Posts Tagged ‘Cyprus’

Keep It Clean

February 26, 2017

Surely it’s just a “coincidence” that the beginning of Rabbit Month in the Year of the Fowl coincides with Clean Monday.  Or maybe not:

In the Orthodox Christian tradition, Clean Monday [Kathari Deftera] occurs at the beginning of the 7th week before Orthodox Easter Sunday. The previous [Sunday] evening, Forgiveness Vespers culminates with the Ceremony of Mutual Forgiveness, at which all present bow down before one another and ask forgiveness. In this way, the faithful begin Lent with a clean conscience, with forgiveness, and with renewed Christian love.

Clean Monday is considered to mark the beginning of the spring season.  In this manner, the Orthodox celebrate the fact that “The springtime of the Fast has dawned, the flower of repentance has begun to open…”  In Greece and Cyprus the day is celebrated with outdoor excursions and the widespread custom of flying kites, as well as the consumption of shellfish and other Lenten fasting food.  It is customary to clean the house thoroughly and go to Confession during this week.


Because I’m an unorthodox kinda guy, I probably will not be flying a kite, cleaning the house thoroughly, or observing a Lenten fast during the coming week.  However, I have already vowed to respond with forgiveness toward [some of] those who have trespassed against me.  But since this world is not yet filled with sweetness and light, repeat offenders will not be eligible for this limited time offer.


All Greek To Me

December 22, 2015

Many years ago, a friend of mine from Cyprus offered some unsolicited advice.  He said, “If you ever hope to understand the Greeks, you need to bear in mind that when you have a difference of opinion with a Greek (and you will), he doesn’t merely say ‘I am right and you are wrong.’ He says, ‘I am right and you are an idiot.’  And that is what he truly believes.”


Several years later, I found myself engaged in an “animated discussion” with an actual Greek –an actual resident of Athens, in fact.  In a mischievous mood, I told him what my friend Giorgios had said.  “Bah!” he retorted. “What does he know?!?  He’s a Cypriot!”

The moral of the story: don’t be a Cypriot.