Culture of Sierra
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|Culture of Sierra|
The culture of Sierra embodies the artistic, culinary, literary, musical, religious, political, and social traditions and norms that are unique to Sierra and Sierran people. Contemporary Sierran culture has been by influenced by European (particularly British and French), Anglo-American, Hispanic, and East Asian culture and first arose in the late nineteenth century. Aspects of an Anglo-Celtic heritage which manifest in Sierran culture include the predominant prevalence of the English language, the existence of the British Westminster-based parliamentary democratic government, constitutional monarchy, the English common law system, American constitutionalist and federalist traditions, and Christianity (particularly Protestantism) as the predominant form of faith. Since the Kingdom's foundation in 1858, Sierra's culture has diverged significantly, incorporating cultural influences from across the globe, diverging itself significantly from mainstream Anglo-American culture.
Sierra is a diverse nation with over 80 million inhabitants, which is made up of White Europeans, East and Southeast Asians, Hispanics and Latinos, Eurasians, Blacks, Amerindians, and other races, who speak over 80 different languages and follow every major religion and other minorities. At its core, the Sierran culture can be perceived as a modern deviation or variant of Anglo-American culture with strong influences from Latin American and East Asian cultures, philosophies, and legacies. Although the Kingdom itself was formed primarily by Anglo-American settlers from Great Britain and the United States, Sierra was originally a colony under Spanish, and then Mexican rule. Early multiethnic immigration between the mid-18th century and 19th century also transformed Sierra into a multiracial and multicultural nation. The Sierra French Creoles are a prominent legacy of the high degree of racial admixture between various ethnic groups that occurred endemically in Sierra. The Sierran Cultural Revolution has been the seminal, keystone period in Sierran history that has left the greatest impact and legacy on modern Sierran culture. Culturally, Sierra is best described as high-context culture and is therefore more collectivist in nature than American society. However, Sierra places more emphasis on individualism than traditional Asian societies, creating a culture aiming to balance the interests of both the individual and society (social communitarianism). Economically and politically, Sierrans have traditionally held firm capitalist-materialist mindset and democratic traditions.
Common traditions, beliefs, and ideas unite Sierrans and this sense of cohesion, tied along with Sierra's rich history and successes contribute greatly to one's sense of national pride. Racial, religious, and linguistic differences are considered irrelevant to the question of Sierran culture which in itself places high value in pluralism and the interdependent diversified unity of the people. Given the geographical size and plethora of people from different backgrounds, Sierra is home to many distinct social subcultures including ethnically-tied ones. Sierra's international status as a cosmopolitan society and highly globalist-oriented economy has allowed it to export its culture and influence throughout Anglo-America and the world as well.
- 1 History
- 2 Symbols
- 3 Identity
- 4 Language
- 5 Arts
- 6 Customs and etiquette
- 7 Cuisine
- 8 Politics
- 9 Media
- 10 Education
- 11 Sports
- 12 Fashion
- 13 Family structure
- 14 See also
Development of modern Sierran culture
Modern Sierran culture arose in the early 20th century as a result of changing social attitudes toward race, culture, and politics. The Progressive Era as it was called, included the years following the death of Smith I to the beginning of World War II. Progressivism advocated for better conditions and treatment for all Sierrans regardless of color or race and demanded change in Sierra politically and socially. Since the Gold Rush of 1849, Sierra had a growing non-white minority population, particularly those from Asia and by 1900, 5% of Sierrans had Asian ancestry (mostly from China and Japan. Sierra also had a significant amount of African American immigrants who left the Confederate States as fugitives, freedmen, or the descendants of said people to escape the persecution and contempt of the Confederate public following the conclusion of the War of Contingency.
Exposure to minorities coupled with the government's lax and neutral racial policies as well as public fascination and intrigue of foreign cultures made it easier for Sierrans to adopt new customs and mannerisms. This phenomenon has become known as the Sierran Cultural Revolution, an all-encompassing social event that spanned over four decades and included social and political changes in Sierra. Two catalysts helped accelerate the fundamental change in Sierran culture: the reactionary response of xenophobic white supremacy and the rise of literature promoting a new form of culture for Sierra that included ideas and conventions from "other" cultures.
Over the next 50 years, Sierran culture transitioned towards the contemporary, multicultural society seen today. There were periodic times of marked reactionary resistance and prolific events of racially-motivated lynchings, riots, and protests. Labor unions and trading associations played a significant role in attempting to retard the spread of Culler's cultural ideas. Socially, the reactionary movement emphasized on preserving the Anglo-Saxon tradition, free from "foreign" influence and stressed on "whiteness". The reactionaries were generally affiliated with the Democratic-Republican Party, and formed its "traditionalist" faction. The party not only advocated policies favoring the lower-class whites, but opposed immigration and open discriminatory policies against Asians, Latinos, and other minorities.
Sierran Cultural Revolution
Official symbols of Sierra include the purple star, golden poppy, the grizzly bear, the mule deer, the meerkat, and the hibiscus syriacus (Rose of Sharon). The former three are featured on the national coat of arms which also includes a biphillic black eagle. The tricolor scheme of blue, yellow, and red are also strongly associated with Sierra, especially more so when paired with the color purple and sometimes white (as shown on the national flag). Other symbols include the giant sequoia, the redwood tree, the palm tree, and a metallic golden bar.
Throughout Sierran history, especially during the Kingdom's first initial decades of independence, Sierrans struggled to develop a coherent, concrete national identity. Although Sierra was neither part of the United States or Mexico, many of its citizens identified themselves with the country they had originally been from. Anglo-American Sierrans typically identified themselves as Americans or Britons whereas the Spanish-speaking Californios identified themselves as Mexicans. With the development of other Anglo-American nations with similar backgrounds, this identity was further complicated with the rise of immigration in Sierra in the late 19th century. Through the Sierran Cultural Revolution, Sierra successfully forged two distinct cultures into one that became distinctly Sierran. With modern Sierran culture fully embraced by the 1950s, Sierran nationalism revolved around the fact that there were no one true homogeneous culture that was tied to one particular group of people, instead, there were various cultures that co-existed and even simultaneously embraced.
In contemporary times, Sierra is culturally classified as Anglo-American, sharing strong cultural connections with its neighbors including Brazoria, Rainier, Michigan, and the United Commonwealth. Although many aspects of Sierran culture have profoundly influenced America's, such cultural customs and influences have been confused as being general Anglo-American creations. Hollywood, the car culture, the fast food industry, and other inventions of Sierra that changed the rest of Anglo-America have been often been misconstrued as originally and uniformly Anglo-American. In many countries, a popular misconception is that Sierra is an Anglo-American state or an interchangeable term for America (due to the confusion of the nature of the Conference of American States organization. In Iranian propaganda for example, Sierra is often called "America" and its culture and products as "American". This has given rise to the question, Americani vel non Americani (Latin: Americans or not Americans?), reflecting the ongoing struggle for Sierrans seeking to identify themselves as a distinctly separate nation from their neighbors.
Sierra has nine official languages at the federal level: English, Spanish, Chinese (the Mandarin and Yue/Cantonese dialects), Vietnamese, Korean, Thai, Tagalog, Japanese, and Serran. English is the predominant language throughout Sierra and is the nation's lingua franca. According to the 2010 census, 77% of Sierrans over the age of 5 spoke only or predominantly English at home. Spanish is the second most common language (at 9%) and is also the most taught school language in Sierra.
Other languages have official status at the provincial/territorial level. These include Arabic (Gold Coast), Armenian (Gold Coast), Navajo (Apache and Flagstaff), Gilbertese (Gilbert and Ellice Islands), Hawaiian (Hawai'i), and Persian (Gold Coast).
The national dialect of English in Sierra is Sierran English which features several regional dialects within itself, primarily Northern Sierran English (in the northern provinces) and Southern Sierran English (in the southern and eastern provinces). The southern Sierran English centered around the Greater Porciúncula Area is accepted as the standard dialect.
Contemporary Sierran literature is predominantly postmodernist and maximalist. Early Sierran literature reflected the attitudes, perspective, and sentiments of the young kingdom. Sierran literature quickly gained notoriety for its significant romantic realist works, emphasizing heavily on the emotions and strong affinity with the natural world. Throughout Sierra's literary history, writers and poets sought to brand their work as Sierran, in search and desire to defend the Sierran national identity. Sierran literature in the late 19th century and early 20th century explored the social and political issues that Sierrans confronted. Following the publishing of Mark Culler's Comparison of Western and Oriental Thought, Sierran literature transited towards a modernistic movement reflecting cultural and social changes in Sierra including multiculturalism and cultural relativism.
Matthew Gregory Hampton (1842-1914) was the first Sierran author to gain international recognition and notoriety for his works. His magnum opus was The Sunset House, a novel about overcoming depression and failure. With his powerful use of diction and sentimental style of writer, Hampton propelled Sierran literature as a viable, serious movement with potential. Other authors including Kent Blume (1851-1932) and Christopher Zhou (1908–76) further enriched Sierran literature who were known for writing The Widow and Her Other Distasteful Sultry Selves and Across Sea and Sky respectively. Famous Sierran poets including Robert Frost, Ina Coolbirth, and Ulysses Perry (the latter who served as Prime Minister gave a distinctive voice to the poetic movement.
Non-English Sierran language has also been written in languages such as Spanish and Chinese. Carlos Aguilar, a Sierran of Mexican descent (1896-1974) became renowned among the Spanish-speaking community for his works, The Intercession (La Intercesión) and Blue Kites (Cometas Azules). Aguilar wrote 21 novels which have been translated into 82 different languages.
As was the case with Sierran literature, visual art, particularly painting, generally followed the Romantic and Realist trends. Sierran artists concentrated on depicting nature as is featuring Sierra's natural landscapes from sequoia forests to barren deserts to the jagged coastlines. At the start of the 20th century, painters began favoring creating Impressionist art and experimented with unconventional means and mediums to display their art. Sculpting and embroidery became popular, alternative forms of artwork in Sierra, offering diversity in the Sierran artistic world.
Music, dance, and theater
Sierra musical and dancing styles have been influenced by a variety of groups and people. Reflecting the multicultural society, Sierra is a leading producer in music heard throughout the world. Heavily influenced by the musical traditions of its neighbors, Sierra developed its own distinctive rock, pop, hip hop, and classical music. Around the 1970s, African Sierran artists pioneered West Coast hip hop-styled music, sending Sierra towards international leadership and innovation in hip hop, rap, and R&B music. Today, music combining hip hop and pop music styles have been prevalent in Sierra although there is a significant alternative rock scene. In addition, Sierra is particularly famous for its domestic non-English pop music, especially Korean pop.
Cinema and television
Cinema and television have held an instrumental effect on the popular culture of Sierra and the world. Home to Hollywood, Sierran cinema's origins began in the small neighborhood during the 1920s when American filmmakers sought to find affordable sites to shoot their films in idyllic conditions. The major film studios in Hollywood are responsible for the overwhelming majority of commercially successfully and critically acclaimed films on an international scale. The most prolific producer of films, it is only rivaled in output of feature films by India's Bollywood and Nigeria's Nollywood.
Today, the prevailing architectural style in Sierra is overwhelmingly modernism and neo-futurism. Historical architectural trends included the Spanish Colonial, Queen Anne, and Beaux-Arts. Modern and neo-futurist skyscrapers and other high-rise buildings have dominated the urban landscape while contemporary, neo-eclectic tract housing is a common characteristic and style of Sierran suburbs.
Customs and etiquette
Modern Sierran etiquette has been developed from and influenced by traditional European and Eastern Asian customs and practices. The values and customs are more specifically a mixture of Anglo-Saxon Protestant and Sinospheric neo-Confucian tradition. Strong work ethic, humility, interdependent balance between individualism and collectivism (selfless individualism), emphasis on the family, and hospitality are all traits of Sierran ethics. Sierra's history as a multicultural nation led to the absorption of various international views. During the 19th and early 20th century, as immigrants from Asia assimilated with the predominantly white population, many adopted English names, converted to Christianity, and learned Western etiquette. At the same time, interest in Confucian ethics and Orientalism overall within the white community allowed a mutual exchange of ideas and values. The Progressive era helped advance allowing a new culture to arise and works such as Mark Culler's Comparison of Western and Oriental Thought encouraged Sierrans to integrate new ideas and customs from each other. As acceptance of differences grew, modern Sierran culture cemented toward the end of World War II and the Protestant-Confucian model became a national standard.
A central part of Sierran culture revolves around the four main concepts: self, family, nation, and morality which are broad terms for the various customs and practices rooted in the culture. Self include individual responsibility, selflessness, success, and kindness; family stresses on compassion, love, respect, hierarchy, and honor; nation focuses with brotherhood, loyalty, harmony, and unity; morality encourages faithfulness, self-control, mannerisms, and justice.
Although traditional Sierran culture is more conservative compared to other Western nations, cultural rules and etiquette are not as strict to those of East Asian societies. Sierran etiquette stresses heavily on mutual respect, courtesy, and amity. Respect for the elderly, especially those who have served in the military is considered highly important in Sierran society. There is a special focus on the family where child-rearing and nurture rests upon the hands of both parents. Education and work hold significant importance in Sierran culture with good work ethic, leadership, productivity, and dedication treated as a commendable traits. Laziness, idleness, or a Bohemian lifestyle is frowned upon and seen as a sign of failure and poverty. A significant counterculture in Sierra exists partly in retaliation of these views.
National holidays and celebrations
Most of Sierra's holidays are based on historical events, Christian traditions, Sierran leaders, and traditional ethnic observations. There are 10 federally recognized holidays that require all government facilities to close and grant its employees paid time off. The observation is not compulsory among private businesses or individuals, although traditionally, most businesses do close.
Federally recognized holidays
|New Year's Day||January 1||The first day of the new year in the Gregorian calendar.|
|Remembrance Day||February 27||Honors all those whom have sacrificed their lives for Sierra and humanity.|
|Independence Day||June 14||Celebrates the independence of Sierra from Mexico and Sierran heritage.|
|Her Royal Highness's Birthday||August 12||The birthday of the ruling sovereign, Angelina II.|
|Labor Day||September 1||Celebrates the contributions and labor of all Sierrans.|
|Preservation Day||Second Monday of October||Respect and reverence of the traditions and customs of Sierran society.|
|Sierra Day (Constitution Day)||November 27||Celebration of the promulgation of the current constitution proclaimed in 1858.|
|Thanksgiving Day||November 28||Giving thanks, blessings, and joy with family and friends.|
|Christmas Day||December 25||The most important Christian holiday; a traditional day chosen for the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. Gifts are frequently exchanged.|
|Goodwill Day||December 26||A bank holiday whose exact purpose and origins is often believed to simply be a day to appreciate Christmas gifts and anticipate for the new year.|
In addition to the federally recognized holidays, there are other various holidays that are observed nationwide. Some have been recognized as holidays at the provincial level while others have been informally observed by the government.
|Lunar New Year (Simplified Chinese: 农历新年; Vietnamese: Tết; Korean: 설날)||Between late January and early February||The most important holiday of the Chinese calendar, it begins on the first day of the calendar. The celebration can extend from one day to nearly two weeks. The new year also conincides a de facto celebration of East and Southeast Asian culture in general, the Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.|
|Valentine's Day||February 14||Celebration of love, romance, and a time for Sierrans to profess their feelings for one another. Candy and cards are often exchanged.|
|St. Patrick's Day||March 17||Celebration of Irish Sierran heritage and culture. Heavy drinking and mischievous pranks often done this day.|
|April Fool's Day||April 1||Widespread pranks, jokes, and tricks are done to each other on this day.|
|Earth Day||April 22||Celebrates the environment and nature.|
|Easter||Sunday following the Paschal Full Moon, day of observance varies from March 22 to April 25.||Celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Also coincides with the Jewish holiday of Passover. Church attendance, egg hunting, public outings, and roast beef/ham eating is done on this day.|
|Cinco de Mayo (Spanish: Fifth of May)||May 5||Celebration of Mexican Sierran heritage and culture. Also observed as the celebration of Latin American culture as a whole in general.|
|Mother's Day||Second Sunday in May||Celebration of mothers and motherhood.|
|Children's Day||June 12||Celebration of infants, children, teenagers, and students. Traditional date when schools (excluding year round schools) end their school year and conduct graduation ceremonies.|
|Father's Day||Third Sunday in June||Celebration of fathers and fatherhood.|
|Election Day||October 16 or the second Friday of October||Date where major federal, provincial, and local elections take place. Election Day is held on the second Friday of October if the election lands on either a Saturday or Sunday.|
|Mid-Autumn Festival (Moon Festival; Chinese: 中秋節, Vietnamese: Tết Trung Thu, Korean: 추석, Japanese: 月見)||15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese calendar||Celebration of the fall harvest. Commonly observed in a Westernized form by Sierrans of all backgrounds with fairs, concerts, barbecues, and mooncakes.|
|Halloween||October 31||Children and adults dress up in costumes and go trick-or-treating for candy. Also a day for ghost hunting and viewing horror movies.|
|All Saint's Day||November 1||Honoring saints, ancestors, and the deceased. It is called and celebrated as the Day of the Dead or Dio de Los Muertos in Mexican Sierran communities.|
|Kwanzaa||December 26 through January 1||Celebration of African-Sierran heritage and culture.|
|New Year's Eve||December 31||Final day of the Gregorian calendar which is celebrated with fireworks and parties.|
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The cuisine of Sierra is diverse, reflecting the varied backgrounds and groups present in the country. Rice and wheat are the primary cereal grains and used extensively in mainstream Sierran dishes. Traditional Sierran cuisine uses ingredients such as avocados, beef, cheese, chicken, onions, potatoes, salmon, and tomatoes.
Deemed fusionist, mainstream Sierran cuisine has been heavily influenced by American, Mexican, German, and Chinese cuisine. Typically, dishes incorporate vegetables, meats, and dairy with a cereal grain, either rice or wheat. Famous dishes include the caesar salad (romaine lettuce dressed with a special sauce with chicken and cheese), carne asada fries (fries with melted cheese and chill/meat sauce), fish tacos (taco with fried cod, cabbage, tartar sauce, and tomatoes), the Sierran-style cheeseburger (cheeseburger with avocados), the Salsi shawarma (a hot box dish combining shawarma meat, rice, salsa, and cheeses), the Sierran roll (sushi roll with cucumber, avocado, and crab/imitation crab meat), the saucy dumpling (fried dumplings dressed in salsa and chickpeas), and Sierran fried rice (standard fried rice with the addition of eggs, onions, hot dog, beef, broccoli, and fried chicken).
Regional variations and styles of cooking are important in Sierra. Bra-Mex dominates southern and eastern Sierran cuisine while Pacifican cuisine dominates the northern provinces. Many contemporary Sierran dishes have loaned themselves to immigrants who brought and modified traditional dishes from their country.
The origin of modern fast food has been disputed between Sierra and the rest of Anglo-America but Sierra has often been credited for its popularity and commercial successes. The culture associated with such eating is commonly regarded as Sierran. Fast food chains such as McDonald's and Del Taco are examples of companies which have profited greatly from this culinary movement.
Eating and dining holds profound importance and significance in Sierran culture. Considered a sociable activity, there are various etiquette and cultural standards for formal dining and casual eating.
Although the Sierran diet is rich in vegetables, fruits, meats, seafood, legumes, and dairy, there are health concerns over gluttony and unbalanced meals. Obesity has become a rising issue in Sierra that has prompted government reaction in attempt to curb what has been called an "epidemic". There has been a growing movement towards healthier eating or even alternative choices among Sierrans including vegetarianism or veganism.
The political culture of Sierra generally emphasizes on personal liberty, freedom of religion, free speech, constitutional law, and democracy. Most Sierrans are in favor of preserving the existing government structure (including the monarchy) although are divided on the issue to how large the government may be. The three largest parties in Sierra are the Royalists, the Democratic-Republicans, and the Libertarians. With a long history as a liberal democracy, the Sierran people have played a proactive role in influencing policymaking and decisions undertaken by the government. While Sierrans as a whole generally promoted a relatively free market and individua rights, many remain divided over certain issues pertaining to welfare and social issues such as abortion.
Media in Sierra has always flourished since the inception of the Kingdom through a variety of media from print to television to the Internet. With a long tradition of free speech and press, the majority of media is relayed through private for-profit companies. There are limited forms of state government-managed media although the government has primarily concerned itself through regulating and taxing the industry. Sierran media conglomerates are among the most profitable and powerful companies in the world, representing some of the largest broadcasters, brands, names, and programs in the world.
According to the Reporters without Borders, Sierra ranks 9th place in 2014 for press freedom, a drop from 8th. This was done in response to Sierra's controversial surveillance laws which were passed under the premise of finding and suppressing alleged members of terror groups such as the Army of God. Despite this, Sierra's tradition of free speech and press has continued to be actively protected by the government and exerted by the public.
In general, education has been provided by the government. Although education is considered a provincial matter, there are federal regulations and standardization upheld by the Ministry of Education. Most public schools operate under a school district which is usually tied to a local-level county. Attendance is mandatory from the ages of 5 to 17, spanning from primary to second education (12 grades divided between elementary, middle, and high schools).
Although public education is provided, families have the option to attend a private school or institution, or opt for home school. Post-secondary education (colleges and universities) are not mandatory but hold profound cultural and financial importance and are considered essential for all Sierrans to attend. These institutions may be operated by the government or private entities.
Basketball and Sierran football are popular forms of sport played in Sierra. Other commonly played sports include volleyball, association football (known as soccer), baseball, hockey, snowboarding, surfing, and tennis. In recent years, E-sorts have gained popularity and partial recognition as a "sport".
Sierra shares membership with other CAS member states in a variety of professional sports associations including the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL), and Major League Baseball. Sierra maintains its own soccer association, the Royal Premier League (RPL).
Sierra has hosted the Olympic Games twice in Porciúncula in 1932 and 1984. Sierra is represented in the Olympics by Team Sierra which included over 150 athletes in the 2012 Summer Olympics and 34 in the 2014 Winter Olympics. Sierran athletes are one of the most decorated in the world with over 1,500 medals including 563 gold as of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Sierra has also participated in the Pan-American Games and will host the event in 2019.
Although known for its relatively conservative culture, Sierra's attire and dress is predominantly informal and diverse. Formal wear is only expected at special or important occasions and ceremonies. This wear may sometimes be interchanged with informal dress with the two forms often being referred to as formal. Generally, most professional environments or social institutions such as churches permit or favor business casual wear over the more formal dress in daily gatherings. In the public, smart casual and casual dress is prevalent and may be based on personal preference, interests, cultural identity, economic ability, or a combination of these factors.
Contemporary Sierran fashion has closely coincided the trends seen with its neighbors. Largely directed by the hip hop and hipster subcultures, youth fashion is tied strongly to musical preferences and local trends. For adult fashion is similarly dictated by trendsetting groups with the return to vintage clothing of the 1980s and monochromatic-styled clothing.
Ethnically-tied clothing is usually prevalent among immigrants, especially first and second-generation immigrants (often referred to as fresh off the boat) who choose to wear traditional attire from their homelands. For instance, the hijab has become commonplace, primarily in part to the continued intake of immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa where traditional Islamic clothing is worn. Ethnic dress, such as Indian headdress, has made its way into Sierran fashion although some social critics have derailed the trend as a form of "cultural appropriation".
The nuclear family, although no longer as extensive as it was in the 19th and early to mid-20th centuries, holds a special place in the Sierran culture. Consequently, marriage and children, closely related to this concept, are also considered extremely important. With the family unit considered a fundamental part of Sierran society, many customs, attitudes, and practices in Sierra are done within the context of this fact. Traditionally, the nuclear family has been defined as a household of a married couple (a man and a woman) and their biological children. This conception may be extended beyond the immediate family to include grandparents, cousins, and in-laws.
As a result of changing social attitudes and norms, the conception of a nuclear family has no longer been tied exclusively to having a heterosexual married couple, but now broadly refers to any two married adults (allowing the possibility of homosexual couples). Social conservatives contest this reinterpretation of the Sierran nuclear family and forms a basis in the ongoing debate between the acceptance of homosexual relationships and marriages in Sierra.
Beyond the nuclear family, there are other alternative family structures that have been on the rise in recent years. The most common form is the single-parent family wherein only one parent lives with the children. Typically, this assumes that the other parent left the household as a result of divorce, separated, or widowed, rather than this parent being absent from the household due to work, incarceration, or other reasons. Generally, the mother is the parent who remains the parent in the household with the father only obligated to support his children through financial means. Children in these arrangements are typically able or even legally required to be under the temporal custody (through a visit) of their other parent periodically. When and how the children visit their other parent is often settled through legal agreements at court between both parties. The single-parent family arrangement is seen more often among those in poverty or in lower classes. This complicates life for both the caring parent and children, due to the more limited economic mobility.
Childless married couples, non-married cohabited couples, and singles have also appeared in Sierran society, further challenging traditional views. Incest, polygamy, and bestiality are considered taboo in Sierran society and with the exception of incest, these are universally forbidden and restricted by the law. As of 2015, there are no provinces which permit the marriages of a person with their parent, sibling, or child. Marriage with a first cousin is only permitted in 3 provinces but there are no restrictions to second cousins and beyond, as well as in-laws. The age of consent (for both marriage and sexual relationships) are typically the age of 18 but vary from province to province. Washumko, a sparsely-populated province, has the nation's lowest age of consent, at the age of 16 with parental permission.
Fidelity and loyalty play an important role in marriages in Sierra, regardless of sexual orientations or children in the household. Extramarital sex is universally condemned as "sinful" and socially unacceptable. However, in 2013, up to 27% of Sierran adults admitted to having had at least one extramarital experience during their marriage. Consequently, this is one of the main factors leading to divorces. 5 out of 100 marriages ended up in divorce in 2009 with a reported 63% of these fully or partly due to infidelity. Premarital sex, although somewhat condemned, is commonly practiced today, especially among young adults and adolescents. Compared to other Western countries however, premarital sex is less extensive in Sierra. In 2010, only 33% of Sierrans reported having had sex prior to turning the age of consent of 18. However, when compared to college students, the figures were higher at 53% at the same year. 29% of Sierrans believe that premarital sex is acceptable or "not a moral issue" in 2012. Sex education and "safe sex" became prevalent in Sierran school systems in the early 1970s following the rise of teenage pregnancies. This issue has also been linked to similar issues including contraceptive use and abortion.