An Phar Psychology
An Phar are generally reliable, unassuming and likable. They do not, however, allow themselves to be pushed around. An Phar make excellent soldiers, but they are seldom heroes. They tend to look for a non-violent solution first, but will use force when necessary.
An Phar’s racial preoccupation with health and cleanliness tends to help humans get over their resemblance to terrestrial pigs. An Phar hate to get dirty and generally bathe three times a day – upon rising, before bed, and in the middle of the day. The morning bath is private, the mid-day bath is social, taken with co—workers, neighbors or classmates, and the evening bath is usually taken with the immediate family. Most An Phar eat twice a day. Meals are large but informal; often a busy Phar will eat as he works. The social function meals serve in human society is taken by baths among An Phar. An Phar eat quickly, without formal etiquette, but quietly and very, very neatly.
The family unit is the most important part of An Phar society. The relationship between two mated An Phar is rather formal by human standards, with little outward display of affection. Children however, are raised with remarkable care – they are frequently held and played with, and also affectionately quizzed and instructed about anything that might be at hand. Phar society encourages parents to alternate taking several months off work while the children are growing up. Consequently the bond between parent and child remains strong throughout life. It is unthinkable for an adult Phar not to support and respect his retired parents.
The second most important part of a Phar’s life is his Social Status. As with humans, higher status means more power, and often more affluence, and most An Phar seek to better their lot. However, the society at large remains remarkably egalitarian, and a Phar unskilled laborer is treated with the same courtesy as a Cho among his own kind.
Crime in the usual sense is extremely rare among the Phar. Rather more common are ideological dissidents and rebels. Moral conviction is an acceptable defense in An Phar courts, and a defendant who can prove he honestly felt he was doing the right thing can expect no worse punishment than exile, preferably to someplace where the rest of the population agrees with him. The occasional real criminal, however, is required to pay back 2 to 5 times the amount he took from, or otherwise cost, his victims. This often results in the criminal being placed in a position not unlike slavery to his former victims. The extremely rare violent criminal is considered a hopeless case and mercifully and regretfully executed.
An Phar enjoy music, drama, dance and literature, although human and Fasanni critics generally consider An Phar taste unendurably pedestrian and dull. The race has produced few artists of note on the galactic scale.
Among the An Phar’s most visible traits, and a consistent source of amusement and vexation to humans, is their fascination with moral philosophy. In his lifetime a typical Phar will embrace several different ethical systems. He will pursue one system wholeheartedly, attempting to apply it to every segment of his life, politely but incessantly defending it against any who might wish to argue (and arguing philosophy is a favorite Phar pastime). Then the Phar will find a tenet of the system which he considers to be inconsistent or personally unacceptable, and (sometimes literally) overnight will adopt a completely new system.
However, religion in the human sense seems to be quite alien to An Phar. Before they made contact with other races they apparently had no concept of a supreme being or beings. Those contemporary Phar who give the matter any thought at all (and few do) will say that such matters are beyond mortal comprehension, and remain cheerfully agnostic. Many Phar do, however, enthusiastically embrace the moral tenets of such human religions as Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Confucianism.