The Balanda language is a tocharic language with slavic influences. The original Balanda adhere mostly to Svantevicje, a traditional religion, and Arianic Christianity. In the south, many converted to Islam. The Contract Settlers mostly are Carlistic Christians or Jewish.
Historically, the Balanda dominated the state, called "Balanga Respublike" in the past. Urbanisation and modernisation has changed this - the Balanda Republic is dominated by the descendants of Contract Settlers supported by Federation forces. Some Balanda tribes accept this and have been integrated into the Balanda Republic power structures, others have set up a resistance force, the Balanda Liberation Movement (BLM).
Due to better education and infrastructure, the Balanda Republic has seen a slow economic upturn in the last few years. This has been stopped by the Star Sickness crisis, though. The diverse religious and ethnic groups living in the Republic have agreed to a decentralized structure of government and a policy of friendship with all other FM member states. To safeguard this, the Balanda Defense Forces are co-operating both with Musogradij Armije and Capricornian and Naquarnian Defense Forces, maintaining joint bases with all three. Even an agreement with SR Murwillumbah is currently being negotiated, to resolve long standing territorial conflicts on the southern coastline.
Cultural historyThere is a traditional story which is seen as a kind of "founding myth" of the "Balanga Respublike" of ancient times.
According to this, the Balanga state was founded by a secretive President, a Shoolscath (visionary) who tried to turn time around by negating all modern tools and developments. He fought a long and lonesome war against the powers of the world, while his words and ideas echoed in the Balanda and formed them into a nation. Finally, though, he was betrayed by his brother who felt this war to be senseless and cruel, and was put into eternal prison by the Western People. His ideas still live on in traditional Balanda people, supporting their struggle for freedom.
Years later, another pair of brothers, both Awailscaths (shape shifters) took his Name (the Real Name being a traditional magical secret of the Balanda) and acquired power over the People of the Eastern Plains. One of the brothers, the one who had acquired the office of the President of the Plains, decided to fly to the East to honour their ancestors. He was warned by his underlings of a huge nebula blocking his path, but in his hybris decided not to heed the warnings. This let to his downfall and death. But his brother still rules the People of the Plains, it is said.
Many traditional Balanda believe that they will win their true freedom when their President re-emerges into the world and smites down the Impostor. Urban and young Balanda reject this as dangerous fantasy and are striving for development, often emigrating to the cities or other FM states.
The true historic background of these myths has not yet been established, but ethnologist and historians continue to research them.