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Bactria (Vegetarian World)

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Bactria
Flag Bactria (VegWorld)
Official languages Bactrian Greek, Pashto, Nuristani
Capital Bactra
Largest City Bactra
Population 7,100,000
HDI 0.796
Republic founded 1911
Currency Bactrian Rial (BTR)
Our Timeline Equivalent Afghanistan, eastern Iran

Bactria is a multicultural democracy unusual in the region because of its Greek influence.

History

Bactria's modern history began in 1731. During the last few centuries prior to that time, Persia had on-and-off loose control over the region. In general, Bactria was considered a wasteland mostly serving as a good border region that could be used as military staging grounds against India if need be, as well a buffer against any attacks on Persia proper. In practice, much of the area was savage and tribal in character. One man, Bahraam of Kafiristan, started the change that would turn his country's fortunes around. At the time, northeastern Bactria (that is, the Hindu Kush region) was known as Kafiristan ("Land of the Infidels" in Persian) because of the people's fierce resistance to Islam and unique polytheism (different than Hinduism). (Other areas of modern-day Bactria were often referred to as Khorasan.) Bahraam of Kafiristan was lucky enough to make it into India (through Indian-administered Chitral, inhabited by the ethnically similar Kalash people) and study at a university at Pushpapura (OTL Peshawar, Pakistan). There, Bahraam learned about, among other things, Greek history, including Alexander the Great and his conquests. He also heard of people living in Europe with light hair and light skin, and their great contributions to modern culture. This was a shock to Bahraam, because many of the residents of Kafiristan (and Chitral) seemed to exhibit the same traits, but were persecuted by the Persians and thought of as the most lowly people in their domain. He also noted the similarities between his polytheism and that of the ancient Greeks (and, to an extent, the contemporary Hindus). He came to the conclusion that his race used to be a proud people, and that the Persian Muslims were not superior. His beliefs seemed to be validated when he met a European man (and a blonde, at that) for the first time. The European was a trader from Montpelhièr, Catatania. They befriended each other during the Catatanian's stay of a few months, and Bahraam soaked up as much information as possible. Finally, after four years, Bahraam returned to Kafiristan, but not before modifying his name to Bahraam Alexander. When he returned to Kafiristan, he became a teacher and started a process of educating the people in his town. He taught them science, math, and most of all, history, including the fact (proven to him, at least) that they were a great people descended from the Greeks. He referred to Kafiristan as Nuristan, or "Land of (the) light" or "Land of the enlightened", both as a reference to the racial features of the people (now called "Nuri"s), and to their having awakened from their cultural slumber. Over the years, his notoriety spread, and the Persians sought out people to do him in. These assassination attempts didn't work, so the Persians sent an army to take on Kafiristan. However, the Persian army was surprisingly routed. Immediately (in 1731), he declared an independent Bactrian nation, which India soon recognized. He didn't just include Nuristan, but appealed to other tribes in modern Bactria to stand up to the Persians. A good deal of people outside of Nuristan were also polytheist or Buddhist, and many tribes signed on, as they were tired of maltreatment and yearned for something more, which Bahraam Alexander (now King Alexander) had promised. Several Muslim tribes with bad feelings towards Persia also became allies. Thus began the Bactrian civil war, with tribes fighting against each other, and fighting the Persians on their perceived land when possible. After 6 years of intense fighting, the pro-Persian tribes in the area that is now Bactria were pacified and King Alexander was in control of the whole of Bactria. Immediately, it sent diplomatic envoys to Europe, especially Byzantia (then the Byzantine Empire) and Catatania. King Alexander, himself, managed to visit both of these countries after things had settled down and the country was in no danger of falling apart. In these countries, he urged not only recognition of his new country and strong relationships with Europe, but also tried to bring in European traders and settlers, including architects and teachers to Bactria. At the same time, he tried to soothe over ethnic tensions inside his country, so that the non-Nuris wouldn't form an uprising. The Byzantine Empire in particular thought that this turn of events had good prospects for both countries, and sent many Greeks to Bactria. This flow of migrants would continue for nearly a century, until the Byzantine Empire split up into Byzantia, Greece, and Turkey. Still, even after that, there was some level of migration to Bactria from these nations.

Modern Bactria

In 1911, the Alexander monarchy was done away with, as protests across the nation demanded democracy. The king at that time was able to continue being a symbolic figure, but his progeny was unable to assume the role of king thereafter. Bactria is a popular tourist destination for Greek-speaking people, as a version of Greek is one of the official languages and is spoken throughout most of the country, and the nation has beautiful snow-capped mountains, Buddhist temples, and loads of Greek-style architecture.

Demographics

Vegetarianism

87% Vegetarian
71% Lacto Vegetarian
10% Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian
05% Vegan Vegetarian
01% Ovo Vegetarian
13% Non-Vegetarian

Ethnic Groups

28% Pashtun
24% Greek
15% Tajik (Bactrian Persian)
10% Nuri
05% Hazara
04% Aimak
04% Uzbek
02% Baloch
02% Turkmen
09% mixed ethnicity*
06% others (Indian, Persian, Kalash, etc)

*Mixed ethnicity is a term used for those who are affiliated to more than one ethnic group. Many of these individual ethnic groups, however, are originally of mixed ancestry as well.

Languages

28% Pashto
28% Bactrian Greek
17% Persian (Tajik)
10% Bactrian Nuristani
17% others

Note: The majority of Bactrians (especially in cities) are familiar to some extent with Bactrian Greek, although most ethnic groups keep to their own languages for communication amongst themselves. It is thought that 59% of people can speak, read, and write Bactrian Greek, and that number is currently growing, as second-language education becomes more widespread. Most foreign TV shows are subtitled in all 4 main languages.

Religions

Just like with its ethnic groups, Bactria is also diverse in religion.

39% Buddhist
33% Greek Buddhist
06% Mahayana Buddhist
15% Zoroastrian
14% Sikh
08% Bahá'í
07% Nonreligious
06% agnostic
01% atheist
06% Muslim
05% Hindu
05% Nuri polytheism
01% other

Note: Nuri polytheism has been found to be related to ancient Greek polytheism. Its head god is Dezau ("Zeus" in Greek), and there are various other similarities. Animal sacrifice, already on its way out, was made illegal by the third Alexandrian king, Epicurus Alexander.

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