Yet another factor in FatLanders' strong and mutual bonding is that many of them had to escape to FatLand without their families, or without most of their families. (A study about how families on the Other Side reacted when their members were threatened with the Reeducation Centers has been begun, but has not yet been completed).
The FatLanders whose families cared enough to send them to FatLand because they loved their fat members and feared for their lives managed to adjust quite happily and started quickly to like living in FatLand. The FatLanders whose families were embarrassed by them and merely wanted them out of the way so that they would not bring shame -or the Health and Diet Police- on the family at first were so shy and miserable that they would not participate in FatLand life or communicate with anyone. The block counselors, mentioned in FatLand 2: The Early Days, did a magnificent job of making them feel more confident and raising their self-esteem. In some cases they actually counselled members of the latter group not to communicate with their intolerant families for a while. When members did develop confidence, the counselors then discussed the possibility of their communicating with their families again. Sometimes block counselors actually stayed with these FatLanders when they took the step of communicating with their families.
Some people are praised for bravery in battle, or in sports competitions. The FatLanders who summoned the courage to talk to family members who sent them away because they didn't "fit" into (rather dictatorial) life on the Other Side were in their own way braver, even though they received no medals.