17th of April - Derectan National Day
17th of April
Day of the Union
The People of Derecta and their government are pleased to announce that, for the first time in history, the Day of Union will be welcoming foreign Head of States to its celebrations and parades.
Governments who plan to send delegations to Derecta must send its details to the Office of Diplomatic Affairs:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs;  118 Chaillot Esplanade, Nobilis District, Dikaíoma, DERECTA.
Or to the Office of Collaboration with the E.U.:
 1993 European Union Blvd, Nobilis District, Dikaíoma, DERECTA.
- 10:30 AM: Military parade at the 17th of April Avenue
- 2:00 PM: State reception at the Eleutheria Palace (prime minister's official residence), lunch.
- 5:00 PM: Representation of "Convergencia Derectana" by Fernando Martínez-Rodrigo, Dikaíoma Opera House
- 9:PM: State dinner at the Derectan Senate
(The Dikaíoma Police Force will have a reinforced presence in order to ensure the safety of foreign governmental delegations.)
The day had finally come. The whole country had been preparing for the Day of the Union for a whole month, and expectations were high.
Carolina was very excited, as usual had been arranging the palace's decorations with her head of staff, but it was time to head off to the 17th of April Avenue to watch the military parade.
"Do we have any notice from the embassies?" she asked.
"I'm afraid we don't, madam." answered her private secretary.
"That's such a shame, I was really looking forward to celebrating my favourite day with the whole Union... Anyway, there'll be more occasions in the future. Let's go! Don't want to get caught in the traffic jams..." said Carolina.
The Prime Minister hopped into her official car and gave instructions to her chauffeur. She had to get to the parade before Minister Bellandini, or he'd be angry at her... again.
"Oh, I almost forgot! I have to post a tweet to celebrate!" said Carolina.
"That's it! I'll never understand why this helps with the polls, but I guess the youth like having a 'hip' prime minister." thought Carolina.
The prime ministerial landaulet was about to arrive at the parade...
Turkmenbaycan last edited by
Carolina finally arrived at the 17th of April Avenue, and rushed to her box, where Minister Bellandini was already waiting.
"I'm so sorry Arturo, you know how the streets get on bank holidays..." said Carolina.
"Carolina, there's no need to apologise, that's just something you always do, you get used to it eventually..." answered the minister with a rather pesky tone. "Anyway, the parade is about to start."
The first soldiers started marching...
"I spy my with little eye... something... red!"
"Aren't you supposed to give me a letter? I thought it was supposed to go along the lines of, 'I spy my little eye something beginning with the letter...'?", Archbishop Craticus asked rather puzzled, trying to focus on the procession before him.
"You know", Mikaela Kligenberg began, "that's how I thought the game worked too. But my cousin Renata kept telling me to use colours instead. She said I didn't know my alphabet and numbers well enough."
"I can't imagine that", Craticus sighed. "Wait, what do you mean numbers?"
"Yeah, numbers. Also, did you know that pterodactyl begins with the letter 'p', and not the letter 't'!" Mikaela quipped, grabbing Craticus by the arm as if to brace him from her shocking news.
"Where were you seeing pteroda- wait, err, nevermind", Cratiucs said as he yanked his arm from her grip. He straightened his coat and focuses squarely back unto the troops.
"Well?", Mikaela asked in annoyance.
"Well, what? Oh. Berets. The berets are red", Craticus easily guessed, as there was no other red in sight.
"Cripes, you're good at this game. You'd even give Renata a run for her money."
"Okay, I have one for you, Mikaela", Craticus said matter-of-factly.
"Oooh, okay, yes?"
"I spy with my little eye, something camouflage", Craticus said, barely containing a grin.
"Wait, is that a colour?" Mikaela gasped.
"Of course. I heard it's the colour. Everyone is wearing camouflage these days. Everyone but refugees, apparently."
"Camoflouge... camofloge... camo... the troops?" Mikaela guessed, scratching her head.
"Nope, you'll have to look closely. It's camouflaged", Craticus coolly responded.
"This really isn't fair!"
"You're not looking hard enough, Mikaela. Everytime you speak you lose focus. The trick is, that you have to look closely and not say a word. The less you say, the more you can see."
"The less you say, the more you can see... I like that! Is that from Proverbs?"
"No, I just made it up. Just for you. You're that special", Craticus said as he gave a sweet, fake smile. He lifted his hand toward the street, gesturing her to look.
Mikaela fell into silence as she squinted and tried to find whatever this camouflaged thing was. Craticus, on the other hand, smiled in relief as he got to enjoy the rest of the Derectan procession in solitude.
The parade ended as the Derectan national anthem was played.
Carolina hopped back into the limo and headed back to the palace.
"Gosh, that was BORING... I have never liked parades, but military ones.... those are the worse." she thought, as she arrived at the palace. She was just on time for the lunch she had organised.
As soon as she entered the palace, she had the Inquistan delegation invited for lunch. Carolina was aware that this veteran E.U. country didn't have an embassy in Dikaíoma, but, as they were the only ones to come visit Derecta, they would be treated as brothers and sisters.
The menu for the occasion was composed by traditional Derectan dishes: Marina seafood 'paella', Olympaseia 'gazpacho' and Olynthorion roast lamb.
As the guests arrived, mostly influential Derectan politicians, aristocrats and prominent businessmen and women, Carolina got changed for the event. She had to be dazzling if she wanted to impress them and gain their support for the upcoming elections. She knew some of the guests were a bit 'critic' when it came to her policies. And, of course, there was this Inquistan delegation attending, and she wanted to impress them too. Carolina had the feeling that foreigners hadn't quite taken her country seriously yet.
Abp. Paul Cratcius & Special Guest Mikaela Kligenberg
This was the Archbishop's first visit to Derecta. He was glad that it was on such an important occasion as this one. The military marches were quite impressive, and Craticus was typically one who enjoyed such displays of strength and national pride, however; he found his travel companion to be a bit of a burden. Craticus wasn't quite sure how Mikaela Kligenberg found herself on the Inquistan delegation team.
"Please behave, just this once", Craticus whispered harshly to Mikaela as they made their way into the palace for lunch.
"Of course, Your Holiness", Mikaela responded politely. Mikaela studied the room carefully as the pair walked in, and then separated herself from Craticus, deciding to seat herself in the corner.
Craticus sighed in relief and decided to seat himself next to the Derectan Prime Minister. "Prime Minister", Craticus courteously greeted. "It is an absolute a pleasure and honor to finally meet you. I would like to extend my gratitude on behalf of all the Inquistan people for hosting us in Derecta today. It's a truly special day and we are glad that we can commemorate the Day of Union with you."
Carolina de la Torre-Ferrándiz and Violet Leandros, walking through Concord Court.
"The pleasure and honour are mine, Your Holiness. I wasn't expecting any visits, but when I was informed you had decided to come and visit, I was very excited. Things have been so busy lately I haven't even had the chance to go and visit Dame Ricchetti after her victory... Anyway, I'm glad our Day of the Union parade has pleased you, and I hope you like the meal. It isn't very fancy, but you know, 'tradition'... I prefer a more 'avant-garde' kind of gastronomy, but this is alright." said Carolina.
The Prime Minister then stood up and raised her glass.
"Fellow Derectans, Inquistan delegation, we are here to celebrate the 182nd anniversary of our regions' union. We were weak before merging, we faced great difficulties, but we learned to strive and grow and earn that prosperity we yearned for so many decades under the tyranny of the monarchy. We have had an easy life ever since, but Europe is now facing a complex challenge. Populism has planted its roots in countries that were once beacons of democracy, torpedoes are fired against the defenceless without remorse, reckless moguls attack the very core of our civilised values and our institutions are on the brink of instability. Nevertheless, we shall make every possible effort in order to overcome these difficulties and become the shining light this region needs. And I'm sure our fellow European nations will want to work with us so this becomes true, as we only find unity in diversity and plurality. Raise your glasses and repeat with me: Prosperity through Progress!"
It was time to head off to the opera house. Lunch had been pleasant, and Carolina had enjoyed having a chat with Archbisop Craticus...
Suddenly, the procession arrived at the Opera House's vicinity.
Carolina loved going to the opera, and that day would be even more special. "Convergencia Derectana" an opera based on the "Days of the Gathering", the series of events that led to the abolition of the monarchy and the creation of the new Derectan State.
Everyone sat down as the curtain went up and the Inquistan delegation had been invited to sit next to the prime minister.
"Those are The Six, our founding fathers. They were the governors of the kingdom's domains, and didn't like how king Hadrian was ruling the country." explained Carolina.
"That is James Osborne, a Dikaioman bourgeois that decided to give all his money to the revolutionaries and join the cause. He guided the militias to the palace's gates and started a riot against the Royal Guard." she continued.
"That is the court, which, frightened by the riots and disturbs, decided to seek refuge in Count Medinaceli's palace on the city's outskirts." she said.
"Those are Queen Mother Helena, Queen Beatrix and Princess Martina, the day after the riots, listening to King Hadrian's speech at the count's palace." said Carolina.
"That is a bit exaggerated, but I think it's the moment the deputies decided to rally with The Six and take over. That was crucial, as many of them were monarchists and wanted another royal family to be placed." she told Craticus.
"That is the moment when The Six and the deputies defy the king and force him to abdicate." said Carolina.
The opera finished, and it was time to go to the Senate and enjoy the Gala that was being celebrated...
The Gala was about to start, and Carolina was about to arrive...
She spoke a while with minister Tressler as the assistants arrived.
All of Derecta's elite was there. The CEO of Arcadia Bank, fashion designer Agatha Meadows, media mogul Valeria Dos Santos, the aspiring king Hadrian IV, famous singer Anne-Marie, painter Jean Duvillage, all of Dikaíoma's political jet-set and a hundred or a hundred and fifty more guests. Carolina was overwhelmed, it was certainly going to be a successful gala.
As the attendees sat down, the Derecta National History Museum's director went to the stage.
"My friends, we are all here to celebrate our nation's birthday. Yes, our Constitution was drafted the 17th of February 1836 and yes, our first Prime Minister was elected a year after, but we came together, in unity and harmony 182 years ago, on a day like this. Our domains were scattered, divided. We weren't Derectans, we were simply a king's subjects. That was the only thing that united us." said the academic.
"And I don't mean to cause any harm to your family Hadrian, you know how much I appreciate you and the whisky we have at your place" he said, as the whole hall laughed, including the nobleman.
"Anyway, my duty is to preserve this nation's history, and events like these really help a lot. All of you gathering here tonight, in the bastion of democracy gives quite a pleasant image of who we are here in Derecta. Thanks to the oney you have all donated, the museum will be refurbished and modernised, giving more space for each exhibition. thank you very much and enjoy the meal. Prosperity through Progress!" finished the old man.
The waiters handed over copies of the evening's menu.
And the dinner began.
Craticus reflected upon the whirlwind day as he began tucking into the evening's dinner. The opera was absolutely fantastic, and Craticus was more than pleased to have the Derectan Prime Minister by his side, who could explain the significance of all the scenes and characters. Craticus also enjoyed the fact that he and the Derectan Prime Minister were seated side-by-side throughout the day, as this gave him the chance to speak and converse with her at great lengths. It also gave him the opportunity to be free from Mikaela Kligenberg, who now successfully managed to begin harassing some of the famous Derectan singers attending the gala.
Craticus mostly made personal chatter with the Prime Minister, and discussed the upcoming elections here. He wished her the best, and gave her his personal tips for how to manage to successfully sleep at night despite all the pressures that keep you awake with it, but Craticus was confident the Prime Minister would do just fine nonetheless. Apart from discussing the ECoJ and the unfolding refugee crisis, Craticus also largely avoided discussing regional politics. Craticus was hoping to save that talk for another time, as Inquista and Derecta ought to probably have a more formal summit at a later time.
"I would love to come back here again soon", Craticus mentioned as he took a sip of wine. "Today's celebrations have been a joy, and I have grown quite fond of Derecta. It would be a pleasure indeed to come back here again soon in order to have a more formal diplomatic summit between our nations. I believe the priorities of our nations are very much aligned and I sense that we have a lot of common ground between us. In the mean time, I will be sure to have an Inquistan embassy here at the very least before the next time we talk, whenever that may be. But again, thanks for having me. It has been a great pleasure."
"Paul, you will always have a home in Derecta. You and Miss Kligenberg have been wonderful guests! I'm glad you've liked all the events we had set up for today, and I'm looking forward to having that 'formal' summit." said Carolina happily. "I would love to visit Inquista sometime after the elections... If it's possible. Anyway, have a nice trip back home. I have a helicopter ready for you so you don't get stuck in the jam on your way to Dikaíoma International."
It was time to go back to the palace. Carolina was exhausted and she knew the next couple of days were going to be hectic. the first debate was to be aired on "O", the biggest private channel in Derecta and EVERYONE would be watching it.
It had certainly been a nice day in Dikaíoma....