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The country of Cyprus is like a family that never has time to be together because they are always entertaining guests, and the identity of the country can sometimes be lost in all this
Cyprus welcomes as many as 15 million tourists every year, who come to engrave a piece of the beautiful and endowed island in their memory, before taking off to another place worth committing to memory. With all these tourists and so much focus on the beaches and wonders Cyprus has to offer, it can be very easy to forget that there is more to the gorgeous island, than just UNESCO World Heritage sites and Blue Flag beaches.
We look at a few things the locals and people are passionate about.
Cypriots are a very religious people, devoted Christians to the Orthodox church in particular.
Christianity came to Cyprus in around AD 45, brought by Apostle Lazarus, who is the Patron Saint of the Church of Lazarus in Larnaca, and Barnabas, who was the Cypriot Jew and was with the apostle Paul on many of his missions. Apostle Barnabas is cited in the Bible in Acts 4:36 and Acts 14:14. A good number of the stories in the Bible happen to have taken place in Cyprus. Evidence from tombs and the age long buildings scattered all over the country tell their stories. The most important church in Cyprus is the Church of Cyprus, which is an autocephalous Greek Orthodox church, and one of the oldest. Close to 80% of the Cypriot population are of Orthodox faith, while the remaining portion is either Sunni Muslim, Protestant, Catholic, Armenian Apostolic, and even Buddhist.
Cyprus is also the location for some of the most remarkable stories and relics of Greek mythology, with none bigger than the famed Mount Olympus, which was the lair of the gods of Greece.
While this is a global issue, Cypriots are still noticeable very keen on fashion. The latest trends and collections by renowned names do not go amiss, and are used as inspiration by Cypriot designers to make styles that are usually very unique and still attractive. Blending true Mediterranean styles to the modern day trends, allows Cypriots to have collections that are unique, expressive of their culture, and still looking en vogue. It’s no surprise therefore that shopping and fashion houses is a booming business with or without the tourists flocking in.
But Cypriots also know that the fashion inherited from tradition is timeless, and so every festival is properly honoured by adorning the appropriate traditional or customary garb.
Sports is not one of the things that people looking from afar will generally relate with Cyprus. We never hear about their national teams on the biggest stages and competitions, and they really haven’t had any success of note, but football is the most popular sport in Cyprus and draws quite the crowd. Football is a global sport and its charm has not left Cyprus indifferent.
The football league is divided into four well organized divisions, with the Cyta Championship being the elite. The highlight of the season is the European Cup season, when Cypriot teams that qualify for the Champions League or Europa Cup get to play against the other big teams of Europe. Apollon Limassol is one of the biggest clubs in the country, having played multiple times in both the Champions League and Europa League, and shares a fierce rivalry with AEL Limassol. Other notable clubs of the country are Anorthosis Famagusta, Omonia Limassol, AEK Larnaca, and Paralimni.
The people of Cyprus are also very passionate about their cuisine, which is one of the best in the Mediterranean, and family. Cypriots usually have very large extended families and always make sure to find time to be together, whether it is during celebrations or just organized reunions. Hospitality is second nature to these Mediterranean people and while their country has become one of the attractions of the world, one thing that is certain is the pride Cypriots take in their heritage and values, two things that will never get lost as modernization continues to grow.