Description: Information about Trill culture.
Categories: Star Trek
Link to this article: Select all
[url=http://revelarerpg.com/app.php/kb/viewarticle?a=13&sid=ad1356920b914a3e6cf9216c29d55b3b]Knowledge Base - Trill Joining, Culture & Zhian'an[/url]
Trill is a planet, and a society, who have never been in a civil or interstellar war. They attained globalization remarkably fast and their development of technology followed suit, and all of this was due to the second race of species that lives on their planet, symbionts. Symbionts live for tens of thousands of years, and they can integrate themselves with the humanoid population through a process called Joining.
This integration imbues the Trill people with a sense of greater picture, which has influenced their culture and in turn, even their education. One aspect of Trill education that exists planet-wide is called zhian'an, from the Trill zhia, meaning, to accept. The phrase zhian in full, is the word for Joined. This etymology sheds a little light unto how Trills perceive the Joining process; that the host (humanoid Trill) must accept the symbiont in order to coexist together.
Even the Trill language has evolved pronouns to distinguish between the singular-I, singular-we, Joined-I and Joined-We.
The Symbiosis Commission receives thousands of applications for Initiate training every year, and usually only about one hundred are accepted each year into Initiate training. Initiate training is a much deeper, more-inclusive type of zhian'an that involves, among other things, telepathic conditioning, adaptive meditation, intense psychiatric and physiological evaluations, et al.
In order to be accepted into the Initiate program, candidates must prove that they can contribute something to the symbiont's gestalt experience of the universe. It is not uncommon for candidates to have completed post-secondary degrees, or to already have careers of their own by the time they apply for Initiate status.
For Trill children, zhian'an in school more closely deals with concepts such as conflict resolution, truth, history, and xia'pan; the ability to hold two consecutive thoughts at once without entertaining either. This is what allows the Trill to exist as a society in a state of continual peace, as they are taught structured methods of meditation, acceptance and conflict resolution that prevents the type of violence and bloodshed we see in other world histories.
This, along with Trill's geological instability, focused the people on learning to tame their world, rather than on conquest. Even after industrialization and the advent of technology, this type of training still exists today, with children learning to assemble Tiyala puzzles and engaging in mock debates.
For those Trill who choose to pursue Joining, the importance of preserving the sacred connection of host and symbiont is paramount to an Initiate's success in completing the Initiate program.
It is the Joined host's responsibility to ensure the symbiont experiences new history, explores new ideas, and lives new, and improved lives; which is just one of the reasons why re-association is considered taboo. After all, the purpose of Joining is to enhance the symbiont's awareness of the universe, and reliving the same lives, and relationships, is detrimental to that process.
Joined Trill can sometimes come off as seeming a little more arrogant or entitled than their unjoined peers, and Trills who don't aspire to Joining are sometimes referred to, usually in a juvenile context, pejoratively as lajah, or unfit. There is some stigma regarding rejection from either a Joining attempt, or from the Initiate program altogether, and many Trill consider this a source of shame if it happens to them.
It should be noted that prior to the 24th century, the knowledge of Trill Joining and symbionts was kept a closely guarded secret by the Symbiosis Commission, so those Trill who do travel off-world are held to a strict code of confidence, in order to protect the symbionts from outside influence, and to prevent others from trying to steal or otherwise aggress against the symbiont population.