Cypriot People and Culture

13 May Cypriot People and Culture

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 check here remark that Cyprus seems to be a place where «everyone knows each other,» or even «where everyone is related to each other.»

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The full-employment status in Greek Cyprus has contributed to this state of affairs. From the middle of the twentieth century, the dominant trend was for people to move towards the urban centers and abandon the villages, a trend exacerbated by ethnic conflict. These demographic shifts took place as people searched for employment in government jobs, in the expanding industry, and later in the tourism sector. The social and political upheavals caused significant numbers of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots to become, at one time or other, dislocated. This meant that town planning could never be seriously enforced, giving a rather cluttered character to urban space. The ‘traditional’ one room-type village house gradually disappeared as the emergence of a more individualized society necessitated separate rooms, at least for each adult. While in the past relatives often formed neighborhoods, as land plots were divided and subdivided among children, the emergence of the nuclear family gradually changed this pattern.

Women in Cyprus try to give birth to as many children as possible. After all, families with three children are exempt from taxes. It is not the only reason – Cypriot women love children and become adorable mothers, ready to do a lot for a happy life for their sons and daughters. Cypriot women are not specifically looking for a foreign husband.

These traditional attitudes have waned somewhat in recent decades, especially in urban areas, but were still prevalent in the early 1990s. Another indication of the conservative nature of Greek Cypriot society at the beginning of the 1990s was that the feminist movement in Cyprus was often the object of ridicule from both sexes. Nevertheless, women’s increasing economic independence was a force for liberation in all sections of the population. On the political front, Cypriot women have made slow progress. They are critically underrepresented in national governance structures. Only three percent of mayors are women, and a fifth of senior level civil servants and members of the municipal councils are female. In the nation’s 2001 parliamentary elections, six out of eighty-five women candidates won seats.

The largest right–wing Greek and Turkish parties, which are nationalist and conservative, emphasize ethnic and cultural affiliations with the two other states. Cyprus is an island in the eastern Mediterranean that was divided into a Greek southern side and a Turkish northern side after a coup instigated by the dictatorship ruling Greece in 1974 and a subsequent Turkish military offensive.