Tinèkè* is one of the seven provinces that constitute the Commonwealth of the Gramation Union. And with a population of about 250 million it is the second most populous province of the realm, after Azeya. In regard of territory it comes after Azeya, Tobeya, Robeya and Xariastin. The province covers most of the Tinèkè basin and the region derives its name from the river.
Though the Empress of Gramatia uses the style of Queen of Tinèkè, the area has never been an unified independent state. Before the lands of the Tinèkè basin were absorbed into the Gramatian empire between 450 and 435 BC**, the current province was populated with many dozens of tribes. Especially in the Tinèkè-delta with its hundreds of branches, political fragmentation was – and to some extant still is – rampant.
The area’s complex geography and strong rivalry among the tribes, meant that political unification from within was virtually impossible. Only due to the invasion of the well organized armies of Emperor Pimpèl, Tinèkè finally became an administrative unit. However, governing the province has always been a hard task – as local governments, as the successors of the ancient tribes, continue to clinch to their autonomy.
Nevertheless Tinèkè enjoys a shared cultural and linguistic identity that clearly set the province apart of the rest of the country. The region has its own and distinct language, which is totally incomprehensible to those whole only speak Gramatian. Since the CGU has never imposed Gramatian or even considered to outlaw the native tongue, there are still after twenty-five centuries many places in Tinèkè where one can hardly find any person who is fluently in both languages.
Religiously most people in Tinèkè are adherents of Gramatia’s state religion Tujoism, albeit with its own unique rites and most of its liturgy is conducted in the provincial language. Atheists constitute the next largest group, but compared to the rest of the country their numbers are quite low – around twenty percent of the population.
Agriculture is the major pillar of the economy of Tinèkè. With its fertile soil and abundant supply of water, the province is Gramatia’s main supplier of rice, sugar, tea, rubber, cotton and bamboo. Most of the exports is shipped overseas to the port of Poldradek (Gramatia’s second largest city and first harbor) for distribution across the rest of the nation. The production of goods made from crocodile leather is another important source of wealth, but the consumption of their meat is mostly a local affair.
Other industries that are important to mention are textiles, food processing, timber and tourism. Especially crocodile farms are a popular attraction. Despite its large population Tinèkè has a very low unemployment rate of less than one percent of people between the age of sixteen and seventy.
*Pronunciation is a very sensitive issue. Within Tinèkè the proper way is, as notated in IPA, Tinɛkɛ, while outside people will usually say Tinəkə – too great annoyance of many people from this province.
**For simplicity’s sake we use terrestrial years here to refer to events in Urandan history.