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Learn more about Cyprus, sirens, string instruments and snails

“When they ask me what language I speak and I say Greek, people sometimes ask, ‘Is Cyprus part of Greece?’ because not many people have heard of our country before. That’s pretty annoying,” Andreas says. “A lot of people think Cyprus is divided into two countries,” Daphne adds, “like one part is Greece and one part of Turkey, but this is wrong. Cyprus is one country with two communities, a Greek Cypriot and a Turkish Cypriot community. Unfortunately Turkey has been occupying a part of Cyprus since 1974. There is a political process aiming at finding a just settlement for all Cypriots. We hope that soon the people and the land of Cyprus will be reunited. “Cyprus is just a small island, but it does have a pretty interesting history, but not many people know about it.” “The British left in 1960”. “In 1960 Cyprus became an independent country. Over the centuries, there have been wars and different people have ruled the island like Britain, Ottomans, Venetians, Franks, Romans and many more. The first Greeks came to the island on the 12 century b.c. and since then the majority of the population on the island speaks Greek.

“In 1974, my grandpa and my grandma survived the war, but they had to leave their house,” Daphne tells us. “And now they made a new house in another place in Cyprus.” “The sirens operate every year in summer on July 20th to remember what happened in 1974, that’s when Turkey invaded.” “I was really scared of the sirens when I went back for the summer break,” says Andreas. “I just don't like the sound of them. They're right above our house and super loud.” “We just sleep through it,” his sisters laugh.

What else do you want us to know about Cyprus?
“We have a very different culture from the Danes, I would say,” Daphne finds. “We’re very loud.” “And people get really crazy if they support another football team,” Andreas adds. “I'm pretty proud of Cyprus sports. There are these two main teams in football or soccer, and they shoot flames off the stadium sometimes, so it gets pretty crazy. And I'm proud of the schools there because I think they educate you really well.” “There's this instrument called a bouzouki,” Daphne adds. “It’s like a guitar or ukulele, our grandpa plays it.” “It's pretty sunny there and warm.” “Cypriot wine is called Commandaria, and I think it's one of the first wines in the world, it's pretty popular.” “I really like the food,” Louisa says, “for example halloumi.”

“Sometimes I might share some food that we eat there, for example snails, and people think it's gross,” Andreas laments. “I really like snails, but I haven't had them in a really long time. When I go to my grandma's house, we sometimes make snails. In my opinion, it smells really good when it's being made. When people mention some food that might be pretty odd, for example mealworms, I wouldn't think that's weird because I'm kind of an adventurous eater. I went to the Danish aquarium and behind the scenes, you can eat mealworms, so I tried one and they didn't taste the worst, honestly. Mine was alive, though, it was moving.”

You are a VERY adventurous eater!
“From that day I really wanted to try things. It’s a little bit creepy if it's alive. if it's cooked, I'm ok with it.”

The instrument in the photo is a bouzouki and the man playing it is, of course, the above-mentioned grandfather of Andreas, Daphne and Louisa.