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Cyprus is one of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean Sea, which is surrounded by a warm and gentle blue sea. Most of the population of this magical and romantic place are ethnic Greeks, whose main religion is Orthodox Christianity.
However, more than forty percent of the inhabitants of Cyprus are Turks, who, of course, are Muslims. Almost the entire northern part of the island belongs to the Turkish Republic. This duality of religions, cultural heritage, traditions is the main distinguishing feature of the island-state.
If we touch on the historical aspect a little, then experts argue that there were few conflicts based on religious different confessions in Cyprus. Cyprus is very favorably located geographically. This is a kind of gateway between Europe, Asia and North Africa, in some ways even the heart of the contacts of the most ancient civilizations.
As mentioned above, the Cypriots of various religions coexist quite peacefully. The lulling Mediterranean climate has greatly affected the nature of the Cypriot life. Here you cannot see haste and unnecessary fuss, life proceeds in a calm measured course.
For example, many tourists say that men spend their whole days in coffee shops, slowly tasting a magic drink, and have leisurely conversations. Curiously, women in Cyprus are still prohibited from visiting many of these establishments.
Families in Cyprus are usually large, several generations can live under one roof. As Cyprus is recognized as a tourist paradise, the small family business phenomenon is thriving here.
Cozy small shops line endless rows. In the same building where the shop is located, the residential part of the premises is often located. The conservative view of the family dominates here.
A woman in Cyprus is perceived as a homemaker. The centuries-old traditions of a strong and close-knit family are especially honored in Cyprus.
For example, if someone has a money problem, a Cypriot will not go to a bank, he will turn to his numerous relatives. In order to refuse a loved one to borrow money, you need a very good reason.
The influence of the Orthodox Church is very strong in Cyprus, it is almost impossible to meet an atheist here. Marriages, of course, here are entirely ecclesiastical, although, relatively recently, civil marriages have also been legalized.
Cypriots are very open and friendly hosts. The doors of their houses are almost always wide open.
You can calmly contemplate the cozy, ingenuous atmosphere and the inhabitants of the house going about their business. Here, no one hides anything, no one envies each other.
Cypriots love to invite guests. Cyprus has excellent cuisine and sometimes it is simply impossible to escape from the excessive generosity of the hospitable hosts.
It is not customary to visit Cyprus without a gift. By tradition, you must bring at least flowers with you.
There is another curious custom about gifts. The birthday boy will never print gifts in the presence of guests, because it is possible that the present will not be brought to the court, and fake gratitude is not welcome.
We also note that Cypriots are very fond of holidays. The Orthodox holiday of Easter is a public holiday in Cyprus.
This is not only a religious but also a family celebration. It is not possible to describe all the beauty of this wondrous holiday, which symbolizes the triumph of life over death.
Cypriot weddings are also famous for their beautiful traditions. At the wedding, you can hear many wonderful wedding songs, and they also love to dance and know how to do it very well. The most interesting tradition in Cyprus is to let young children jump on the wedding bed, it is believed that this ritual will bring happiness to a young family.
The Cypriots' extraordinary love for children is noted. They look at babies with extraordinary tenderness. It is almost impossible to see a crying child in Cyprus, but joyful children's laughter is heard everywhere. This respect for children is not in vain.
Leaving your elderly parents unattended is not a valid situation in Cyprus. Children, when they grow up, and even when they start their own families, very rarely go far from their parental home.
Family ties in Cyprus, as mentioned above, are very strong. In addition to children, cats are universally adored in Cyprus.
There is an old belief that cats helped to cope with the terrible invasion of snakes on the island. Cats are considered a great friend in any family and can be found almost everywhere.
Now a little about the traditions of northern Turkish Cyprus. The attitude towards family and marriage is much more conservative here, no one deviates from the norms and principles of Islam.
A woman is obliged to be obedient to her husband. Well-known facts: a wife cannot go anywhere without permission, and in cases of disobedience, the Koran generally calls for raising women through physical violence. However, still, for the most part on the Turkish side of Cyprus, we see nice and hospitable people, as well as strong and happy families.
At the present stage, mixed marriages, meaning marriages between representatives of different religions, are no longer uncommon in Cyprus. Turkish Cypriots, however, cannot marry a bearer of another religion, because this is prohibited by Islamic law.
It is believed that only a Muslim husband can keep his wife "in check", as the Koran dictates. A less strict man will affect a woman badly: she will "relax", which will lead her to inevitable punishment and death.
However, a representative of the stronger sex can marry a woman of another faith. Of course, he is ordered to exert all possible influence on his spouse in order for her to convert to Islam.
Unfortunately, such a marriage is fraught with many pitfalls, since rarely a Christian Cypriot woman is properly aware of the religious Islamic traditions that form the family structure.