Etiquette in Cyprus

Cypriot Etiquette

General information about Cypriot Etiquette I noticed.

Cypriots are very grateful people. You will notice that you are always welcomed when you are there. Cypriot is very “Greek” if I may say that.

Moreover, People there are as sweet as the weather of the Mediterranean island! So amazing! Some scientists say that the sunshine raises your mood and makes you feel fresh and happy. So, for a warm island with enough sunshine round the year …expect people to be extra nice.

Second thing is “Don’t mess with Cypriot drivers”.

Keep in mind that Etiquette in Cyprus is very important. And Cypriots have some traditions and etiquettes that they are proud of and defend with whatever it takes them to do it.

Besides all that, as a general etiquette law, do not ever mess with Cypriot religious beliefs or make comments about religion or any related subject. This topic is very sensitive and Cypriots are people very conceited of their religion and beliefs.

The third important thing is not to comment about someone’s sister, wife, or any female related to that someone. This is very unacceptable. Family is number one matter in Cyprus. And female relatives are very cared for. So forget about your inside jokes.

Moreover, Cyprus is a cultural island, with olden times of ancient heritages and long-known history. So culture is very important for them.

A well known fact is that the way of life, faith and inheritance play a vital part in the people’s lives. However, because Cypriots underwent a lot during the historical old days and more than ever when the Turks took over the north, it would be understood as one explanation why you should stay away from ever bringing up the issue of Turkey all through a talk with a Cypriot.

However, going to another matter in the Cyprus Social Etiquette, we can clearly see that people, and I mean the Cypriots, are respected because of their age and position. Older people are granted value and considered to be wise.

And as a matter of fact, when talking about groups, the oldest person in a group is honored. And in a public situation older people are served up and introduced first.

When meeting a new group, the one person you know in the group will introduce you to the other people around. Shake hands with everyone, and make an eye contact with a smile. Besides, don’t forget that when you leave, it is preferable to say goodbye to the people in the group each one individually.

Another thing you should be aware of when you go to someone’s house, is that you should dress well. Not a suite but dress smart casual. Make nice compliments about the surroundings in the house and the house itself.

Moreover, Cypriots are just like Greeks are famous in postponing getting things done! The famous word they use is “Avrio” which means tomorrow. They like to postpone things usually and they take life so slowly and easy. Like for example two Cypriots want to go watch a movie lets say tonight, they plan for the night but they actually watch it after two or three days from the day they wanted to see that movie!!! Why the rush?!

Cypriots like going out a lot, and their mainly concern is to show off at very popular places and famous ones. They get dressed very well when they go out.

Just like Greece, it is very noticeable that it is very important that they wear brand names clothes and accessories.

People know each other very well there, since it’s an island and not a very huge country. So, expect people to talk about each other. Did I make myself clear?

Etiquette the good behaviour…

Visiting Cypriots:

Dress smartly and be polite. Shake hands with everyone you get introduced to in the house. It is much likely to find icons and religious items displayed in a typical Cypriot house. Don’t comment, just compliment. On the other hand do not forget to buy a gift. Most people on special occasions take a bottle of drink (wine, whisky, etc.) as a gift. It’s the tradition that the bottle is not opened at that night or visit, but to be kept and opened on another occasion. Moreover, expect to be offered a second and a third filling for the plate and when you finish dinner or lunch or whatever meal you were invited for, offer to help in tidying up the eating table; however, do not insist if you are not allowed to help cause negotiating can go through all the day without reaching a to a deal!

Being invited:

It is likely that when you have new friends in Cyprus that get invited often. Usually the first one you know will introduce you to others. However, offer to pay the bill (thought you will not be allowed). But again do not insist, because you simply will be spending all your time arguing with your friends without reaching the deal you want. So offer but do not insist.

It happened with me when I was visiting Cyprus last year. There is a family we know there, they are very good friends of us, they invited us for lunch to a nice Fish restaurant in Larnaca. We wanted to pay the bill; they wanted to pay the bill. We argued for more than 10 minutes…at last they paid!!! Expect that you also get invited to non Cypriot restaurants too – Friday’s, the brewery, Champs, and lot others.

Leaving Cyprus:

When you leave Cyprus, you will get gifts to take with you from Cypriot friends especially if you have family friends. Take them and don’t refuse as refusing would be an insult.

Family:

Although life style did change a bit since the days of our ancestors, still family is an important matter in Cyprus. Family members form a union among each other. Here is how a typical Cypriot life cycle goes on;

Parents are supposed to take care of their children until they are grown up and firm. Afterwards, the grown up children starts taking care of their parents in return. However, children are likely to form a bond with their grand parents too. Elder members of the family are very well respected and thought to be the wise.

Business:

In Cyprus who you know is more important than what you know! So, social connections are very important. Business in Cyprus is preferred to take place face to face as a more personal way than by phone or emails. Dress is very important. Always look smart.
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