©300. All rights reserved, Utanian Press Agency.
I N D E P E N D E N C E !!!!!
Utania, May 23rd, 300 AP. Fireworks have been exploding in the skies since early in the evening of Monday, May 22nd, after an official vote in the UNV General Assembly voted unanimously in favour of returning self-government to UNV Point South, now called Utania.

The UNV vote, conducted in Christiana's capital of Christianshaven, was taken at 11am, Christiana standard time, or 4pm, Utanian standard time (UST), and was broadcast live for three hours (from 2:30pm) while commentators described the feeling both in the UNV General Assembly, but also in the various parts of the country that was so eagerly anticipating independence.

The UNV session was closed as delegates debated and discussed the UNV resolution, numbered 277 of the year 300 AP, to withdraw from UNV Point South allowing the civilian administration that had been established to take over the reigns of power. UNV Point South Director, Gordon Davitz, was said to be in favour of the resolution, but has questioned the need for haste in withdrawing.

All across Utania people had stopped work or had left home early to view the special broadcast on all-but-one of the seven channels of the state television network. They were crowded around television store shopfronts, and no one was turned away. (Reporters told of one store owner who attempted to do so, and had to be rescued by a large contingent of police from the incensed crowd.) By their hundreds they crowded about radios, or gathered in public squares in towns to hear the commentary broadcast over town hall PA systems.

At precisely 4:07 pm (UST), the junior speaker for the UNV General Assembly, Joachim Daal, opened the doors of the General Assembly room to announce to reporters the decision of the UNV General Assembly. Speaking with heavily-accented speech, the speaker began and forty million people on one side of the globe drew in their collective breath.

"The results of the vote on UNV resolution 277/300 are as follows: It is the decision of the United Nations of Vexillium that resolution 277/300 be...-"

...and the nation drew in even more breath...

"...passed unanimously...-"

The mostly Utanian reporters and the gathered Utanian diplomats, MP's and staffers all shouted in one voice such that the final words of the speaker could not be heard. It didn't matter, for the UNV had Unanimously agreed to grant Independence to Utania.

When Gordon Davidz emerged from the General Assembly, he was hardly noticed, though many about the doorway around thanked him for his faith in the people of Utania.

In Utania, the announcement caused an explosion of euphoria in the newborn nation. All forty-one million people, from the most elderly and frail to the youngest children, shouted in celebration at the announcement they had been waiting for, that they had anticipated for between one year and over fifty years! And the shouting and screaming for joy did not stop. Public bars were inundated with thousands of men asking for beers, while the forward-thinking amongst the people cracked open their sparkling wines and other drinks.

Thousands flocked to the streets from their homes, where they had been watching television, where the streets became an amorphous mass of thousands of people all shouting and celebrating. Streamers and confetti showered the streets from people in the buildings above, and from the official celebrations commencing.

Celebrants arrive at Utani Krysa-Arasete, the great Hall

In Parliament, the assembled members greeted the news with shouts and cheers with the rest of the nation. Political scores were forgotten as hardline communist and Conservative MP's celebrated together, hugging eachother, shouting and dancing in unison.

President Hope was interviewed briefly by television reporters in Parliament before he rejoined the celebrations, during which he stated that "Yes, by Presidential decree, I hereby reinforce my declaration that tomorrow is to be a national holiday for the purposes of national celebration." It was clear that no one would object to his spontaneous decree.

Utan Krysaror then became the centrepiece in the patchwork of celebrations across the country. Chiefs from all over the country had flown in to celebrate in the great Hall of the People. Vibrant Colours of the traditional costumes worn by the dancers and chiefs alike lit up the streets, as the traditional costumes in the closets of thousands of people across the nation were pulled out and dusted off and worn in the streets.

Princess Aratura of the Savaj arrives in traditional royal costume A Royal Guardsman in traditional Utani armour and decoration

Princess Aratura, Queen of the Savaj people, arrived in colourful splendour, with pink yellow and aqua-blue feathers on a large headdress, and gold tassled clothes, she smiled gleefully (though in a dignified manner) for the thousands of Savaj who had come Utan Krysaror for the celebrations, in anticipation of the announcement. The country would have been on the verge of collapse, such would have been the disappointment, if the result of the UNV vote had been negative.
Chief Motu of the Kanharan arrives at the Hall of the People

Also among the dignitaries, Chief Motu of the Kanharan people, in his own royal costume, resplendent in orange, green and blue feathers, and gold tassles handing from a small chest-piece. For many Utanians, this was the first time such sights had been seen, so many Utani leaders in one place in traditional costume.
Church services began at 7pm, many having to be held in the streets due to the large number of people out of their normal home towns. The celebration, the euphoria was easily felt during the various denominational celebrations. Eucharist and Mass services were boosted by above-average numbers of voices singing hymns and scriptural songs with above-average vocal enthusiasm.

A Spiritual song is sung in a traditional Utani church service Eucharist in the traditional Utani Cruistian Church

Ministers, Pastors and Priests were unanimous in their prayers: O Lord Cruis, guide this, your fledgling nation, through trials and tribulations into peace and prosperity. Keep us from the sins of pride or idolatry, reminding us that you alone are Lord, and that our nationalism should never overshadow our faith. Amen.

Celebrants entering the church in traditional costume

Services ended at 8pm, when fireworks and further celebration took place. The fading red sky of late evening was further lit by the reds, yellows and oranges of fireworks, as thousands crowded the streets near the port and Ploche Bay which met the city.

Fireworks in the dimming evening sky

The Hall Of the People ("Utani Krysa-Araseté") became the focal point of the official celebrations, as the Utani traditional leaders and the Utanian Parliament stood shoulder to shoulder in the great hall. There they celebrated, ate, were entertained by traditional dancers and other acts, before going outside to view the 9:30pm fireworks.

This time the night sky was black, and the surrounding city lights were dimmed as the sky then exploded colour and light with over 6,800 individual fireworks being fired into the night sky.

Fireworks mark the birth of a new nation

After the fireworks, the nation's eyes focused on the forecourt before the Great Hall where some 500 choralists and 200 musicians had assembled. At precisely 10 pm, the nation heard for the first time their new national Anthem as written by Judith and Uscea B'yaran, Utania's most famous musicians. (Below is an Ingallish translation of the original Utani.)

Liberty, grant us this thing we plea,
O Lord Cruis, make us humble, strong and free.
Humility, Our nation's authority,
Son of one man,
One destiny,
One nation whole.

Peaceful Land, grant us this peaceful land,
That we might live, in peace and prosperity.
Lord, we pray, keep us Utania,
Blessed by your hand,
Rich and fruitful,
One people reign.

Utania, sons of Pethonis,
One Kingdom, one people, one destiny.
Utania, sons of our Lord Cruis,
Rose to His throne,
Unto His own,
His banner we Raise.

Utania, Utania,
Defend thee I shall do,
Your shores and inlands are,
Plentiful and named true.

Utania, Utania,
By God's grace may it be,
Utania, safe you'll be,
Utania long remain free!

The final line of the chorus was belted out with such great effort, and the orchestra seemed to hold onto the note for ever. The effect of the fantastic singing and the rousing chorus was that there was not a dry eye in the land. Every city, every TV station had broadcast the new National Anthem, and not a soul remained unstirred by the emotional sound of the song.

And after that, the Utani B'yan King, Chief Arahu, lead a proclamation from all the Chiefs and Princesses, that the people of Utan, the tribes of the Utani, the descendants of Pethonis, father to the nation, were once more united and independent and forever would remain so.

This ended the official ceremonies at 10:30pm. But, the cities of Utania would not sleep until early the following morning, for no celebration would be so greatly heralded, save a religious one, as this, the day of independence of Utania.

©UPA, 300 AP.

©Mike Ham, 2000. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)