Maybe it’s the Mediterranean climate with the warm sun and the extra-long summers, or the fact that the island is packed with tourists every year, or maybe it’s written in the DNA of the locals. Either way, one thing is certain: the Cypriot Hospitality is legendary!
You can see it at the way they talk, looking at each other straight in the eyes honestly and openly, their loud voices and laughs and the long hours they spend at pavement traditional cafes enjoying chatting and sipping their coffee.
Which exactly are the gestures and moves signifying a welcoming person in Cyprus? In this article, we put Cypriot hospitality under the microscope for you!
- A Friendly smile and a "Ya su"
Cypriots have a nice habit passed on by their parents and grandparents; they greet everyone they meet on the street, even if they don’t know this person at all! Upon your first meetings with Cypriots, you will see them smile broadly and say “Ya su,” meaning “Hello” in modern Greek, or, literally, “wish you good health”! A very nice and hospitable way to greet a stranger!
- Approach and shake hand
A truly welcoming person never stops in a typical greeting. Thus, don’t be surprised if a Cypriot approaches you after the greeting and extend his arm to shake hands with you. It is a typical sign of showing interest to our fellow man, and we get even more excited in the case of foreign visitors because we try to do our best to make them feel comfortable. A friendly conversation is about to ensue.
- Local conversations
Cypriots are chatty people, in a good way. What is more, most of them are fluent in English, so you will enjoy learning about life in Cyprus from first hand. They might even offer to buy you coffee at the traditional coffee shops, a polite gesture that Cypriots call “kerasma” and love to make pretty frequently. And, of course, “kerasma” paves the way for even more conversations!
- Opening the door and inviting you inside
Last but not least, Cypriots are such hospitable people that they are very likely to open the door of their house widely and invite you inside! Part of our welcoming tradition is to treat first-time visitors in our houses with a traditional sweet, usually a spoon sweet, or even invite our guests for lunch in the family table.
In Cyprus, family, friendship and good-manners are virtues highly appreciated. Thus, a vacation in Cyprus has a double benefit; Fond memories of the remarkably beautiful natural environment and new friendships that open the door to new experiences in the future!
- Challange you in a "tavli" game
Cypriots like to sit long hours in coffee shop tables, but they don’t just drink coffee and chat! They usually play a traditional board game, tavli, a game that is a somewhat Greek version of Backgammon. Get ready to discover fun and exciting new ways of playing tavli, which you could share with your friends back home! Cypriots will likely challenge you to a game, and don’t be afraid to accept it! The winner always treats the loser with a traditional Cypriot dish!