The Cypriots Cultural Background

Cypriots are not always described simply as “Cypriots”. The word is often used together with the prefix “Greek” or “Turkish” in recognition of the two major ethnic groups that inhabit the island: the Greek-speaking Greek Orthodox community and the Turkish-speaking Muslims.

Gift Giving Etiquette
. Gift giving is not an elaborate event.
. If invited to a Cypriot’s house, bring a consumable gift such as pastries..
. Do not give white lilies as they are used at funerals.
. Gifts are not opened when received

Business Meeting Etiquette
. Appointments are necessary and should be made in advance.
. The initial request should be in writing and may be confirmed by telephone.
. Punctuality is expected, although you should be prepared to be kept waiting. Avoid hyperbole and making exaggerated claims about your products or services.
. Meetings often veer off the agenda.
. Meetings may be interrupted frequently so be patient.
. Decisions are not reached at meetings. Meetings are for discussion and to exchange ideas.

Socialization: Children are considered to be important, whether they are toddlers or as teenagers. As babies they are usually the woman’s responsibility, and the social environment on both sides is very accepting of children in public spaces, such as restaurants. Parents put significant energy into providing a rich and stimulating environment for their children.

Etiquette: Cyprus as a whole could be characterized as a rather informal place. People easily and casually enter into physical contact and in general, personal space is not rigidly marked. There are more formal and polite forms of address that are employed in particular circumstances (such as toward elders, or in a professional situation, for example), but the absence of entrenched historical hierarchies and strong class distinctions allows daily exchanges to proceed in a mostly casual fashion. Because both societies are small, individuals usually know many of the people with whom they come into contact, thus decreasing the need for formalities. Visitors from larger Western countries often remark that Cyprus seems to be a place where “everyone knows each other,” or even “where everyone is related to each other.”

Religious Beliefs. The vast majority of Greek Cypriots are Greek Orthodox, while most Turkish Cypriots are Sunni Muslim.