Over the centuries Cyprus has paid host to many invading armies of the great civilizations of Europe and the Middle East. Numerous varied traditions and cultural events are the result of this, although the most dominant influence has been that of Greece. Cyprus is very closely aligned with Greece, and follows most of its traditions and holidays, although with a distinct Cypriot flavor. The nation is by the large part of Orthodox faith, and many of the traditions and cultural events are driven by this.
Traditional clothing, music, dancing, and food are very Greek in aspect, but do maintain a very Cypriot interpretation. Religious holidays are plentiful, taken very seriously, and participated in by all age groups.
Cypriots have an international reputation for their friendliness, hospitality, and generosity, and this is most obvious with food. Commonly heard is the word “Kopiaste”, meaning “come join us (and share the meal)”. Cypriot food is driven by farm products and, obviously, the sea’s bounty. Flavours are varied and many spices can be used, although mostly sparingly. There are many cultural events centred around agricultural events, such as the grape harvest.
Cypriots, in particular the younger generations, have embraced the more modern, foreign cultures, but the traditional values always remain. Modern music and clothing can be seen all over the island, and many international styles of foods can be found in the many restaurants. Supermarkets supply international foods and wines, and transport has a distinctly Mercedes flavor!