Want to feel more like a local in Cyprus? We have gathered some information that is sure to help you.
Cyprus is one of the most scenic sun-drenched destinations that provide a spectacular region and a fascinating cultural dimension to explore the eastern Mediterranean area. Cypriots represent two major ethnic groups that reside on the island: Greeks from the greek orthodox community and the Turkish Muslim community. It’s easy to feel local here due to the famous Cypriot hospitality and peculiar lifestyle.
It is considered the island of love, the birthplace of the mythical Goddess of Love, Aphrodite, and once glance at this sun-soaked Mediterranean island is enough to make you fall in love with its charm.
People speak Greek and Turkish across the island, but Cypriots usually communicate in English with tourists and guests. However, if you want to enjoy a warm welcome and quickly break the ice to feel local, it is highly advisable to learn at least a few Greek words. The Cypriots will appreciate the effort and give you more honorable status than a tourist.
FOOD: CENTER OF CULTURE & WILL MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE A LOCAL IN CYPRUS
Food is an essential part of Cyprus’s culture and a way to make you feel like a local in Cyprus. There are a great many traditional meals that are devoured in special occasions throughout the year. For instance, the Souvla, a Cypriot barbecue consisting of large chunks of pork that are slow-cooked for hours, is usually consumed on a Sunday. During lent, Flaouna, a rare kind of pastry, is prepared to break the fast. On Easter Sunday, Flaouna is prepared with cheese, raisins, sesame seeds, and pastry.
Christmas is marked with a decadent cake, known as the Vasilopita, which contains a secret coin that brings happiness and luck to the person who finds it. Other items include the Koupepia, Mousaka, Ouza and Halloumi, while Baklava is a decadent Turkish dessert that is devoured all year round.
CUSTOMS & HOSPITALITY
Hospitality and kindness are an integral part of Cyprus’s customs, and Cypriots are gracious human beings who always mind their manners, which is why welcome is the most commonly spoken word across the island. If you are a guest at a Cypriot house, you will be served and treated like royalty, and you will not be allowed to do any chore or even lift a finger.
Hospitality is also visible while eating out at restaurants – you will always be served a complimentary glass of Cypriot spirits and wines, such as Zivania or Ouzo. Also, your meal will be accompanied by a traditional dessert. Moreover, if you decline these gifts, Cypriots will feel hurt and disappointed, so to feel local in Cyprus, be sure to take a bite even if your tummy is bursting.
Cypriots sure love celebrating love and weddings, and the term Big Fat Greek Wedding was surely coined in Cyprus because the guest list is always overflowing with thousands of guests. Weddings are affairs of great merriment, free-flowing spirits, and endless entertainment.
Related: Planning An Overseas Retirement? Here’s Why Cyprus is An Ideal Choice.