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Home » Country Etiquette » Cyprus

Cyprus Etiquette Tips

If invited to a Cypriot's home in Cyprus, you may want to bring your host a gift. If you wish to do so, remember to avoid giving white lilies! In Cypriot culture, those are used for funerals. Traditionally, something edible, such as pastries, makes a wonderful host gift.

Cyprus is a laid-back and friendly place to visit. Some visitors from larger countries might remark that it seems like everyone in Cyprus knows each other. You'll find that Cypriots are extremely polite and sometimes somewhat formal when it comes to interacting with the elderly or speaking in a professional environment. In order to fit in with those around you and to respect Cypriot culture, learn a bit about their etiquette.

1. Dress Attire

  1. DO dress conservatively if going to a monastery or church. Men should wear pants and shirts. Women should wear pants or long skirts and cover their arms.
  2. DO wear typical business attire for meetings, such as dark-colored suits.

2. Table Manners

  1. DO stand until told to sit down.
  2. DO understand that the eldest person and guest of honor will often be served first.
  3. DON'T begin eating until after the host does.
  4. DON'T pass dishes with your left hand; use your right.
  5. DO finish everything on your plate.
  6. DO cross your knife and fork on your plate with the fork on top of the knife, if you are still eating.
  7. DO lay your knife and fork parallel on the right side of your plate to indicate that you are done eating.

3. Greetings

  1. DO shake hands upon meeting someone, along with a smile. Generally, it's polite to maintain eye contact throughout a greeting, thought some Turkish Cypriots may lower their eyes as a sign of respect.
  2. DO understand that religious Muslims may not shake hands with women.

4. Gift Giving and Accepting Gifts

  1. DON'T give white lilies. They are for funerals.
  2. DON'T open your gift upon receipt. It's customary to do it later.

5. Visitors Etiquette

  1. DO shake hands with everyone.
  2. DO bring pastries for the host.
  3. DO compliment your hosts' home.
  4. DO offer a helping hand to the host for preparation or clean-up.

6. Business Meeting

  1. DO make appointments in advance. Have them put in writing and then confirm by phone.
  2. DON'T be late! However, expect to be kept waiting.
  3. DO be patient. Meetings may not rigidly follow the agenda and they are likely to be frequently interrupted.
  4. DO understand that meetings are to exchange ideas, not to make decisions.
  5. DON'T be confrontational.
  6. DO expect bargaining. Cypriots are master negotiators! Be flexible.

If you're still not sure how to act or what the specific etiquette is in a situation, follow the example of those around you. Enjoy your trip to Cyprus!

 
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