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 Post subject: The Etiquette of Witches
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:19 pm 
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An introductory note: I do not use the term witch to refer to people who purposely consort with demons. I decided to use the term witch for something in my world Quoit. They do...magic. Of sorts.


Among the witches of the Round Tableland there is societal honesty. There are few things which are improprious simply because...they are. Like screaming in public for no apparent reason whatever. Or wearing dirty clothes. Or arguing while people are watching.

Stealing an idea is like murder. Their work is their possessions – their food – the very air they breathe, almost. They are defined but what they do. Copying or collaboration is a very intimate relationship, usually. It is not a good idea to ask if you can help with something. It is also considered rude to ask about the progress of something someone is doing often.

The male and female witches do not interact much, and they rarely ever marry. There is a great cultural distance between the two.

Female witches have a great deal of physical contact with each other, they hug and hold hands and touch each other often. They sometimes kiss each other, sometimes on the cheek, the forehead, or sometimes on less traditional places, such as their shoulder or their arm or their hand. They have very little formality, even among strangers.

When they greet each other or bid each other goodbye, they usually say nothing. A hug or a kiss or a touch of the hands is enough.

Customarily, both males and females are very silent during times of solemnity or emotion.

The male witches do not have as much open familiarity between them as the women. They do touch each other in affection sometimes though, and they are not backward about showing friendship if there truly is friendship. They are extremely blunt, and often they are harsh when teasing or correcting each other. But this caustic kind of frankness means that they are also often the same about telling each other good things.

Greetings are normally not existent for males. Farewells are. Only those who particularly want to take leave of each other do – they never do it out of habit or custom. When two men are parting they touch in some way (hug or a pat) and then say 'revinué', which originally meant 'come again' or 'come back'. They do not show grief at a parting even if they feel it, unless they know it is very likely the other man will not come back.

Male and female witches do not bid each other either greeting or goodbye. And they rarely speak with each other except in comparatively private situations. Male and female friends usually pass each other on the street with nothing more than a brief smile.

It is not very 'shocking' for someone to accidentally be partially undressed or wear strange clothes in public, though of course it is not very nice. There is also no clothing which is inherently embarrassing or improprious to be seen in, like pajamas are in some places.

Neatness is appreciated, both in appearance and in actions. Dressing, for instance, or eating. But there are few rules followed as to exactly how one should be neat. Trends are usually only there because they are practical. Hair being cut short, for instance, is a sign that someone is fairly hardworking, for both men and women. (It could also be a sign that one of their recent experiments went wrong...but that doesn't have much to do with etiquette.)


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 Post subject: Re: The Etiquette of Witches
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:22 pm 
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'Tis very well done, and a delight to read. :D

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 Post subject: Re: The Etiquette of Witches
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:53 pm 
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Very interesting! It's got me thinking of what weird customs I ought to dream up for my series...


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 Post subject: Re: The Etiquette of Witches
PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 11:28 am 
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Thankyou, sir. :D I'm glad to know.

Cool, Kessie! Worldbuilding is awesome.


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 Post subject: Re: The Etiquette of Witches
PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:30 am 
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Oh, neat! :D


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 Post subject: Re: The Etiquette of Witches
PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:39 pm 
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Thankyou!


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 Post subject: Re: The Etiquette of Witches
PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:03 pm 
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Very interesting!!!
Would love to hear more about your witches!!!

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 Post subject: Re: The Etiquette of Witches
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:46 pm 
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Gah! * is drowning in exclamation points * :rofl:

I'm so glad you liked it!

Hm. * considers the idea of posting more about them * That would be fun...there are a lot of pretty cool things I could talk about....


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 Post subject: Re: The Etiquette of Witches
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:49 am 
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Mistress Rwebhu Kidh wrote:
Hm. * considers the idea of posting more about them * That would be fun...there are a lot of pretty cool things I could talk about....


Do itttttt :D


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 Post subject: Re: The Etiquette of Witches
PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 4:11 pm 
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Ohhh, this was so interesting! *grins* It makes me want to work harder on creating cultural aspects for the races in Solarii.

Something I really liked about the witches is the way they use physical contact as greetings and farewells. :D Since my love language is physical touch, I've always felt more... well, comforted and loved, I suppose, if I'm able to say goodbye or hello to someone by giving them a hug or what-not. I kind of wish now that I was a witch in your world, though since I have a lot of guy friends, the whole thing with female and male witches avoiding one another might be a bit hard for me. *grins wryly*

Also, one other thing - you said short hair was a sign that someone is fairly hardworking. So... do only the hardworking witches cut their hair short, or are all witches hardworking? Do the majority of witches have short hair, then, or no? :) Just something that caught my curiosity.

This was very fun to read, and I enjoyed it very much! I, too, would like to hear more about the witches sometime. :)


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 Post subject: Re: The Etiquette of Witches
PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 5:58 pm 
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Whoa, I love this. Makes me realize I really need to develop my races more. :P

What about the origination of these customs, though? We recently met a guy from Italy at a local cookout (this guy, actually) who was talking about the differences between personal space bubbles in Italy and America. He said that since the population density in Italy is much higher, more people crammed in a small space, it's very bad manners to eat with one of your hands in your lap. Why? Because with that many people in such a small space, you have to trust one another much more. And sitting with a hand in your lap may mean you're holding a weapon of some sort. Thus: you always sit with your hands above the table.

I have a hard time giving my customs significance, too. It's crazy how customs can stay the same while society changes. Outdated customs and superstitions are really strange, yet may have made total sense when they were adopted.

(We met two guys from France and one Jewish woman at that cookout, too. They were all fascinating.)

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 Post subject: Re: The Etiquette of Witches
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:48 am 
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Lady Annwyl Skyheart wrote:
Ohhh, this was so interesting! *grins* It makes me want to work harder on creating cultural aspects for the races in Solarii.
I'm glad! :) And yes, it's a lot of fun. So interesting....

Lady Annwyl Skyheart wrote:
Something I really liked about the witches is the way they use physical contact as greetings and farewells. Since my love language is physical touch, I've always felt more... well, comforted and loved, I suppose, if I'm able to say goodbye or hello to someone by giving them a hug or what-not. I kind of wish now that I was a witch in your world, though since I have a lot of guy friends, the whole thing with female and male witches avoiding one another might be a bit hard for me. *grins wryly*
Eh, yeah. :D That's mine too, I think, so I have a feeling too many of my characters and cultures have it prominent as well. But I do like it that way.

Well, if a girl did, for some reason, have a lot of friends who were men (perhaps she was new witch, who came from a country where she was used to having many man friends, or perhaps she just liked it that way), she would not be scolded or looked down on much, unless she annoyed everybody by being too friendly in the open public. As long as she was discreet, they wouldn't care a bit. :)

Lady Annwyl Skyheart wrote:
Also, one other thing - you said short hair was a sign that someone is fairly hardworking. So... do only the hardworking witches cut their hair short, or are all witches hardworking? Do the majority of witches have short hair, then, or no? Just something that caught my curiosity.
Well, not all witches are hardworking, so not all have short hair. But all of the prominent ones, all of the ones that the people of Quoit think of when someone says 'witch', are hardworking, so short hair is still associated with witches. The witch of Pem-demo, one of the greatest and most famous witches, for instance, shaved his head completely for many years. It was not until he finished his anneau fatale that he allowed himself to grow a topknot and stick two feathers in it. Another reason it is associated with witches is that in the country where Round Tableland is situated the women do not even bob their hair (unlike some other nations, like Shasa) – so women witches with short hair are quite noticeable, and scandalize people often.

Celtion wrote:
Whoa, I love this. Makes me realize I really need to develop my races more.
:D Thanks!

Celtion wrote:
What about the origination of these customs, though?
I don't know, about some of them. :D But the custom of little contact between men and women came directly from their status as witches. Marriage between witches generally has problems, societally. Witches already have a hard time being accepted among normal people if they attempt to settle down and have a family, but two witches married to each other makes the problem worse. It's easier to be accepted if you are married to someone with a less unusual occupation.

So, stemming from the fact that witches avoid marrying each other, they also avoid, generally speaking, close friendship between men and women.

The reason why there is what I called 'societal honesty' is that originally, Round Tableland was a very harsh settlement – witches went there to learn from witches, and to do little else. Although it's now a place where many witches live, the straightforwardness that originated in the rough, communal atmosphere of the first settlement never died completely away.

And I have a feeling that a lot of the touching comes from the fact that the witches there came there from nations which spoke languages of Anglais origins, and nations that spoke languages of Francer origins. That meant there were at points a difficulty of communication between the witches. So maybe that was when they began using touch more for appreciation and friendship.

Celtion wrote:
He said that since the population density in Italy is much higher, more people crammed in a small space, it's very bad manners to eat with one of your hands in your lap. Why? Because with that many people in such a small space, you have to trust one another much more. And sitting with a hand in your lap may mean you're holding a weapon of some sort. Thus: you always sit with your hands above the table.
Oooh...fascinating. I love finding out about things like that.


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