Updated: Respect, a strong word

Speak of the devil (and in he walks). In a recent article I spoke of “when in Rome, do as the Romans” and respecting the social rules.

Last week, during the celebration after the long fasting, it happened, What I warned about. This day everybody is off from work and engaged in family, swimming and barbequing which is the favorite activity of the entire local population. Whole families sit together talking, eating and having fun in general. Children, lots of children running around and playing wildly.
Soldiers on leave cool off in the wonderfully frisk ocean. One can see immediately that they are soldiers because they are so trilled that they walk in squad all the time even when they go down into the sea. There, they become children again and play around.

With the fact that we were early (at. 09:00) not many families had come to the beach yet, but there we were in waterobics group, some ladies and gentlemen of mature age, and the soldiers.

Suddenly I noticed it was very lively among the soldier boys, and of course I looked for the cause. I saw a girl in 25-30 age slowly walking towards the water and everything came to a halt. All men had eyes nailed on her, and the reason was that she was topless. Her allurements free for all to see and she was undoubtedly a good looking lady.

As I of course understand the language pretty well, I took very well notice of all the comments that came from the men around us, and it was not nice things they said. I will not recite it here but one of the things that was talked about was her husband. How could he let her go around and show off like that? It can not be a real man because he apparently did not bother that at least 10 men were drooling around her, they said.

While we in the group responded, most with outrage at the lack of respect for local customs. Nudity is not accepted here, even within the immediate family.

It all ended with one of my” ladies speaking to the womans husband and explained that it is not acceptable behavior here and that if the police see it there was a risk of fines for disorderly conduct. The woman then took on the bikini top and thanked for the advice. But if you choose to go to a country that is not a typical tourist destination and additionally Muslim, be sure to find out what is applicable or, at the very least, look around what other people do?

Well, it all ended without trouble and I went home to prepare the evening’s invasion of the family. We were having a barbecue and our new home was to be inspected.

When we sat down with the food in front of us I told the story about what happened on the beach, and my goodness the chatter that erupted. When southerners “talk” it sounds like they are arguing and screaming so you can imagine what kind of life it will be when they are upset.

The thing that everyone agreed on, even the men, was that NO you can not do that. Think of the children! It is not appropriate at all that they see things like that.” Some woman even said that she would have called the police to protect the children. Comments like, if something bad” happens, she is actually to blame for it, when she is so openly inviting, was also pronounced.

When I tried to explain that for us, this is nothing, nobody cares, everyone does what they want, they said, it is your country and what you do and stand for is your thing but here you don´t do that!

That´s how it is my friends, to get respect you must give respect. Simple, right?



Det är konstigt men när man talar om trollen så dyker de upp. Jag pratade i nyligen i en artikel om att ta seden dit man kommer och respektera de sociala reglerna.



The_cabin_norra_cypern_magasinet_restaurant_13 kopia

waterrobics_hav_strand_damer_bada_norra_cypern_north_cyprus_2Previously published;

Respect is a strong word. Disrespect can lead to major conflicts, unnecessary problems and a disapproval that affects many though there are few that are the cause.

You may unconsciously be disrespectful sure, but if you come to a new culture it is smart to find out what that ok and what´s not. Most of us do it i think, studying the environment and doing what the locals do.

I sat at the coffee shop in the village and listened to a conversation between some of the men in the village. They were pretty upset and wondered what kind of people would behave in that way.

I understood that there were a number of foreign people who lived in a house in a residential area below the village.

These people had a pool and swam naked in broad daylight! They did not care at all if anyone saw them. When they then came into the local grocery store, they came in swimwear or bikini and this angered all.

They asked me who was the nearest foreigner if we did that in our country, walked half naked in the supermarket.

I replied that I could not express an opinion on these people as they came from a different country than I do, but I said, ‘No, in Sweden we do not have a habit of walking around in the grocery stores in swimwear.

It was clear to me that they despised this nonchalant behavior, here we do not walk around outside our house. You should not need to worry that the kids will see something they should not and being forced upon others nudity arouses discomfort.

To walk around town without a bra is also not recommended, you get stared at and whispered at. May result in a number of lewd advances as well.

Here in North Cyprus, we are not, thankfully, cluttered with charter tourists partying around the clock. Here it is more family-oriented tourism with security for both children and adults.

This is basically a Muslim society, even if you barely notice so much more than prayers shouting. The Turkish Cypriots manage their religion much like the majority of Western Christians. No ascribes his faith on anyone. But the culture here is different from at home and it should be respected.

There are beaches where you can sunbathe topless, usually related to the hotels. You can, if you have a secluded garden, obviously walk around as you wish.

You can put on a dress or shorts and top if you´re going to the shop.

The foreign visitors or immigrants” who respect this will be met with respect back, they become popular and if they need help with something, they get it. Those who do not bother to show respect is not well-liked.

Actually pretty simple right?


About Madeleine Hunter 90 Articles
Madeleine has lived in Northern Cyprus for ten years now and is a true nature lover. She lives with her husband on a large plot with stunning sea views with the scenery as their only neighbour. Madeleine is a writer for NCM, and writes interesting articles about health care and beauty. Madeleine is also working at an eye clinic and in the summers she leads training sessions in Water aerobics, an exercise she created herself, where you work out your entire body in the crystal clear Mediterranean Sea. In the future Madeleine will start an organic farm for obtaining guaranteed organic food, as part of the holistic view that a body in balance is a healthy body. If you have any questions for Madeleine, please write to: