are ubiquitous, and some other Linkfungal species can be found in the southern islands.

3.3. Climate

The climate of Snofjogur is cold and unforgiving. Summer temperatures average only 4 °C, while Winter temperatures average –20 °C. Frequent but light rain and snow with moderate winds are the norm throughout the year, except in August, which is very dry. Except in August and sometimes in May, dense fog often covers the land, severely reducing visibility. The islands are completely covered by snow for most of the year; when they are not, the red and black rock underneath provides a striking change of scenery.

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Year

Average high (°C)

–15

–15

–15

–11

–5

1

5

4

–1

–6

–10

–13

–5

Average low (°C)

–22

–23

–22

–18

–9

–3

1

0

–5

–11

–16

–20

–10

Average precipitation (mm)

23

20

30

17

14

25

31

0

26

20

23

26

283

Mean monthly sunshine hours

0

0

67

173

186

180

176

151

111

6

0

0

1,050

Link
The four islands of Snofjogur

Link
Aurora borealis over Sjard

Link
A Snofjogurar hiking across one of Miđ's numerous fjords

Link
View of Svartvatn towards the south

Link
Rock and ice formations on the southern coast of Suđur

3.4. Regions

Snofjogur is divided into four administrative regions, each one corresponding to one of the islands it is made up of: Norđur, Vestur, Miđ and Suđur.

Norđur

Norđur has an area of 2,795 km2. It is a cold and desolate land with little animal activity and barely any human activity. There are plans to develop the island for human habitation in the future.

Vestur

Vestur is the smallest island, with an area of 1,527 km2. The most important settlement in Vestur is Sjard, with a population of about 30,500 inhabitants, most of which are Snofjogurfolk.

Miđ

Miđ is by far the largest of the islands, with an area of 14,170 km2. The vast majority of the Snofjogurish population lives on Miđ, including practically all non-nationalised immigrants.

The island has two lakes, Svartvatn (Black Lake) in the northwest and Kyrrvatn (Still Lake) in the south. It is also home to numerous rivers, the largest of which is the Ísinn (Icy River).

Almost half of the nation's population lives in the capital, Anaborg, which stands on the banks of the Ísinn. The two other cities on the island are Kyrrvatn, which has a population of about 44,000 inhabitants and lies on the shores of the lake with the same name, and Steinndal, which has a population of about 34,500 inhabitants.

The island is also home to most of Snofjogur's permanent wildlife population, although few birds come to Miđ even in Summer and no birds live permanently on the island.

Suđur

Suđur is the southernmost island and has an area of 2,178 km2. The entirety of the island, which has the largest biodiversity of the four islands and is home to several natural formations of great beauty, is designated as an ecological reserve and therefore protected from human settlement.


Chart showing government expenditure per area

4. Politics

4.1. Constitution

The constitution of Snofjogur was enacted on 21 August 2018, the day Snofjogur was officially founded. It establishes the nation's political system, some of its laws and its main policies.

An amendment was made on 27 February 2019 after the VitroGrow Act was passed.

4.2. Parliament

Link
Anaborg City Hall, which houses the parliament

Snofjogur is a Linkunitary Linkparliamentary Linkrepublic.

The Snofjogurish parliament holds the nation's executive and legislative power. It consists of numerous sectors, one for each aspect of Snofjogurish society and lifestyle considered essential, such as science & technology, education, industry, public health, and foreign affairs. Each sector consists of seven members, called representatives, who vote democratically on issues the sector is concerned with. For issues concerning multiple sectors, the representatives of all sectors involved hold equal voting rights.

The Snofjogurish democratic system has been described as informed democracy or meritocratic democracy. Only people with sufficient knowledge on a subject (a master's degree or equivalent) may vote to elect representatives of or run for office in a sector involved with that subject. Elections are held every five years, and office is assumed by elected representatives two months after each election, on the anniversary of Snofjogur's founding. There is no limit to the number of times a representative can be reelected.

No political parties exist in Snofjogur. Instead, every candidate runs independently. Campaigns are simple and inexpensive, with each candidate stating their ideology and examples of legislation they intend to propose if elected.

4.3. Moderator

See also: List of moderators of Snofjogur

A single person, called the moderator and elected by the representatives of all the sectors, has the role of tiebreaker, providing the decisive vote on any legislation in favour of or against which enough votes have not been obtained. Elections are held one month after the elections for representatives, and office is assumed by the elected moderator on the same day as it is assumed by representatives. As in the case of representatives, a moderator can be reelected an unlimited number of times.

The moderator is considered the head of state for purposes for which a single person must act as such (including public appearances), but in reality the representatives hold much more power.

4.4. Law

The judicial system of Snofjogur is a civil law system without courts. The nation's laws are codified mostly in a document called the code of laws, although the basis of Snofjogurish law is contained in the constitution, which holds precedence over the code of laws in the event of any contradiction that may occur between the two documents. In the absence of courts, a vast artificial intelligence system determines whether or not something is a crime in the event of ambiguity or doubt.

Notably, crime in Snofjogur is not punished, but rather seen simply as unexpected behaviour that must be prevented through a process called rehabilitation. There are no prisons in Snofjogur. A person found guilty of a crime is treated in a manner similar to that in which mental health patients are treated in clinics; the criminal's motivation for committing the crime is determined, and then they are introduced into a rehabilitation programme tailored to their needs given the nature of their crime and their motivation. Rehabilitation programmes are based on mental health therapy sessions and school ethics lectures and are aimed at ensuring that the criminal can be reintroduced to society as a fully functioning member who will never willingly commit a crime again. As a result, reoffenders are unheard of and criminals are able to be treated as any normal person would after their reintroduction.

In addition to Snofjogur's highly specialised and internationally praised system for dealing with criminals, the nation's high education and living standards make crime almost nonexistent.

4.5. Welfare

Core principles

Snofjogur's welfare model is built to ensure that "every Snofjogurar's basic needs are met". It includes universal healthcare, as well as government-funded nourishment, homing, education and public transport. These services are all made freely available to the entire population. This is funded through taxation; income tax in Snofjogur is about 85%, the highest in the world, almost 25% higher than in LinkSweden, the nation with the next-highest income tax.

The Snofjogurish social equality system is based on the idea that everyone deserves a level initial playing field; in other words, everyone should start life with exactly the same opportunities as everyone else. Genetic engineering to prevent known hereditary diseases, especially since the VitroGrow Act came into effect, removes disadvantages caused by health problems, while the welfare system handles the rest of the issue by outlawing every form of material inheritance and providing each citizen with the "basic rights", as they are called in the constitution, detailed in the previous paragraph. According to the idea behind the system, it then falls on each individual to earn any luxuries they desire, such as a private vehicle, jewellery and expensive clothes, a larger or second home, more-expensive food, and personal property outside that deemed necessary for survival. Transfer of property with a value above a certain threshold, including personal vehicles and real estate, from one person to another is likewise prohibited, as it falls within the realm of material inheritance as defined by the Snofjogurish code of laws, even if the transfer would take place while the transferrer is alive.

Core among the tenets of the Snofjogurish welfare system is the idea of income equality. By law, the lowest and highest specialisation levels in each labour field have fixed salaries, with intermediate specialisation levels allowing intermediate salaries. This ensures that a person performing one job is paid at the same rate as a person performing another job at an equivalent specialisation level while still allowing room for the incentive to learn new skills and earn promotions. This has the added benefit of ensuring each person follows the career path they believe would maximise personal satisfaction by removing the financial incentive to select certain career choices, as is the case in other nations. Thanks to this system, the wealthiest 10% of the population earns only about 20% more than the poorest 10%. Furthermore, pensions are generous and proportional to the number of years the pensioner worked for, which encourages retirement at an advanced age without forcing people to retire if they do not want to.

Unemployment benefits

Unemployment benefits can be claimed for a maximum of six months, which the government deems is enough time for a person actively seeking a job within their field of expertise to obtain one.

Healthcare

Compensation for work-related injuries consists in payment which fully matches the worker's wages for the time required for medical rehabilitation. Permanent disability is rare thanks to the well-funded universal healthcare system and the near-immediate availability of replacement body parts the VitroGrow Act ensures.

Notably absent from the list of possible financial and work-related benefits one can claim is maternity/paternity benefits and leave, a controversial policy which has been widely criticised by other nations but follows the entire system's philosophy that, outside of basic human needs, each person is solely and entirely responsible for forging their own future. This became a non-issue with the advent of the VitroGrow Act, which itself has been criticised by foreign opinion but has proven to raise the living standards and social equality of Snofjogur.

Welfare programmes for substance abusers

Despite drugs being legal in Snofjogur, there is an extremely low incidence of substance abuse thanks to the nation's high living standards and public education. Nevertheless, there are welfare services for substance abusers. These mainly consist on therapy programmes aimed at withdrawing the dependence on the abused substance. While this service is provided free of charge, no financial compensation is given to people whose jobs suffer or are lost due to substance abuse.


Chart showing the distribution of the economy

5. Economy

Snofjogur has the seventh-highest nominal gross domestic product per capita (ℳ 91,666, or $ 77,755) in the world, behind only LinkMonaco, LinkLiechtenstein, LinkLuxembourg, Norway, LinkSwitzerland and LinkIreland. In only a few years, progressive social policies have turned a fledgeling economy into a strong, sustainable one. Though the nation is small and thus not truly an economic superpower, its citizens enjoy a very high living standard and purchasing power despite the high income tax.

Private enterprise is illegal in Snofjogur; all business is state-controlled. According to the government, this is to prevent income disparity and social inequality as well as to maintain standard prices appropriate for the population's wages.

As in other nordic countries, most of the economic output is concentrated in the capital-city area, where a large fraction of the population is also concentrated.

The nation's currency is the Snofjogurish mark (ℳ or SFM); some government officials have expressed an interest in adopting the euro were Snofjogur to join the LinkEuropean Union, but there are currently no plans to become an EU member state. Inflation is extremely low, about 0.5%, due in part to the state providing every citizen with all basic needs and in part to the complete lack of private enterprise. Material currency was abolished in March 2029; all currency is handled electronically nowadays.

Snofjogur's main trading partners are Norway, Sweden, Denmark, LinkIceland, LinkScotland, the LinkUnited Kingdom, Ireland, LinkGermany, LinkCanada, Russia and LinkFinland.

5.1. Energy

As in Iceland, geothermal and hydroelectric power are abundant in Snofjogur; they make up about 80% of the nation's energy sources, with the remaining energy coming from nuclear and wind power. This has led Snofjogur to quickly become one of the most ecologically friendly nations in the world, a result aided by its strict environmental laws. Despite the abundance of oil in the Arctic Ocean, oil extraction is nonexistent, and fossil fuels are prohibited by Snofjogurish law.

5.2. Transport

Transport in Snofjogur is almost exclusively land-based due to the difficulty of navigating in permanently ice-covered water. Each island has a well-maintained network of roads and railroads connecting cities, and road and railroad bridges connect Miđ to the other islands.

It is possible to reach any settlement in Snofjogur by train, and towns and cities are small enough to make public transport unnecessary. A wide network of bicycle lanes covers every settlement, and the nation has strict transit laws for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. Furthermore, all public transport is free of charge, and Snofjogurish trains are renowned for their punctuality. These factors make privately owned vehicles rare. However, hiking and exploration enthusiasts often own private automobiles and use them to reach places far from the civilised areas of the country; these are mostly LinkVolvo cars imported from Sweden and modified for the rugged off-road conditions of Snofjogur.

Maritime transport between the islands does take place but is mostly used by scientific teams and university or school groups undertaking field trips. Small motorboats with reinforced hulls make up the majority of the aquatic vehicles in Snofjogur, and the remainder consists of small submarines operated exclusively by deep-sea research groups.

In keeping with the nation's eco-friendly laws and policies, all motorised transport in Snofjogur is electric.

Wilderness rescue and natural-reserve surveillance teams often use air transport. When they do, they employ modified LinkSikorsky Firefly helicopters which can hold the pilot and one passenger and operate for up to one hour on a single pair of batteries.

Snofjogur has a single airport, the Snofjogur International Airport (International Air Transport Association code: SFR), located roughly at the centre of Miđ and reachable from any settlement on the island by train. Is is used exclusively for international travel; Snofjogur has very little incoming tourism, but vacationing abroad is extremely common among its population. Snofjogur's own airline, Flugliđ, currently services cities in LinkScandinavia, Denmark (including Greenland), Kyneland, Finland, Russia and Canada. Until recently, airplanes were the only vehicles allowed to use fossil fuels in Snofjogur; following a Norwegian-Snofjogurish research partnership, a transition to fully electrically powered planes was made. The first commercial electrically powered flights came into service in 2025, and the last petrol-fuelled plane took off in January 2030, marking the end of the nation's transition to fully environmentally friendly energy sources.

Every coastal settlement in Miđ has a seaport capable of harbouring a single large trade ship at a time. Ships carrying trade goods which require maritime transport can dock at any of these ports and unload their cargo. All of Snofjogur's exports are transported abroad by air, so these facilities are only used by foreign ships. Formerly, significant docking fees were charged to incoming ships using fossil fuels or other kinds of fuels with a large carbon footprint, while docking was free for eco-friendly vessels. Since 2030, the former kind of vessel is prohibited from docking in Snofjogurish ports, which now accommodate only eco-friendly ships.

5.3. Industry

Most of the Snofjogurish industry is based on information technology, in-vitro tissue growth and other scientific and medical industries. Laboratory-grown tissue and organs for food and medical research constitute the vast majority of the nation's exports, with robotics and artificial intelligence also making significant contributions.

There is no agricultural or fishing industry due to the strict animal protection laws in place and the availability of artificially grown food. Due to the environmental protection laws, mining activity is low; Snofjogur imports most of its metals from other northern-European nations.

5.4. Public policy

Snofjogur has one of the world's highest income equalities, with only about a 20% difference between the highest and lowest wages.

The excellent welfare programme in Snofjogur has resulted in a fairly large fraction of the population being content to live with the bare minimum provided by the government, which is easily enough to live a decent life; the unemployment rate is 21%, much higher than in nations with comparable Linkhuman development indices and living standards. Most of the citizens absent from the workforce are recently arrived immigrants, which has led to rising tensions between locals and immigrants. This has contributed significantly to Snofjogur's severe restrictions on immigration; other factors are a desire to maintain population levels within a narrow band considered optimal for the available landmass and work positions, the ability to create citizens as needed in a laboratory, and the difficulty immigrants have experienced adapting to the extremely ordered and fairly restrictive way of life in Snofjogur.

6. Demographics

Birthplace

Population

%

Germany

72,450

28.14

Sweden

47,497

18.45

Norway

46,358

18.01

Denmark (excluding
Faroe Islands)

29,368

11.41

Iceland

23,078

8.96

Snofjogur

15,874

6.17

Faroe Islands

1,291

0.50

Other

21,547

8.37

Total

257,467

100.00

The majority of Snofjogur's population is comprised by foreigners who migrated from the founding nations (The Faroe Islands, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Germany) in Snofjogur's early years, but small groups of people born in other nations also exist. Nearly all of them have obtained Snofjogurish nationality. A small but growing population, so far consisting exclusively of children, is of Snofjogurish birth; all but the earliest of these were lab-grown.

More than half of all households where at least one member is over the age of thirty have pets. The majority of pets are Linkdogs; the most common breed is the LinkSiberian husky.

6.1. Languages

To celebrate the diversity of its founding population, Snofjogur has six official languages: LinkFaroese, LinkIcelandic, LinkNorwegian, LinkSwedish, LinkDanish and LinkGerman. Additionally, LinkEnglish is spoken by the vast majority of Snofjogurfolk; while it is seldom used in casual conversation in Snofjogur, it is used widely by international research groups and in postgraduate degrees.

By law, all Snofjogurish children are taught at least three languages at school. Each child chooses the languages they would like to learn, with the one restriction being that they may not choose all three Scandinavian languages (Norwegian, Swedish and Danish), which are mutually intelligible. This restriction prevents the only possible situation in which two people would be unable to communicate with each other in one of the official languages of Snofjogur (this would only be possible if one of them spoke only the three Scandinavian languages and the other spoke neither of them) and thus ensures that all citizens can communicate with each other.

Immigrants are not required to learn three languages when they move to Snofjogur, but they are strongly encouraged to do so and they usually speak English anyway.

The diversity of languages means that all signs in Snofjogur are in at least four languages (one Scandinavian language and all three non-Scandinavian ones) and usually in all six of them. All business-related signs are in all six national languages, and some signs in universities and hotels are also in English. This can be seen as a quaint local custom by tourists, but in recent years it has started having a more profound effect on the population: because of the large amount of space signs normally require, abbreviations are common and brevity is often employed; this has begun to bleed into everyday speech, and some linguists theorise that in a few generations Snofjogur will have developed its own language, a strange hybrid of its six national languages.

6.2. Cities

City

Region

Population

Anaborg

Miđ

120,166

Kyrrvatn

Miđ

44,074

Steinndal

Miđ

34,590

Sjard

Vestur

30,431

Link
Anaborg seen from across the Ísinn

Link
The city of Kyrrvatn on the shores of the lake that gives it its name

Link
The coastal city of Steinndal

Snofjogur has only four cities: Anaborg, Kyrrvatn, Steinndal and Sjard. The first three are on the island of Miđ, where the majority of Snofjogurfolk live, while Sjard is on Vestur, the other heavily populated island.

The four cities contain over 89% of the population. Life in Snofjogur is thus mainly urban.

There are towns and small villages all over Miđ and Vestur, as well as some in southern Norđur. The combined population of these settlements is 28,206, less than the population of the smallest city, Sjard. Nevertheless, even the smallest settlement, Svartströnd in southeastern Norđur, is well connected by rail and road to nearby villages. With the nation not having an agricultural industry, most towns and villages live off energy generation, field research or, occasionally, tourism.

6.3. Religion

Snofjogur has no official religion, and its government endorses no religious groups. Religion is not taught at schools except from an academic point of view starting at age 13, and the fact that all children belong to the state (see Education & science) ensures that religion is forced upon no child. Children are, however, given the option to attend the church of their choice starting at age 13. Despite the government not endorsing any religion, it does not enforce irreligion either, and the population enjoys full religious freedom. That said, there are no officially recognised religious institutions.

Snofjogur is a highly secular nation; the 2029 census revealed that over 76% of the population identified themselves as convinced Linkatheists. Most of the remaining Snofjogurfolk practise Linklutheranism, and Linkcatholics are the most important religious minority; this reflects the religious composition of Snofjogur's founding nations.

6.4. Health

Link
Sjard Hospital

Life expectancy in Snofjogur was only 56 years during its early days due to the lack of infrastructure and the high number of deaths related to freezing or to exploration and construction accidents. Since then, it has risen to nearly 83 years.

Due to the lack of genetic disorders in vat-grown people (see VitroGrow Act), infant mortality rate has been zero since 2019, with only one infant dying in this time period (the victim was a 4-year-old boy who arrived at Snofjogur with his parents and died of a rare form of brain Linkcancer shortly afterwards).

Today, most people in Snofjogur die of old age or of non-hereditary or unknown-cause diseases, mainly cancer, Linkdiabetes and Linkneurodegenerative disorders. LinkMental disorders are not uncommon, though mental health treatment is extremely developed. Due to the remoteness of Snofjogur, the Linkcomplete lack of light for five months every Winter and the desolate nature of the nation's landscape, Linkdepression is high, sitting around 18 suicides per 100,000 people per year.

Euthanasia is completely legal and viewed as something normal; it is accepted and rarely given second thought. Part of the healthcare provided by the government involves facilitation of euthanasia for any patient desiring it regardless of age or health status; this has resulted in a greatly reduced incidence of failed suicide attempts compared to other countries.

The fertility rate was 1.61 children per woman in 2018 but decreased to 0 in 2019 due to the compulsory sterilisation of all Snofjogurfolk.

6.5. Education and science

Link
Kyrrvatn University (the large red building near the buses)

Because children belong to the state (and, in fact, those born in Snofjogur since February 2019 have no parents), all children grow up in an environment similar to that of a boarding school. Like the other basic rights established in the Snofjogurish constitution, education, including higher education, is free and provided by the state. All children thus receive schooling from age 6 to age 18. After that, they are free to decide what to do with their lives and are given a house in a city, town or village of their choice; most choose to continue their studies, obtaining a bachelor's degree and often at least one postgraduate degree. The average number of schooling years in Snofjogur is thus close to 15.

There are four universities in Snofjogur, one in each of the cities. They have different specialisations: Anaborg University specialises in cultural studies, linguistics, economics and politics; Kyrrvatn University specialises in the physical sciences, Earth sciences, material sciences and electronics; Steinndal University specialises in the biological and medical sciences and in biotechnology; and Sjard University specialises in energy production and use, ecology, environment and conservation. Kyrrvatn and Steinndal Universities are constantly engaged in multiple interdisciplinary research projects with each other.

Most research takes place at the universities. Kyrrvatn University has an observatory atop a nearby mountain overlooking the lake with the same name; astronomers at the observatory discovered Ingólfsson Comet in late 2024. The technology for the VitroGrow project, though years in the making in multiple LinkEuropean, LinkEast-Asian and LinkNorth-American countries, was completed by an interdisciplinary group consisting of members of Steinndal and Kyrrvatn Universities.

6.6. Space exploration

Link
Snofjogurish Space Agency logo

Snofjogur established the Snofjogurish Space Agency on 16 April 2021. Research for it is done in close partnership with Kyrrvatn University, and its headquarters are near Kyrrvatn, while the launch pad is closer to the centre of Miđ.

So far, Snofjogur has only launched a few communications and Earth-survey satellites, but a manned mission to LinkMars is being prepared and is expected to launch in September or October 2031.

6.7. VitroGrow Act

The VitroGrow project was a multinational research project which was in development for almost 10 years, from mid-2009 to early 2019. On 12 February 2019, after long years of research and testing, the project was finally announced as completed by a group based in Kyrrvatn and Steinndal Universities.

The result was profound, especially in Snofjogur, which adopted the developed technology immediately, whereas other nations have adopted it only partially and taken longer to do so, mainly due to ethical concerns. Snofjogur's adoption of this technology resulted in the VitroGrow Act, which was passed by the parliament on 27 February 2019.

One of the main consequences of the VitroGrow project was that enough food to feed all of Snofjogur's population could now be grown in laboratories. The artificial food is identical to that obtained from animals and plants down to the molecular level, which makes it safe to consume and renders hunting, fishing and harvesting obsolete; the VitroGrow Act thus resulted in the constitution being amended to include a clause prohibiting the harming of any animal for any purpose.

The other main consequence, and perhaps the most controversial among scholars in other nations, is that fully functional humans could also be grown in labs. This finally allowed the population level to be closely controlled and maintained at optimal levels given the availability of space and resources in the nation. Additionally, it was the missing piece in the Snofjogurish dream of true equality; new children had no parents, which eliminated the desire of prospective parents to pass on material inheritance (which is seen in Snofjogur as contributing to unfair economic disparity in other nations) to their children and to keep them and educate them themselves (which is in direct opposition to the Snofjogurish policy of children belonging to the state); furthermore, it made genetic editing to remove hereditary diseases easy at first and unnecessary from the second generation onwards. The amendment to the constitution thus also included a law whereby all Snofjogurfolk were to undergo compulsory sterilisation. Direct consequences of this were the elimination of unwanted pregnancies, the end of discussions on the ethics of abortion outside of academic circles studying human rights in foreign nations, and a reduction in the number of cases of sexually transmitted diseases and infections of the reproductive system.

7. Culture

7.1. Literature

Snofjogur's literature has so far fallen mainly into two genres: science-fiction and drama.

Notable works of dramatic literary fiction include Astrid de Wit's coming-of age trilogy Impaired frontal lobe (2022), Harrowing violence (2024) and Threads of insanity (2027), as well as Tomas Winblad's political drama Anaborg-Berlin-Yaoundé (2023).

Perhaps the most influential science-fiction author is Hieronymus Vinter, whose book Umbra (2023) and its sequel Alba (2026) have sold millions of copies worldwide and been translated into over fifteen languages.

Important works in other genres exist as well. One example is Alexandra Schwarz's fantasy novel Gottjäger (Godslayers, 2028).

7.2. Architecture

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Residential neighbourhood in central Anaborg

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Modern house in outer Anaborg

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Modern house in outer Anaborg

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House in the modern-rustic style in Kyrrvatn

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Circular greenhouse inside Northern Lights Hotel in Sjard

Standard-issue houses in Snofjogur are made primarily of wood and built in the simple Linklog style common in Scandinavia. Citizens are given such houses by the government upon completing their primary education around age 18. Such houses are usually close to the city or town centre, and when vacated they are cleaned and reused.

It is common, and actually encouraged by the government, for citizens to have custom-built houses to move into so standard-issue residences can be freed up for the next generation of young adults. Due to the lack of space near the centres of settlements, these tend to be built in the outer neighbourhoods of towns and cities. The high living standard enjoyed by Snofjogurfolk has resulted in some citizens engaging in a kind of unspoken, unofficial competition, designing ultra-modern houses for themselves to live in and comparing their houses with those of their neighbours'. Other citizens combine the fairly rustic style of standard-issue housing with a more modern style; this modern-rustic style is especially popular in Kyrrvatn. Custom houses can employ any combination of wood, stone, concrete, glass and occasionally metal.

Many larger buildings are built in the Norwegian Linkdragon style. They are mostly made of stone and wood but occasionally employ bricks.

Wood was initially imported from Norway and Sweden. Since the VitroGrow Act was passed, it is artificially grown in Snofjogur, which has greatly diversified the types of wood employed in construction.

7.3. Music

LinkClassical music in Snofjogur is widely enjoyed by its population, but Snofjogurish composers and ensembles have yet to gain international recognition. Other than a small Linkromantic revival pioneered by Aidan Horn, who cites German composer LinkLudwig van Beethoven and LinkAustrian composers LinkFranz Schubert and LinkGustav Mahler as his influences, Snofjogurish classical music has largely been ignored in favour of that of other European nations.

Modern music hailing from Snofjogur, particularly Linkmetal and Linkpost-rock, has enjoyed greater success. LinkMelodic death metal bands The Horror, Death By Teacup and White Shadow are well known throughout the nation, some of their songs even being played on occasion in hotels, restaurants and shops, and have toured internationally many times. Post-rock artist Charlotte Vos has also enjoyed great popularity both domestically and internationally, especially in Scandinavia, Iceland and the LinkBritish Isles.

7.4. Cinema and television

Snofjogurish film has gained a reputation for its brutally honest and intimate depictions of modern life. Most important cinematographic works deal with interpersonal relationships, hopes and dreams, disappointment, fear and mental health; some, like the internationally acclaimed Ćtt (Family, 2024), are set in Snofjogur, while others are set in the writers' or directors' birthplaces. The nation's cinematography has been compared to that of Scandinavia and Denmark, particularly that of Norwegian director LinkJoachim Trier.

7.5. Media and communications

Snofjogurish press publishes articles predominantly on the internet, which every Snofjogurar has free access to by law; physical journalistic publications are rare, in contrast to literary publications, which exist both on paper and electronically in approximately equal measure. Due to the government's transparency and the laws ensuring freedom of speech, Snofjogurish press is one of the freest in the world and numerous articles with strong political opinions are often published.

Radio and television are available to residents with licences and broadcast digitally. As with newspapers, there is great freedom of speech across all media. Notably, Snofjogurish television is censorship-free; even young children are allowed to watch any programme regardless of content, and children are strongly encouraged to ask their school teachers about things they do not understand.

7.6. Cuisine

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Tandoori chicken tacos, a popular fusion dish in Snofjogur

Owing to VitroGrow technology, Snofjogurish cuisine is incredibly diverse for such a small and inhospitable nation. LinkFusion cuisine dominates the country's culinary landscape, with Linkchili-based dishes particularly common.

7.7. Public holidays

Snofjogur Day is celebrated on 21 August four out of every five years. In non-election years, it is a public holiday during which people not employed in civil services are allowed to take a paid day off and people employed in civil services are paid double for their work; open-air plays, music festivals and parades, all of which have cultural themes tied to Snofjogur but are forbidden by law from touching political themes, are common occurrences on Snofjogur Day in all cities and most towns. In election years (years ending in 3 or 8 in the Linkgregorian calendar), 21 August is not a holiday.

The Linksolstices and Linkequinoxes are also public holidays in Snofjogur and are celebrated similarly to Snofjogur day, with parades and festivals, although the themes of such celebrations are more scientific and ecological than cultural. The small towns of Hvittfjall and Skjultstrand in northeastern Vestur have for several years held a yearly competition with each other to see which town can plant the highest arctic pine tree; a single tree is planted by each town on the day of the Winter solstice, and its height is measured the following Winter solstice in order to determine the winner. Owing to its slightly more southerly latitude, Hvittfjall has narrowly won nearly every year.

No religious holidays are officially recognised in Snofjogur. Christian holidays, such as Linkchristmas and Linkeaster, are often celebrated by members of the christian religions, who normally take a day or two off from work to do so, but are not considered official holidays.

7.8. Sports

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Uniform of the Snofjogur national American football team
(left to right: home, helmet, away)

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Uniform of the Snofjogur national football team
(left to right: home, goalkeeper, away)

LinkRhythmic gymnastics, Linkartistic gymnastics and Linkfigure skating have been practised in Snofjogur since the nation's early days. A national championship of each of these disciplines is held every year, with each competition being hosted in a different city and the fourth city "resting"; the sports are rotated between the cities, so the exact combination of sports and cities is repeated every four years. These competitions only have individual categories. Snofjogurish gymnasts and figure skaters have regularly participated in European and global competitions since the early 2020s, with the Snofjogurish rhythmic gymnastics team earning a bronze medal in the group all-around category of the 2026 Linkworld championship and bronze and silver medals in the group all-around category of the 2024 and 2026 LinkEuropean championships, respectively. Both gymnastics teams participated in the 2024 and 2028 LinkSummer Olympic Games, and the figure skating team participated in the 2022 and 2026 LinkWinter Olympic Games, but Snofjogur has yet to win any olympic medals.

LinkAmerican football is a popular sport in Snofjogur, with all four cities and several towns having stadiums. It is played at schools across the nation, and a national tournament with the same format as the LinkNational Football League in the LinkUnited States of America is held every year. Snofjogur has a national American football team which occasionally plays against teams from other parts of Europe, and the nation has pushed for the establishment of a European tournament for years.

Other popular sports in Snofjogur are Linkbaseball and Linkfootball. Yearly national tournaments of each of these two sports are held. Snofjogur does not participate in any international baseball tournaments, but it does play football internationally, although it has yet to qualify for a LinkWorld Cup.

All sports in Snofjogur are practised equally by members of both sexes, with the exception of rhythmic gymnastics, which is practised predominantly by women, and American football, which is practised predominantly by men. Competitions at all levels in all sports are mixed, with no distinction between members of different sexes.

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