|c. 100 million|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Gziri, Cildanian, Hebilean, Majatran, Selucian, Yeudi|
|Apostolic Church of the Isles|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Majatrans, Yeudis, Selucians|
The Cildanians are an ethnic group indigenous to the North Majatran country of Cildania. Cildanians are not a homogeneous ethnicity, but rather a mixed ethnic group, predominantly of Qildari (OOC: Punic) and Afejri (OOC: Berber) origin. The Qildaris and Afejris are the main ethnic and cultural elements, but over the centuries Cildania has been a melting pot of many other cultures and ethnicities, including Majatrans, Selucians, Yeudis, Kathurans,or Augustans. With the decline of ethnic identity as a result of the Cildanian Civil War and related events, most inhabitants of the island began to identify primarily with a pan-Cildanian culture rather than its component ethnic groups.
History[edit | edit source]
Culture[edit | edit source]
Religion[edit | edit source]
All three major Qedarite (OOC: Abrahamic) faiths have a large presence and long history in Cildania. Yeudism was founded in the region by a Qedarite prophet, originally as an offshoot of the polytheistic Qedarite religion practiced on the island at the time, and it retains a major presence in Cildania. Hosianism became the dominant religion in Cildania in the 9th century due to the missionary efforts of the Kathuran Saint Sebastian, and Cildania has been a major centre of Eastern Hosianism ever since. Ahmadism too has been present in Cildania since its founding, and the nation played a major part in the history of the religion, due to its centuries-long conflict with the rising Caliphate and alliance with the Kingdom of Arakhim.
Before the emergence of Hosianism, Cildania followed the polytheistic religion of the ancient Qedarite pantheon, which received official patronage under the Qedarite Empire. The elastic and syncretic nature of religion in ancient Qedar remains visible to this day in the beliefs and practices of Selucian Paganism from neighboring Selucia, whose main deity, Sol Lucidus, originated as a Qedarite god.
Traditional pre-Hosian beliefs, especially Hebilean mythology, retain a small following in Cildania.
Language[edit | edit source]
Cildania is a very multilingual nation, and no language is natively spoken by a majority of the population. In time, towards the end of the 40th century, a new language emerged as the pan-Cildanian lingua franca, Gziri. Emerging from the local Cildanian dialect of Majatran with substantial Selucian influence, Gziri was recognized as a distinct language in 3992, and adopted as the sole official language in 3996. Although Gziri has a large number of native speakers, it is not the most widely spoken native language. Other widely spoken languages are Qildari (32% of the population), a Qedarite (Semitic) language closely related to Yeudi, and the Hebilean languages (21% of the population), while there are many speakers of Jawhari (the Cildanian-Badaran dialect of Majatran, spoken by 6%), and Seluco-Cildanian (a variety of Vulgar Selucian endemic to Cildania, with 7% of the population). Although Gziri is one of the varieties of Jawhari spoken in Cildania, it is considered a separate language for socio-linguistic reasons. Apart from Gziri, other languages of prestige in Cildania are Majatran in its Classical and Modern Standard Forms and Modern Standard Selucian, both of which serve as a second language for many Cildanians.
Before the Cildanian Civil War, Qildari served as the inter-ethnic lingua franca of the entire nation, however the war had a major impact on its use. Qildari was a predominantly urban language, and the urban middle class of antebellum Cildania, the dominant elite in the nation and the carriers of Qildari, was most heavily affected by the war, with hundreds of thousands killed and urban Qildaris forming the bulk of the millions of displaced civilians. When Aheblun achieved independence at the end of the war, this marked the rise of Hebilean as the sole official language in the east of the island, which, after decades of Hebilean independence, resulted in the near total loss of Qildari fluency in that part of the island, particularly due to the promotion of new Hebilean civil servants, as well as the absorption of Majatran-speaking Badaran refugees fleeing persecution from the Ahmadi State. Following the reunification of Cildania at the end of the Cildanian Winter, a new urban middle class emerged as the backbone of the reunified regime, but unlike the pre-war situation, most of the rising middle class was not fluent in Qildari. Instead, Majatran, especially its dialectal Cildanian-Badaran variety, had emerged as the inter-ethnic lingua franca on the eastern side of the island and Selucian, under its vulgar Cildanian variety, rose to the same role in the west. Cildania found itself linguistically divided between a western half where Qildari was the language most spoken at home, Vulgar Selucian in the street, and Standard Selucian in formal contexts, and an eastern half where the home language was Hebilean, the street language Jawhari (Cildanian-Badaran dialect of Majatran) and the formal language Standard Majatran. In time, this situation led to the emergence of Gziri as a national language and its adoption as such by the government, as a way of bridging the two linguistic halves of the island.