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The customs and culture of Cyprus
Cyprus definitely has one of the most diverse cultures in Europe.
It has an ethnic makeup of Greeks (77%) and Turkish (18%) while the balance is made up of other ethnicities. Additionally, its religious culture is also diverse with the Greek Orthodox making up 78% while the Muslims have 18%.
Armenian Apostolic, Maronite and then, other religions take up the balance. This is all the more amazing considering the fact that the population is below one million.
Cyprus has two official languages; Greek and Turkish with an estimated 84% speaking the former while about 13% speak the latter.
While the island is divided into two parts, both regards themselves as Cypriots though the Greek Cypriots occupy the South where you can get cheap flights to larnacawhile the Turkish Cypriots occupy the North.
Regardless of the part of the country, hierarchy is well respected and this is largely due to the cultural and religious background of both the Greeks who are largely influenced by the Greek Orthodox religion and the Turkish who are influenced by Islam.
You will thus find the elders being revered and accorded respect over those who are younger. Cypriots take the issue of religion seriously although they have two major religions; Islam and the Greek Orthodox religion.
In fact, the constitution of the country guarantees the right to freedom of religion. As expected, a vast majority of Greek Cypriots follow the Greek Orthodox religion while their counterparts in the North are Muslims.
The Greeks observe the usual traditions of the Greek Orthodox Church while the Muslims observe the traditional rites in Islam including the number of prayers during the day as well as fasting periods and the festivals.
Cypriots have certain etiquette which are observed when meeting people socially and also when entertaining guests in the home. It is regarded as respectful for you to shake hand and also keep eye contact when greeting someone else.
If the other person is a Turkish Muslim, he might not shake hands with a woman and the host normally does the introduction in small social gatherings.
When you give your hosts a gift, the gift normally does not get to be opened immediately and besides, in is very important to remember to give hosts white lilies as they are normally used during funerals. Pastries are just appropriate.
It will not be out of place for you to at least offer to assist the host in preparing or cleaning up after the gathering. You should however maintain casual but tasteful dressing and complement the host on the meal and the house.
Table manners are very important in Cyprus and it usually follows continental protocol; fork in left hand and knife in right and you should allow your host start eating before you start.
Business is also very important in Cyprus and etiquette is also followed here. Cypriots usually deal face to face with business partners and this partnership could be forged over time via social meetings and other forums such as Focus on Cyprus job search site.
Once formed, Cypriots value loyalty and will remain loyal to you over the company you might be representing.
Trust is a foundation of their business culture and they value it. Never give the impression that you do not trust someone or that he should not trust you.
The south of the Mediterranean sea of Cyprus is Egypt, so why not try that as your next proposed holiday destination and see if you can find some cheap flights to sharm el sheikh
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