According to topschoolsintheusa, Nicosia remains the largest city on the island of Cyprus. About 180 thousand people live in it. The second largest city of the island is Limassol with 140 thousand inhabitants, followed by Larnaca – 62 thousand and Paphos – 33 thousand. In the cities of the northern part of the island, the population is small. In Famagusta, after the Greek Cypriots were forced to flee from there, a little more than 20 thousand people live, and in Kyrenia there are about 7 thousand people.
After the division of the island in 1974, the forced migration of the population led to the fact that each of the parts of Cyprus – northern and southern – became ethnically homogeneous: the vast majority of Greek Cypriots live in the south, and Turks in the north. Today, the two parts of divided Cyprus are actually two different countries, each with its own way of life and policy guidelines.
The southern part of the island – the Republic of Cyprus – is a rapidly developing state. Thanks to the large flow of tourists from all over the world (more than 2 million people a year), the standard of living of Greek Cypriots has increased, and the annual per capita income reaches an amount equivalent to $ 12,000. The minimum wage is determined by law and is about $450; a salary of $ 1000-1500 is considered worthy, which allows a man to support his family (it is understood that the wife does not work, but does housework). Many of the Cypriots have their own houses (apartments in apartment buildings are not popular), and there are very few families without at least one car.
The Republic of Cyprus ranks third in the world in terms of the number of specialists with higher education per thousand inhabitants, with two thirds of students studying outside Cyprus – in Greece, the UK, the USA and other countries. Such openness to the world contributes to the rapprochement of Cyprus with Europe, although geographically the island belongs to Asia.
Greek Cypriots gravitate towards Greek culture and their way of life resembles that of mainland Greece, although the Cypriots are more organized and entrepreneurial than their mainland counterparts. The former presence of the British brought to the island an English system of education and English office work. If you have been to Greece, you will certainly notice less fuss and chaos on the streets in Cyprus, more measured life.
The customs of the Cypriots are quite conservative, and one of the manifestations of this is the desire to leave women only with household chores and childcare. Entrepreneurs, middle and top managers or members of the government among women are not so numerous. In the family, the woman plays an important role. In Cyprus, purely male coffee houses (Kafenion) are still preserved, where Cypriots are not accepted to enter. But a woman driving a car in Cyprus can be seen much more often than in Russia.
Greek Cypriots are businesslike and cheerful, they are hardworking and know a lot about relaxation. At the end of the day, when the sun sets and the heat goes out, Cypriots go to taverns, often with the whole family, including children, and spend the whole evening there. It can be noisy, but always decent and safe.
In Cyprus, Greek music and Greek dances are very popular. No party is complete without them. Apotheosis sets in when sirtaki sounds. If passions reach the highest intensity, dishes are used – plates flying to smithereens are thrown at the feet of the dancers.
The working week in Cyprus is 40 hours, while in the summer the lunch break due to the heat of the day lasts three hours, from 13.00 to 16.00. In addition, on Wednesdays, almost everyone works only until 13.00, and the second half of the day is devoted to rest. The minimum annual leave is 15 days.
Due to the historical situation and the high general educational level, almost every Cypriot (especially in cities) can explain himself in English. In the tourist area, among the staff in restaurants and hotels, you can meet Russian-speaking Cypriots – immigrants from the CIS countries – Slavs or Pontic Greeks who moved to their historical homeland during the years of perestroika from the southern regions of Russia and the Caucasus.
There is practically no crime in Cyprus (only about 4,000 crimes are recorded per year), and everyone notes the safety of staying on the island. The police are loyal to tourists and are ready to help in any difficult situations. As, however, and all Cypriots. The tourist is the most welcome guest here.
A Cypriot will always come to the rescue, answer questions, take you to the place you need, or at least explain what you should do. If you have problems with your car on the road, the Cypriot will most likely stop his car himself, without waiting for your request, and offer help.
Northern Cyprus, which has proclaimed itself the Republic of Turkey, not recognized by any country in the world except Turkey, is much less suitable for receiving tourists. A person who finds himself to the north of the line dividing the island, first of all, is struck by the abundance of people in military uniform – Turkey keeps a 30,000-strong army corps in Northern Cyprus.
It’s a completely different way of life here. This is Islamic Cyprus, where the influence of the East is manifested very clearly. After the division of the country, more than 80 thousand inhabitants of continental Turkey were resettled in the northern part, bringing their habits and preferences into the life of the Turkish Cypriots.
Turkish Cypriots are orientally unpretentious, and this is reflected in the appearance of cities that do not look as clean and well-groomed as Limassol or Larnaca. In addition to everything, Northern Cyprus is experiencing serious economic difficulties, which cannot but affect the life of the Turkish community. Annual per capita income is three times lower than in the Republic of Cyprus, and unemployment is five times higher. This gives outside observers a reason to call Northern Cyprus “the forgotten province of Turkey.”
The population of Northern Cyprus professes Islam. Faithful Muslims pray in numerous mosques located in the cities and villages of the northern part of the island, while for women in mosques there are separate rooms that are isolated from the main hall. Women tourists are not forbidden to enter the mosque, but only when the believers are not praying there. Shoes must be left at the entrance.
Although Greek and Turkish are recognized as the official languages of Northern Cyprus, all Greek names have been replaced by Turkish ones.
Turkish Cypriots are hospitable in communication, but behind the hospitality lies oriental cunning, and if, for example, they tell you the price of a product or service, then this price is necessarily overpriced and you still have to fight for discounts, as is customary everywhere in the East.