In my post before my break, I talked about creating cultures in fiction. By no means am I an expert at doing this, and I am still struggling with making the cultures in my World. I have bits and pieces that don’t always fit together, but are important to my characters. So as I continue on my journey of creating these cultures, I will keep you in the loop with the bigger points and probably many smaller ones too.
Religion is, of course, a huge part of culture. One of my first posts was about the Ibvailyn religion, and you can find it here.
One of the important things about religion in any culture is that it shapes behavior, attitudes, and even every day habits. The same must happen in a story with its own pervasive religion. Many Ibvailyns are pacifists because of their deep belief that to harm someone or something else also harms oneself. Along this same line of thinking, many Ibvailyns are vegetarians. Now, this can be a problem because Ibvail lies so far north. Enter the Famine. I mentioned the Famine in my series of Ibvailyn History and it played a pivotal role not only in politics but also in changing the culture. When crops failed and people were starving, many of them turned to eating animals. It was practical – the animals would have died anyway and the people wanted to go on living. Did this change their belief that they were connected to those animals? No. But humans, whether fictive or not, are great at living with contradiction. We all say things that contradict, and believe them with our whole hearts. So while it seems like the Ibvailyn religion should crumble as soon as people start eating meat, it does not. The culture is sustained by practice and belief, though not always both of them together.
Take care, fellow travelers.