After the Sôgmô granted the Collegium Sacerdotum a new royal charter on 8 February 2021, the College of Priests has resumed its activity with renewed focus. The new charter expands what falls under the college’s prerogative and the definition both of the college’s activity and its members’ labour. New in the charter is the college’s purpose that focuses on cultural leisure, a form of leisure that is related to various cultural forms, while keeping the focus on defining Sandum philosophy and culture, being the focus of religious, philosophical, and cultural life of the country, and pioneering Sancta culture in the State of Sandus. Cultural forms like art and music are distinguishable from cultural leisure here based on the intent and purpose of the art and craft, that is, whether it is for leisure or for production. If the purpose is cultural leisure, then it can be considered part of the Collegium’s work—but the same labour may apply also to other coöperatives like Erganê Artisanal or the State Media Coöperative. This new recognition of the overlapping forms of labour confirms to the new definition of labour that is alluded to in the charter.
The new definition of labour, that sees any work done by Sandum citizens that fits the college’s charge (that is, cultural, religious, or philosophical labour) as Sandum labour, puts the college among the first Sandum coöperatives to adopt it in what will be a major reform of the entire Sandum socialist system. In the past, labour was defined by its intent (was it intended to be Sandum? did it affect Sandus? was it labour for Sandus?) but now the definition has been widened to include any labour a Sandum citizen does—regardless of whether or not the intention is for Sandus. Of special importance, though, to the micronation is labour that is done for Sandus or related in some way to the nation project.
Since the charter’s adoption, the college has done work related to various Sandum holidays, including Losar (Tibetan Lunar New Year), the Day of Secession, the Sancta Old New Year (the Regifugia and the Matronalia), and International Women’s Day that will happen next Monday. These have taken many forms, but they include Sandum citizens and members of the college taking part in biweekly Comrades’ Klatsches held by and for Sandum citizens.
For Losar, Sandum citizens celebrated the Lunar New Year by preparing food that is traditional eaten on the day, such as momos, dresil, and tsampa. Prayers were given on the three major days of the holiday, and traditional butter lamps were lit on Chötrul Düchen—the Festival of Miracles held on the 15th day of the new year.
(Pictured: the Sôgmô’s altar with a butter lamp, Buddhist texts, images of different buddhas and bodhisattvas, a bell and dorjé, and offerings of rice, incense, and water for Losar.)
On 20 and 21 February, the State of Sandus celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Day of Secession. The Sôgmô led a short presentation on the history of the holiday and facilitated a discussion on how Sandum citizens could celebrate the holiday increasingly in the new year by posing various questions: what traditions could be included? what food or drink could we incorporate, in addition to the traditional lavender? The discussion concluded by offering suggestions for future foods and drinks but also that the holiday should feature more prominently its historic petition that led to secession.
For the “Old New Year,” a Sancta holiday that commemorates the beginning of the Sancta year and of the archaic Roman calendar year on 1 March, the Sôgmô, in their office as Flamen Minervalis, gave the traditional Sancta Speech for the first time in some years. The speech, given entirely in Latin, talked about the history of the speech, the importance of Sancta culture to the culture and history of the State of Sandus, and the need for a new “radical compassion” in the world after the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Pictured: a poster for the Sancta “Old New Year” that reads in Latin: “spring flowers will sprout.”)
The Matronalia is also Sandus’s Mothers Day, since the name in Latin comes from matrona. Sandum citizens had the opportunity to share cards for this holiday that were posted freely on the State of Sandus Facebook page, and best wishes were sent to Sandum mothers.
At around the same time, the Office of the Sôgmô released news that the Central People’s Government will plan a Tin Jubilee for 13 June in celebration of the Sôgmô’s ten years on the throne as the elected monarch of the State of Sandus on 13 April 2011. Details are still forthcoming about how Sandus will celebrate the holiday, but by separating the tenth anniversary of the Day of Foundation (when Sandus celebrates the establishment of the State of Sandus and its constitution) and the jubilee day there will be twice as much cultural leisure for both reasons to celebrate. Though tin jubilees are not frequently celebrated by the world’s monarchies in the same way that silver, gold, or diamond jubilees are, the decision was made to celebrate the Sôgmô’s Tin Jubilee both due to the COVID-19 pandemic (that is, the government thought that another reason to celebrate in the summertime was important) and also because of that fact that, in micronationalism at least, monarchical reigns do not frequently last as long as the Sôgmô’s time in office. The announcement for the tin jubilee specifies that þess reign is longer than some of the older micronational monarchs out there.
(Pictured: the Tin Jubilee’s announcement poster, top, and Überstadt-Sandus Friendship Week poster, bottom.)
It remains to be seen what role the Collegium will play in preparing for the Tin Jubilee, but the event is sure to include cultural leisure—so the role will likely be large.
In addition to the Tin Jubilee, this week Überstadt-Sandus Friendship Week was declared for the second year in a row for the Social partner country’s 11th anniversary of independence. Festivities this weekend will largely focus on Saturday 6 March but also during the Comrades’ Klatsch on Sunday 7 March. The Flamen Minervalis has already stated that they will be preparing a kuku sabzi, a Persian herb frittata-like dish with many herbs. The green colour is alike the green on the Überstadti flag.
Finally, at this week’s Comrades’ Klatsch and on 8 March, Sandus will celebrate International Women’s Day. It is traditional in Sandus, as in other countries, to buy flowers for the women in our lives and to raise awareness and consciousness on this day in particular about the ways in which misogyny and sexism operate in contemporary society. All these topics and more will be the focus of this year’s celebrations of the holiday.
All this labour can now, under the new royal charter, be said to be the Collegium Sacerdotum’s and its members’ labour.