Because Kalopia is revered around the world as a cradle of civilization and a progenitor of both Majatran and Artanian society, it is generally seen to be of rich and significant cultural importance. Notable traditional Kalopian cultural achievements include the invention of such ideas as democracy, philosophy, literature, historiography, political science, many mathematical and scientific principles, and theater. The culture of Kalopia is clearly not static, however, and has continued to expand and evolve. Kalopia displays clear influences of other Majatran nations, notably Kafuristan, Deltaria, Solentia, or Selucia. As well as this, Kalopians from around the world, who have migrated back to Kalopia after centuries away, have brought back many cultural traditions of their host nations, creating a melting pot of Kalopian customs and beliefs.
Since its early days, Kalopia has been known for the distinctive architecture and sculpture that decorate its cities. Traditionally, major Kalopian structures have been built out of marble, though statues of bronze and other metals are existent. Traditional Kalopian architecture emphasizes a Grecian layout, a capitol style of column, and a central dome surrounded by a number of smaller domes. As ornamental structures, sculptures have played a large role in the decoration of Kalopia. Generally speaking, Kalopian sculptures consist of statues that memorialize gods of the ancient Kalopian pantheon, mythic Kalopian heroes, as well as modern and historic Kalopian military and civic leaders.
Ancient Kalopian painting enjoys moderate fame, but it is primarily modern artistry that has won Kalopia its respect in the art industry. Though Ancient Kalopian works were marked by an attempt to create representations that mimicked reality, modern Kalopian art has largely abandoned that approach, in favor of a more symbolic view. Traditionally, Kalopian paintings are done on large wooden boards, but frescoes and murals have long been popular alternatives. The two major motifs of Kalopian art, typically monumental in nature, have long been the religious and imperial. Paintings seemingly deifying aristocrats, and celebrating the Aurorian Patriarchal Church seem to decorate the interiors of many public buildings in the nation. Religious iconography is also a popular art form, with at least one image of Eliyahu, the Virgin, or a saint in all churches and most Kalopian Hosian homes. Typically, icons are more religious than aesthetic, in an effort to display the presence of a particular religious figure.
Kalopia experienced a golden age, in terms of literature, far back in antiquity. Ancient Kalopian works are still very much revered among academic circles, and, as some of Terra's first real full literary texts, are considered enormous contributions to world literature. Works of the early Kalopian era tended to be poems, epic in nature and in proportion, featuring legendary Kalopian heroes battling overwhelming odds and overcoming unbeatable tasks. Ancient Kalopia gave birth to many prominent forms of poetry and literature, such as: odes, pastorals, elegies, and epigrams. Ancient Kalopia saw the first attempts at historiography, as great poets began stringing together verses to record the histories of powerful Kalopian city-states. Finally, Kalopia was also the birth of theater. Kalopian playwrights emerged as a major source of entertainment for the common man, as well as aristocratic courts across Majatra, and penned both tragedies and comedies. In modern times, the legacy of Ancient Kalopian literature is heavily cherished. Theater and poetry enjoy much stronger support in Kalopia than they do in most nations, though other more contemporary styles of literature are also enjoyed by the Kalopian populace. Kalopia has an enormous movie industry, seen as a natural and modern outgrowth of the traditional theater, and a has produced a substantial number of critically acclaimed modern novelists.
Beyond these several major areas, Kalopia has traditionally been known for its jewelry, metalworking, ceramics, enamels, steatites, and coin design.
The earliest recorded philosophical traditions began in ancient Kalopia, centuries before the Kalopian diaspora. A particular focal point of Kalopian philosophy has been the role of reason and inquiry. Many experts today readily agree that Kalopian philosophical ideas have shaped modern Terran thought, as we know it. Neither reason nor inquiry are concepts that originate with Kalopian philosophers, but Kalopian intellectual debate and the Kalopian-originating Theory of Forms propelled advances in geometry, logic, and natural sciences.
By rejecting traditional religious and mythological explanations, the first of the triumvirate of great Kalopian philosophers, Sokriatos, presented Terra's first documented logical argument, in which he began a quest to explain the existence of life. His work and teachings paved the way for a promising student,
Piletos, to expand greatly on the concepts of ethics, physics, metaphysics, reason, knowledge, and life. Piletos was one of the world's first champions of empiricist thought, and allowed for what would eventually evolve into the scientific method. Piletos' own student,
Aristoblichos became the third and final of the triumvirate of great philosophers. Taking the ideas of his mentors, Sokriatos and Piletos, Aristoblichos attempted to apply them to a real world setting. A renowned thinker and philosopher, Aristoblichos focused his works on the ideas of justice, politics, and ethical behavior, and rose to fame as a tutor to many of Kalopia's classical civic and military leaders. Not just a thinker, but also an inventor, the man is credited with the creation of many significant inventions and observations, including the concept of democracy.
The works of these three men lead to the massive expansion of philosophical thought throughout Classical Kalopia. Within decades of Aristoblichos' death, hundreds of academies and philosophical cults that relied upon his ideas had been created. Eventually, they gave birth to thousands of schools of Kalopian philosophical thought. Among the most prominent of these are:
- Cynicism: which held that the purpose of life was to live virtuously in agreement with nature, rejecting wealth, power, health, and fame;
- Stoicism: which taught that destructive emotions where the result of errors in judgement;
- Hedonism: a school of thought that argued that pleasure was the most important pursuit of humanity; and
- Skepticism: a movement that preached inner peace by critically examining the world.
In modern Kalopia, the traditions of philosophical thought and scholarly debate are held dearly. Like most developed nations, Kalopia maintains a system of higher education, where philosophy is heavily studied.
Day of Philosophy (16th of July) Edit
However, unlike most others, Kalopia also has a thriving community of philosophical cults who celebrate the historic achievements of Kalopian and international philosophers, but also continue to expand philosophical thought through their own observations and findings. Though such cults are often seen as farcical and pseudo-scientific outside of Kalopia, they are heavily respected within its borders.
Heavily reliant on local agriculture and fishing, Kalopian cookery is unique, but shows clear evidence of influence from fellow Majatran nations, such as Deltaria, Kafuristan, Selucia, and Istalia. In Kalopia, cuisine is based heavily around class and region. The diet of the aristocratic class is marked by unique and exotic lamb- or shellfish-based dishes with spices and seasonings from all over Majatra and around the world, occasionally laden with caviar from the Perarctic Coast. Fruits, honey-cakes, and and syrupy sweets are typically consumed after meals in higher class homes and dining establishments. The province of Mossavi is renowned for its wines, which are generally served alongside the meals of upper-class Kalopians.
The styles of cuisine for average Kalopians, however, can be divided into Northern and Southern regional cuisines. Northern Kalopian cuisine relies heavily on olive oil, vegetables, breads, wine, fish, poultry, mutton, and rabbit. Salads are particularly popular and olives, cheese, eggplant, zucchini, and yoghurt are mainstays of the diet. Popular dishes include Souvlaki, a meat grilled on a skewer and marinated in oil, salt, pepper, and lemon; Keftededs, fried meatballs with oregano and mint; and Horiatiki, a tomato salad with cucumber, red onion, feta cheese, and kalamata olives, dressed in olive oil. Generally speaking, local wines are served with meals, and traditional Northern Kalopian desserts primarily consist of nuts and honey.
Southern Kalopian meals differ substantially, largely as a result of the hardier environment, but also due to Deltarian influence in cooking. The Southern Kalopian diet consists heavily of wild game, deep sea fish, potatoes, cabbage, millet, mushrooms, barley, and wheat. The Southern Coast is known for its soups (both hot and cold), seasonal stews, porridges, dumplings, pies, and pancakes. Dessert is not commonly consumed, but the Southern Kalopian repertoire does feature a number of sweet porridge, pie, and pancake dishes. Some of the Southern Coast's more popular dishes include Pierogi, small stuffed buns, either baked or shallow-fried, with a number of filling options including: sauteed cabbage, sauteed mushrooms and onions, mashed potatoes with dill and green onion, or chopped and boiled fish with sauteed onions and eggs; Kalya, a high-fat and rich warm, watery, fish dish, with pickled cucumers, lemon, and caviar; and Olivie, a mayonnaise-based potato salad with capers, olives, eggs, and peas. Ale is the drink of choice in the South, although it is often switched for rakia, a traditional fruit brandy, or for pelin, a cheap, traditional wine.