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1st January 2010

Reflections of Peyia, Cyprus- Epiphany, 6th January, 2008

As on many, many occasions since living here, I’ve been stopped in my tracks again today by the wonderful feeling of peace and togetherness which pervades this lovely village this morning. Its Epiphany and our Cypriot hosts, neighbours and friends are attending Church to give thanks for the “Shining Forth” of light and the “Revelation of God to the people”.

Whatever your beliefs or religion, it is very hard not to be touched by the togetherness of this community: I’ve been stopped and had my hand shaken and face, kissed, by friends and strangers alike in the past hour: all in friendship and genuine affection – and its was lovely!

Our Cypriot community meets in the most magnificent church, which stands proud in the heart of our village. It makes us smile to note the behind the Church, is Philippos supermarket: Philippos being the Cypriots answer to “Arkwright” – open all hours and always in a hurry to get more shelves stacked! This morning,the cultural differences in the village of Peyia couldn’t have been more apparent: the ex-pats queued in Philippos to buy newspapers etc whilst the Cypriots queued to shake hands with friends and attend the Church service.

Worth watching was the Cypriot “tradition” of parking exactly where they like, lines, traffic, stop signs or anything else saying , “don’t park here”, totally ignored! And this morning was no different- in fact, even funnier coz some of the ex pats are known for their impatience and bad tempers when it comes to right of way – and the locals were having none of it!

As I left the centre, a Cypriot owned Mercedes was parked between two ex pat cars at one entrance to Philippos, stopping anyone approaching (or getting out) and a second Cypriot car was parking at the other end, to achieve the same end. Not that the Cypriots were doing this deliberately: they simply needed to go to Church and give thanks for today – so they parked!

Today represents the mission for mankind to help heal all hurts, bigotry and prejudice across the peoples of the world. I trust it begins outside of the supermarket when the service ends and the Cypriot drivers return to their cars….

Have a lovely Sunday (and Happy Birthday to my gorgeous Godson, Ben!)