Cyprus - A "Bite" Into Their Culture

                                                 Olivia Goodmon & Tiffany Smith

Cultural Etiquette: When Dining

The dining etiquette is relatively the same in Cyprus as it is in the U.S. but they are more formal about it. You must shake hands, dress nice & offer to help the host as you can. When it comes to table manners, people in Cyprus are much more strict. You can only pass food around the table with your right hand, you must stay standing until you are told by the host to be seated,  you must wait until the host is seated to begin eating and you must hold your fork in your left hand and your knife in your right. You must also say goodbye to every individual before leaving. The oldest person and the guest of honor are normally served first. Expect to be served 2nd and even 3rd servings of the food, even if you don't eat all of your first serving, although that is the respectful thing to do. Many Turkish Cypriots (a person from Cyprus) will lower their eyes when the greetings are being exchanged between others to show respect and you must address someone as Mr. or Mrs. So and So instead of their first name unless told otherwise. To indicate you are done eating and would like to be "dismissed", you must lay your knife & fork parallel across the right side of your plate.  

Cultural Etiquette: When Dating

When you are on a formal date with someone, all table etiquette rules become more preponderant and are followed even more precisely to make a good first impression or keep the other person interested. The normal attire for a male is to wear a dark colored suit & tie where a female must wear a conservative dress.

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Weddings In Cyprus

There are a few similarities between Cyprus & American weddings but there are more differences. The main similarities are that there is still the exchanging of vows & rings and the bride still tosses the bouquet of flowers into the non-married girls of the wedding party. The differences are: the wedding party throws rice around for good luck in the marriage, the bride carves her name into the soles of her bridesmaids & maid of honor's shoes, the bride and groom not only have rings but crowns/tiaras, there is a red sash wrapped around the waist of the bride to represent her virginity and a red sash tied around the groom's waist to represent his fertility.

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Funerals In Cyprus

Overall, funerals in Cyprus are very similar to ones in America. There are really only two large differences. The first one being, creamation is frowned upon. When someone dies, they are buried instead of what majority of people in the U.S. decide to do, which is go through creamation. The second large difference is that only white lilies are given to the family instead of any old bouquet of flowers. White lilies symbolize that the soul of the deceased has recieved restored innocence after death and I have a picture of them below.

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I actually took this picture, I do nature photography! :) So I guess... Citation: Olivia :)

Holidays In Cyprus

Boxing Day: Boxing Day is celebrated the day after Christmas, on December 26th. It's when tradesmiths and employees recieve a gift from their bosses or employers. It's supposed to help show that the bosses appreciate their employees so much for what they do and how hard they work.

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Epiphany: Epiphany is a Christian feast that celebrates the revelation of God the Son as a human being, in the flesh, through Jesus Christ. This feast is to commemorate Jesus' physical manifestation into the flesh and coming to the Gentiles. The traditional date for the feast is January 6. However, since 1970, the celebration is held in some countries on the Sunday after January 1. The earliest reference to Epiphany as a Christian feast was in A.D. 361, by Ammianus Marcellinus. This is a very important holiday to most christians but is more popular in the stronger christian based countries such as Cyprus.

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Mealtimes In Cyprus

There are actually five meal times in Cyprus. The first one is early in the morning and is a light "meal" including bread & milk or something small like that. Then, around 10am there is a heavier meal consisting of eggs, toast, fruit & nuts. Then around 2pm they have their main meal of the day. This is the largest meal that consists of seafood, olives, fruit, veggies & other snack such as crackers. At 6pm, there is a light dinner. This meal is very light because they just ate a large, hearty meal a few hours ago. Then they have a "dinner" at around 8 or 9pm that is similar to the first breakfast. Normally, it's very light with some kind of bread product and olives.

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Typical Cypriot Diet

Their cuisine is very close to Greek cuisine but its also influenced by Italy and other Middle Eastern countires & their unique cuisines. Their ingredients are very fresh and they eat lots of seafood since they’re close to the Mediterranean Sea. They are also big on using cheeses in almost every dish possible.

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From Cyprus To Your U.S. Table

Cypriots who are Turkish and Greek believe that snails are a huge delicacy. They are cooked with rice or in a mixture of onions, tomatoes or cinnamon, snails are enjoyed by many on the island and are also enjoyed in certain restaurants in the U.S. Fish and other seafood dishes commonly include red mullet, sea bass, squid and octopus. Other common ingredients in Cyprus cuisine include fruits and vegetables. The most popular of these are green beans, artichokes, green peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, grape leaves and lettuce. These fruits & veggies are also commonly used in America in many of our main dishes to add flavor & color.

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Thanks For Watching & Listening! :)

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