Tammy: The peoples (races) of Tortall are the same as those of our world. I based the Bazhir on the Bedouin tribes on Africa and Arabic, and the Shang system is pretty much the same as the Chinese and Japanese temples where martial arts was taught (except mine admit women).
The fan toss game is real, but as far as I know, it’s done with wooden fans, not edged ones. Still, it seems to me that if you were crazy enough, you could play it that way! And it wouldn’t be done with separate knives. Instead of wooden ribs, the fan would be made of steel ribs, very thin, and the outside edge is the sharp one. You play the game by catching the hub where all the ribs are fastened together.