• Bulgaria!

    Bulgaria: An old Turkish bridge. Go Now!

    Bulgaria
    The isolated mountains of Bulgaria hide cultural gems around every corner, including this old Turkish bridge in the Rhodopi Mountains. Explore Bulgaria!

  • Italy!

    Italy: Rome' historic buildings. Go Now!

    Italy
    Crumbling buildings in Rome (pictured) only add to the atmosphere in a country where old is redefined and western civilization begins. Explore Italy!

  • Denmark!

    Denmark: Landscape. Go Now!

    Denmark
    From cities like Copenhagen to islands, beaches, and vast fields (pictured), Denmark offers incredible history, architecture, scenery, and more. Begin Your Journey!

  • Czech Republic!

    Czech Republic: Astronomical Clock in Prague. Go Now!

    Czech Republic
    The Astronomical Clock in Prague (pictured) makes every tourist list, but the towns, including Cesky Krumlov, and the mountains offer a change of pace. Go Now!

  • Belarus!

    Belarus: Birch tree forest. Go Now!

    Belarus
    Tucked away and often forgotten in Eastern Europe, Belarus is home to low lands and Birch Forests (pictured) as well as hidden castles and a culture unlike any other. Begin Your Journey!

  • Spain!

    Spain: Guell Park and Gaudi architecture. Go Now!

    Spain
    Fusion foods, lively music, historic ruins, and cultural events like the Running of the Bulls and La Tomatina make Spain and Barcelona (pictured) a favorite tourist destination. Explore Spain!

Culture & Identity of Cyprus

Introduction

Cypriot Culture - Village harbor
Village harbor

There are slight differences among the people and the way of life from individual to individual and from the ethnic Greeks to the ethnic Turks. However, in terms of way of life, these two groups have many similarities as life revolves around free time, socialization, family, friends, and food.

The Cypriots, or the ethnic Greeks, are the majority on the island; they enjoy life and it seems like they always have room for one more person in their social circles, each of whom is treated like family. Family, and the large social circles, found in Cyprus are the center of life and their way of life is heavily reliant on this free time spent with people. Of course work and school are important, but if the people had enough to eat, drink, and support their families, it would be unlikely any Cypriot would work.

Free time is the highlight of every Cypriot's life, but the people are also good at finding the positive and social aspects of life in their work and school lives as well. Work, school, and free time are the elements of the way of life for most Cypriots as most people have fallen into a pattern based on work and school hours, but time is seemingly flexible as start times are often delayed and present company tends to take precedence over future appointments.

For most Cypriots this work schedule runs from about 7:30 am to the afternoon, either early afternoon or as late as 5:00 pm, but each industry has varying hours and work times seem to be somewhat flexible. Likewise, schools have set times, with most beginning at about the same time the workday starts, but children often finish at about noon or early afternoon. A late lunch is common, perhaps followed by some down time or a nap. For children school work is often times significant so many evenings are occupied with this. School runs from about September to early June.

Although education is important to the Cypriots, as is making the money to enjoy life, the people of Cyprus live for their happiness and well-being above all else, so many aspects of other cultures are deemed less than important. Working and earning additional money always come second to what that that money is actually earned for: enjoyment of life and a relaxed way of life. They Cypriots work to get money which can be used to vacation on the islands, eat out, and visit with family and friends over wine. Everything in Cyprus is centered around family and this lifestyle.

For some people, both ethnic Greeks and Turks, religion is an important aspect of life as attending church on Sundays or mosque on Fridays is a regular part of their lives.

Identity

Cypriots are energetic and wholly committed to their identities, which tend to be either "Turkish" or "Cypriot." The Turks differ on seeing themselves as either rightfully in Cyprus or captives on the island due to Turkey's politics demanding they remain on the island. No matter why these ethnic Turks are present, they see themselves first and foremost as Turks, which is an identity tied to the ethnicity, language, religion, food, and culture, not the nationality. Cypriots are ethnic Greeks and may at times refer to themselves as Greek, but generally call themselves Cypriot, which essentially means an ethnic Greek who was born and raised in Cyprus. The term Cypriot has both a national and ethnic link; to be a Cypriot a person must be ethnic Greek and live in Cyprus.

This page was last updated: November, 2013