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September 10, 2017 by Chris Christou

The people in Cyprus vary between the Northern part of Cyprus, inhabited by Turkish Cypriots, and Southern Cyprus where Greek Cypriots are greatly numbered. So it’s only right that we start with the North. The cornerstone of the Turkish Cypriot way of life can be described in one word, hospitality. Due to the koranic residents, graciousness & generosity are the natural instincts of the Turks and it is shown the minute you step off the plane or the boat. It’s almost like a welcome home greeting to an old friend or a family member they haven’t seen in years. The word “stranger” isn’t in their category. Their guard isn’t up like we American’s have ours when we meet new people; it’s just instant, genuine friendliness.

Their warmth can be credited to the amazingly colorful history. The 3rd largest island has been the home to various foreign influences for centuries. The Roman, Byzantine, Greek and British empires all bear on Cyprus life and it’s people. To Cypriot Turks there are no linguistic barriers to overcome which makes conversation easily which is great for tourist because the people in Northern Cyprus speaks English very well. The level of hospitality is so high that most foreign guest will endure hours of piled food and drinks to the point they feel if they refuse they will insult their host. That isn’t just in the main town or high-life, but even in Karpas. You can bet your bottom dollar if you can find a peasant he will honor his/her “misafir” or guest just like family. Cypriot Turks keep the old school way of life in mind throughout their day-to-day life; they are more traditional in the arts, the entertainment and even marriages. The old school tradition and exceptional hospitality are two of the things that have made Cyprus instantly loved by all visitors.

Now the Southern Cypriots or Greek Cypriots share similar traits but still are their own people. First, instead of speaking English, the language of choice is Greek keeping the native dialect in tact. The spirit of the Greek Cypriot people is strong despite the younger generation growing up in the turbulent civil conflict years of 1950-1970. Surprisingly the younger generation has shown to be quiet peaceful and settled. This type of attitude is due to the fact the Greek Cypriots encompasses world trend in terms of dressing, entertainment, the media but most importantly it’s the influx of young travelers who invade the night clubs and the sun soaked beaches Cyprus has to offer. The enchanted island of love has a thirst, almost a lust for life and takes every opportunity to party just like they did in 1911 when Greek Cypriots held a huge celebration when Richard the Lionheart freed his imprisoned bride to be, Bereganic of Navarre.

The Greek Cypriots hold their old traditions incorporated many of the fashions, ideas and attitudes displayed by their visitors all the while delivering the level of hospitality as the Northern Cypriots. So it really doesn’t matter where you go in Cyprus to vacation or to simply visit because the people there are unlike any other in the Mediterranean. For college students wanting to back pack through England should make a turn for Southern Cyprus and enjoy the beautiful people, endless miles of beaches and extravagant night clubs and for vacationers who want a slow pace traditional experience should make their way to the North or vice versa. Personally the north and the south can be for any type of person depending on what you want to do that day or during that week. The younger visitors who want a taste of culture and hospitality they’ve never endured and the mature visitors can act 21 again in the south with the younger generation can visit the north. The people of Cyprus know how to make outsiders feel welcome to the fullest extent. They know how to show kindness, love, trust and a good time whether you want the amount they give or not. Tourist can easily come to love the people in Cyprus and if they’re lucky enough, they may be invited back to a Cypriot’s home for a dish of meze!