A chance to visit a place probably/hopefully unique in the whole universe.

Sort of a patriot but with poor navigational skills.

 

The Cypriot patriotis is possibly unique but undeniably unusual. 

American patriots support America and all things American over all other nations, as no doubt do their French, German and Ghanaian counterparts with respect to their own corners of the world. Even people from Mongolia when they say “my country right or wrong” are referring presumably referring to Mongolia.

A Cypriot is unusual in that he is patriotic about a country some 800 kilometres away from his homeland – namely Greece.


Whilst Cyprus shares a certain cultural identity with Greece, the fact remains that Cyprus's history as an independent entity goes back over 4000 years.

Examples of dual cultural identities exist – an Australian will refer to the Britain as “the old country” and feels affection for the Queen of England but he will not describe himself as British. French Canadians are not Frenchmen – they are Canadiens. Similar to the Cypriots the Canadiens have their own particular dialect of which they are proud as it expresses their own unique history.


The Cypriot, however, considers his own dialect of Greek (Kypriaka) to be rustic and untutored fit only for yokels*. This combination of patriotic compulsion mixed with confusion and just a touch of moving the goalposts may be the reason why so many Cypriot patriots slip over the green line that divides occupied Cyprus from the Republic of Cyprus in order to shop for cheap food and clothes, gamble in casinos and sleep with locally supplied paid companions whilst drawing a discrete belly-dancer’s veil over the troubles of the 1974 invasion and the many missing Cypriots sought with gradually decreasing hope by their families.

It may be that Cypriot patriotism is rather like a raincoat in some cases - donned when required and doffed when it interferes with freedom of movement, or perhaps the Cypriots have a different concept of patriotism to certain other ethnic groups. The English, for example, appear to view patriotism as something forbidden, shameful and unspeakable – this is not the norm, nor is it very clever either.

Alternatively, in this less rigid interpretation of what makes a patriot, we see, perhaps, that something more practical than fanatical will be the approach to enable the two Cypriot communities to look past their recent and tragic history towards a more viable future.


And in the meantime we might as well stock up on cheap groceries.


*Yokel - An offensive term that deliberately insults a country dweller by suggesting that he or she lacks the sophistication, education, or other qualities thought to be characteristic of city dwellers (usually in the opinion of said city dwellers).

Patriotis