For much of its history Cyprus was regarded as the Cinderella of empires—beautiful, abused, isolated. Its soil is the custodian of evidence of great civilizations from down the millennia and from distant continents. Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty, was born from the froth of its sea. Today, the island is divided between the Greek-Cypriot south and the Turkish occupied north. The south is open to the world while the north is mostly isolated; crossing the Green Line that separates the two sides can feel like traveling back in time. However, make no mistake, both sides take pride in a shared "Cypriotness," and are united in their common hopes, pain, and memories, music, an excellent cuisine, rich history, and majestic landscape.
Culture Smart! Cyprus equips you with essential information on the history, values, and attitudes of the people you will meet, their customs and traditions, and offers tips on etiquette and socializing. Through greater understanding and insight, a more meaningful experience of this beautiful island awaits.
One phrase you'll come across is the island's unofficial mantra, "siga siga", meaning "slowly slowly". This sums up the Cypriot's laidback attitude and relaxed lifestyle, where even a cup of coffee can turn into a two hour activity.