Monday, 7 September 2015

Traditional Official Ribbons

For many centuries, the bureaucratic and legal procedures of Nilkawt have accumulated to ensure the laziest sorts of Nilkawtians can claim a regular salary for doing nothing much of any value.  The procedures are an alternative to redundancy and have therefore been kept in place both as a means of charity and as a form of tradition.  In fact, many forms of forms are required in Nilkawt, and in this embassy, in triplicate, to ensure the tradition of using official ribbons can continue uninterrupted.

The ribbons are made of handwoven Nilkawtian silk, traditionally dyed to a beautiful shade of silver blue.  The silk is produced from specially bred silkworms.  The silkworms live on the royal mulberry trees, kept in large, beautiful, hand-painted ceramic pots within the conservatory-like structure of the Hike Kawt Court of the Caught.  Taking silk in Nilkawt therefore has a very special meaning indeed.

The dots on the silk are hand embroidered in three shades of purple.  The pattern on each dot is unique, yet reminiscent of Celtic art.  Each ribbon is exactly three fifths of a yard in length and two and a quarter inches in width in its finished form.  The ribbons are never cut.

The production of traditional polka dot ribbons is a major form of employment in Nilkawt, much like the paperwork they tie.  It is a Nilkawtian tradition to avoid redundancy wherever and whenever possible, as indicated in Nilkawtian employment statistics.  There has never been any unemployment or underemployment in Nilkawt.

Training apprentices for all the tasks involved in producing the ribbons also has a long Nilkawtian tradition.  No-one can begin any traditional apprenticeship in Nilkawt before the age of forty-seven, though hobbyists may learn any or all of the necessary crafts from the age of thirty-eight, as long as they are Nilkawtian citizens or visitors with at least two months remaining on a RREV.

No-one is permitted to tie the ribbons except for the duly appointed Marchionesses of Tying, and only then during the official ribbon tying ceremonies.

No-one is permitted to untie the ribbons except for the duly appointed Marchionesses of Untying, and only then during the official ribbon untying ceremonies.

No-one is permitted to retie the ribbons except for the duly appointed Marchionesses of Retying, and only then during the official ribbon retying ceremonies.

A Marchioness of Tying, a Marchioness of Untying and Marchioness of Retying must all be present whenever there are official opening ceremonies for events, public parks, buildings, new footpaths and other new features of Nilkawtian life and experience.  In many ways this ceremony is similar to the ribbon cutting ceremony of other societies except, of course, that no Nilkawtian ribbon is ever cut.

Firstly, a Marchioness of Tying will inspect the preparations for the ceremony, to ensure everything is in order and satisfactory.  She will then tie two ribbons together between two portable official bollards.

Then a Marchioness of Untying will give a speech, lasting between fifteen and twenty minutes if everyone present is wearing a hat and thirty-five and forty-eight minutes if at least one person present is not wearing a hat.  She will then untie the ribbon, all being well.

A Marchioness of Retying is present in case anything goes awry, in which case she reties the ribbon.  This allows for the final part of the ceremony to be postponed until the problem is officially resolved.  The relevant Marchioness of Tying, or another Marchioness acting in the same capacity, then repeats the first part of the ceremony and one of the Marchionesses of Untying will repeat the speech in full, or another of her own choosing, and then untie the ribbon.  Then one of the Marchionesses of Retying will inspect the situation ceremonially, as before, to ensure everything is in order.

There is no red tape in Nilkawt.