Mari El (Finn. Marijeli, pronounced /maˈri ˌɛl/ in English/Russian/both Mari languages) is a Uralican county, based around the historical region of the same name. Since its annexation in mid-2009, the vast majority of Mari on Planet Bob have moved into Mari El. Its capital is Yoshkar-Ola.
Mari El was one of the hardest-hit areas by the Uralic Purges of Great War III, which some historians have said was simply the culmination of years of persecution of the Mari people going back to well before the Robertian era began. However, the outcry over the Purges got to such a large level that a medium-scale rebellion was funded by outside forces, driving Russian supremacists and government officials out of the region, making it a de facto independent state. This in mind, one of their strongest supporters, the Uralicist Movement, was working towards a pan-Uralic state at the time, and most Mari wished to be part of this. The region actually lost about 33% of its population - Mari and Uralic-supporting Russians - to this nation, Uralica, between March 2008 and May 2009. This diaspora was reversed in July 2009, when Mari El was officially annexed, although most of the Russians stayed put in their new homes.
The Christianisation of the region was quite late, but when it did happen it was largely due to the Uralicist Movement's Christian ideals, as opposed to the forced proselytism of Old Russia. Nowadays, the Mari people mostly tend to be Uralican Evangelical Baptists, with a minority of Uralican Orthodox.
Mari El has flown its current flag continuously since 1990, and according to Jarkko Salomäki, it is "one of the true symbols of Uralica, reflecting the stubborn tenacity of the Mari people in the face of oppression." It is also the longest-used flag out of any flag within Uralica.
Important Cities and Towns Edit
- Yoshkar-Ola - second-largest Uralican city without a unitary authority, county seat
- Yulser-Ola - formerly Volzhsk
- Tsykmä - formerly Kozmodemyansk, largest centre of Western Mari speakers.
- Provoi - formerly Zvenigovo
- Salomäk-Ola - formerly Sovetsky, then Yarkosky, renamed after a rather reluctant Jarkko Salomäki
- Maskasola - formerly Medvedevo
- Porancha - formerly Paranga
- Lushmara (formerly Krasnogorsk, then Ilet')