Guarda de la Fuente
(3,380 days old)
General Arno Minion
The Grand Lodge of Freemasons
|Statistics as of 07/29/2012|
|Nation Rank||5,306 of 5,242 (101.22%)|
|Native Resources||Iron and Pigs|
|Connected Resources||Aluminum, Cattle, Fish, Lumber, Marble, Spices, Sugar, Uranium, Water and Wheat|
|Bonus Resources||Beer, Fast Food and Construction|
San Serriffe is a small republic located in the Indian Ocean, north-east of the Seychelle Islands. It is based on the fictional island nation created for April Fools' Day, 1977, by Britain's The Guardian newspaper. An elaborate description of the nation, using puns and plays on words relating to typography (such as "sans serif"), was reported as legitimate news, apparently fooling many readers.
San Serriffe was one of the most famous and successful hoaxes of recent decades; it has become part of the common cultural heritage of literary humour, and a secondary body of literature has been derived from it.
- 1 Geography
- 2 Transport
- 3 Ethnic groups
- 4 Government
- 5 Culture
- 6 Cuisine
- 7 National bird
- 8 Sport
- 9 National Improvements and Landmarks
- 10 History
- 11 References
- 12 External links
San Serriffe is an archipelago consisting of two main islands and a number of smaller ones. Of the larger islands, the more northerly (the Caissa Superiore or Upper Caisse) is roughly round and the more southerly (the Caissa Inferiore or Lower Caisse) round but with a promontory extending south-westwards from the south-east, at Thirty Point. The two major islands are separated by the Shoals of Adze, dominated by Cap Em. The capital, Bodoni, is located in the center of the larger island, Upper Caisse. The smaller island, Lower Caisse, has a swampy interior as well as a forested area, which is home to San Serriffe’s national bird, the Woj of Type.
Owing to a peculiarity of ocean currents and erosion, its exact position varies. A recent report locating it in the Bering Sea was presumably an error. On April 1, 2006 The Guardian reported that San Serriffe was then just off New Zealand's South Island, but if the rate of movement really is 1.4 km per year as published, San Serriffe should stay in the Indian Ocean for several millennia.
The capital, Bodoni, is in the centre of the Caissa Superiore, and is served by an international airport. It is linked by fast highways to the major ports, including Port Clarendon and Port Elrod, which both provide ample commercial shipping facilities.
Upper Caisse in particular is well served by a network of railway lines serving Bodoni, the airport and the major coastal towns, including the phosphate mining and processing region in the north east. The main line, built by the Great North Bodoni Railway Company, had its own golf club, at Port Baskerville.
A ferry connects Adze on the south coast of the northern island to Cap Em on the north coast of the southern island and there were plans to build a west coastal line as far as Gill Sands, but it is not known if this line was completed.
The native people of San Serriffe are known as the Flong. However, the dominant group are of European stock, the descendants of colonists, known as colons. There is also a large mixed-race group, known as semi-colons. In the last available census (1973), as reported in the April 1, 1977 Guardian, the population was 1,782,724, with approximately 640,000 colons and semi-colons; 574,000 Flongs; 271,000 Creoles; 117,000 Malaysians; 92,000 Arabs; and 88,000 persons of other ethnic groups.
For many years following independence in 1967, San Serriffe had an autocratic form of government under military strongman General Pica. Democratic elections were held in 1997, and the winner was the charismatic Antonio Bourgeois. The return of General Minion from exile in Mozambique in 2009 brought the return to Military Dictatorship after he successfully carried out a Coup d'État of President Bourgeois.
Among the cultural highlights are:
- The Cult of the Sonorous Riddle Enigma
- The Festival of the Well-Made Play
- The Ampersand String Quartet
The relaxation of the islands' strict anti-pornography laws under the Bourgeois government has led to the publication of a series of risqué novels by Serriffean journalists, collectively referred to as the "Times Nude Romances".
The bitter-sweet swarfega, a relative of the rutabaga, is prepared in various ways to create unique Serriffean dishes which are characterized by the heavy utilization of root vegetables. Because of this, the local cuisine lacks the oily character of some related styles.
Swarfega is traditionally either mashed, pounded, squished or flattened into mushy cakes, which are then dipped into various interesting sauces and wrapped in toilet paper to make swallowing easier. The toilet paper also comes in handy one hour after eating, as swarfega has a tendency to cause explosive diarrhea.
Many Pineapple and Banana recipes have come to dominate the menu as well, primarily due to the overabundance of the fruits on the islands. Local residents have found ways to incorporate pineapples and bananas into virtually every dish possible, including soups, salads, flavoring for meats, and even Pineapple Beer and Banana Schnapps!
San Serriffe has made little impression on the international sporting world, apart from their epic defeat of England at football (soccer) in 1999. The application of the national Rugby Union team, the Kwotes, to participate in the Rugby Union World Cup 1991 was rejected by a Twickenham official on the grounds that "we don't have any four-figure scoreboards, old boy." However the islands' annual endurance challenge race, involving running, mountain biking and windsurfing from Cap Em to the German immigrant village of Ems in the Caissa Inferiore (popularly known as the Two Em Dash), now attracts international participants, and it has been some years since it was won by a Serriffean athlete.
National Improvements and Landmarks
The busiest shipping traffic is handled in Pilcrow Harbor on the eastern side of Caissa Superiore. The harbor incorporates Port Clarendon which can accommodate up to five container ships at any one time. It is rare for the port berths to be empty as San Serriffe has very sought after resources that provide many countries with Construction and Fast Food.
Geologically, Pilcrow Harbor is a drowned river valley, or ria where the Plenken and Diacritic Rivers converge. It is 16 km long with an area of 50 km². The estuary's volume at high tide is 521,000 megalitres. The perimeter of the estuary is 287 kilometres.
Foreign Ministry Building
The Asterisk Building is the government offices for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Infrastructure. The building is named after one of San Serriffe's most colorful politicians and successful diplomats, Alexa Asterisk. An immigrant of the Ukraine, Asterisk worked tirelessly to promote San Serriffe abroad and was instrumental in securing several trade agreements to export the Pigs and Iron that the nation has at its disposal.
The Foreign Ministry is responsible for continuing the growth of the nation and brokers several foreign aid packages a month that provide the nation with over $10,000,000 in funds. In exchange, San Serriffe provide their benefactors with Technology that is produced cheaply and quickly.
In 1968, Asterisk was chosen to chair the San Serriffe Flag Committee and was very particular in choosing the color and design of the new Serriffean standard after the nations independence.
There are five schools provided for the children of San Serriffe. Two are government owned public (or state) schools and offer a basic curriculum and are considered sub-standard in both facilities and attendees.
The remaining three are private schools and offer far more in the way of education for the Serriffean youth. The Solidus Military Academy for Boys is considered as one of the worlds premier environments for producing high quality military personnel. Leaders such as General Pica and General Minion have both been graduates of the school.
Several universities are located in San Serriffe including the oldest and largest one, Trajan University. Trajan is located in Bodoni and offers degrees in the Arts, Medicine and Science.
Aldus University, located on Caissa Inferiore, is the technology campus and offers degrees in Architecture, Information Technology and Business.
There are five factories producing a variety of products for national consumption and foreign export in San Serriffe. The largest three produce Asphalt for road and carpark paving, Steel for buildings, Navel vessels and Automobile components for the Bembo Motors factory.
Two smaller factories produce Aluminum for soda cans, wall cladding and aircraft manufacture, and Beer at the national brewery that brews the award winning beverage, Bastard Ale.
Possibly because of its reportedly remote and shifting location, the full history of San Serriffe has never been adequately told, but these basic details are known.
- 1421. "Discovered by adventurers recruited by John Street, an English admirer of Henry the Navigator. The crew made their historic landfall in the Shoals of Adze." (Guardian, April 1, 1977)
- 1432–1439. Colonized by the Spanish and Portuguese.
- 1659. Annexed by Great Britain.
- 1815. Ceded to Portugal.
- 1824–1836. The Condominium (international law) (a term of uncertain meaning).
- April 1, 1967. Independence; a social democracy government takes control.
- June 1967. Lt. Colonel Hispalis seizes control.
- August 1969. Colonel Arno Minion replaces Hispalis upon Minion's military promotion.
- May 11, 1971. General M.-J. Pica assumes responsibility for the government, and institutes martial law and assumes full dictatorial powers in response to "foreign terrorist infiltration." This leads to nationwide protests, escalating into civil war and 23 years of chaos and anarchy.
- May 12, 1997. First general election. Antonio Bourgeois swept to power as President.
- June 9, 1997. General Pica and Brigadier General Minion are subject to court martial and exiled from San Serriffe.
- January 20, 2006. General Pica dies of kidney failure. Before his death he promotes Minion to full General.
- September 1, 2009. Under cover of darkness, General Minion re-enters San Serriffe and gathers support from military sympathisers.
- September 13, 2009. General Minion coups President Bourgeois to regain power. The nation becomes a member of Banana Republic.
- September 27, 2009. With recruitment at BR unsuccessful, San Serriffe becomes a member of SNAFU.
- September 30, 2009. Feeling 'uncomfortable' at SNAFU, San Serriffe joins The Corporation.
- October 11, 2009. Leaving Corp on good terms, General Minion again re-aligns his nation back to Banana Republic for a second attempt at getting the fledging alliance off the ground with the help of Tom Litler of Fuhrerstaat Kanadia.
- October 13, 2009. Fuhrerstaat Kanadia flees the alliance after being tech raided, effectively leaving San Serriffe alone and defenceless.
- October 18, 2009. After a full military assault by a Obamaniqua of Brengstklau, San Serriffe is forced to leave BR and becomes a member of Death Before Dishonor.
- February 6–27, 2010. The island nation suffers heavy losses in the TOP-C&G War which was part of the Second Unjust War global conflict. San Serriffe is declared a disaster zone after three nuclear warheads are detonated over the nation by Celestial Space.
- Special Report: San Serriffe. The Guardian, 1 April 1977 (7pp)
- Visit San Serriffe, The Guardian, 1 April 1978
- Bachaus, Theodore (pseudonym of Henry Morris) (1978). The World's Worst Marbled Papers: Being a collection of ten contemporary San Serriffean marbled papers.... Port Clarendon, San Serriffe: San Serriffe Publishing Co. (but actually Newtown, PA: Bird & Bull Press).
- Bachaus, Theodore (pseudonym of Henry Morris) (1980). The Private Presses of San Serriffe. Port Clarendon, San Serriffe: San Serriffe Publishing Company (but actually Newtown, PA: Bird & Bull Press).
- Bachaus, Theodore (pseudonym of Henry Morris) (2001). The Booksellers of San Serriffe. Port Clarendon, San Serriffe: San Serriffe Publishing Company (but actually Newtown, PA: Bird & Bull Press).
- Foolish things, David McKie, The Guardian, 1 April 2006 explaining how the original hoax came about and the impact it caused
- Some rough guides to San Seriffe, The Guardian, 5 April 1999
- How young Tony Blair tuned into a new type of politics, The Guardian, 2 April 1999
- Return to San Serriffe, Berlin Sans, The Guardian, 1 April 1999
- The leader's rise to power in San Serriffe, Mark Arnold-Forster, The Guardian, 1 April 1977
- Spiking the cultural roots, Tim Radford, The Guardian, 1 April 1977
- 2007 April Fools Project, WikiTravel, 1 April 2007
- Museum of Hoaxes the history of the hoax