Interesting links (with topics listed in alphabetical order)
Coastline – Events – Food culture – Gift ideas – Language – Music – Old Nicosia – Rare photographs
My friend Andreas Papadopoulos undertook a very nice project of creating an online and a printed directory of all 44 beaches in the Ayia Napa and Paralimni municipalities (South East tip of the island). Cypriots call the Paralimni beaches “Protarás”. The link includes photos and some useful information about each beach. http://www.discoveringcyprus.com/
I usually visit the Protarás side, for three reasons: a) I like the water most when its as smooth as a lake. The odds are usually higher that the beaches on the Ayia Napa side will have more of a wave than the Protaras side. b) The Ayia Napa side gathers more of a tourist crowd. c) It’s a bit easier to find a beach without a hotel built right on top of it in the Paralimni side (towards the buffer zone).
If you are visiting the island and looking for cultural events, have a look at this website (also has an English version): http://www.cyprusevents.net
Thomas and Ioanna Xenopoulos Peccini and their 4 boys live in a beautiful house about a 20-minute drive outside of Nicosia. Thomas’ love for delicious and original home-cooked meals has led to the creation of a Supper Club in which the family offers invited guests a unique dining experience for a set fee. I had the pleasure of being their guest a few times and can only say the best about the place, the hospitality and the food! Check them out here: http://cerines.com/cerines-supper-club/
It’s the bomb! (aka ‘Opos tin Pómpa!) Really cool stuff is what you will find at the Bomba Design shop in the walled city of Nicosia, which sells unique products, like the “Greek Illustrated Etymological Dictionary” which I have in my personal collection. Find them on Mouson Street and check them out here: https://www.facebook.com/bomba.cy
What language do Cypriots use in their daily life? Greek-speaking Cypriots speak an amalgamation of preserved or modified ancient/classical/modern Greek words, Frankish (ancient French) words, Arabic words, Latin/Italian words, Turkish words, English words. It is my understanding that the dialect used by the Turkish-speaking Cypriots includes Ottoman words which are not currently used in Turkey.
Both Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots have a heavier accent than the residents of mainland Greece or Turkey and try to adjust their accent and vocabulary when visiting Athens or Istanbul respectively (not always successfully!).
Following 5 years of hard work by a Greek-Cypriot and a Turkish-Cypriot researcher, the “Joint Dictionary of Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot Dialect” emerged, with a record of 3,425 words that used to be or are still found in the daily vocabulary of both communities. http://cyprus-mail.com/2016/07/03/bilingual-dictionary-reflects-cypriots-common-words-memories-authors-say/
Despite its small size, Cyprus has given and continues to give birth to many talented singers, one of which is Alkinoos Ioannides, a well-rounded musician, which I personally adore.
Alkinoos published a record with 13 traditional Cypriot songs, one of which you can listen to here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCzCzVHb9Tc. It is interesting that in many traditional songs where a female was the object-of-desire of the male singer, the woman was presented as a flower for her scent and beauty – basil (as in the case of the link I attach here), rose, marjoram, jasmin are some examples.
On a personal note: My maternal grandfather was a great lute player that, together with a violin player, as was the custom, would accompany wedding couples in 3-day marriage celebrations which were the norm in the past.
A group of friends created the Old Nicosia Revealed project in 2012, with the goal of exploring and capturing on photographic film the scars and beauty of the “last divided European capital”. Have a look at their Facebook page and join in on their events if you are around town! https://www.facebook.com/old.nicosia.revealed/
In 1928, the National Geographic Magazine commissioned the photographer Willem Jan Willemsen for a project titled “Unspoiled Cyprus”. The photographer covered the whole of the island, capturing the hardships of daily life, the transition to modernity, the historical and ancient monuments, the local population, etc. You can see the fascinating photos, with captions in English, here: http://city.sigmalive.com/article/20532/57-spanies-fotografies-toy-national-geographic-apo-tin-kypro-toy-1928