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North Cyprus News – Şeker Bayram

Tomorrow sees the start of the celebration of Şeker Bayram, this year it is 19th 20th and 21st of August 2012.

The holiday consists of a three day festival to celebrate the end of the fast of Ramadan month. It is also known as “Şeker (sweets) Bayrami.” It is a national holiday both in Turkey and the TRNC when all Government Offices and Banks will be closed.

The children get presents and I have observed an awful lot of new shoes seem to be purchased at this time. This is how I obtained my potato box, a neighbour let me have the box his new shoes came in and this was at the time of Şeker Bayram. I always keep my potatoes in a box to stop them greening. I do not know if this really works or if it is just my imagination.

If you live in north Cyprus add some sweets to your shopping list today because you may well get a knock on the door tomorrow and a lovely little face will smile up at you; this has happened to me many times. The owner of the face will be a child and traditionally you should give them a sweetie or two. It happened to me the first year I was here and I was unaware of the custom so I ended up handing out a couple of lira to each child. It is better, and cheaper to have some candy ready.

It never ceases to amuse me to see that most Turkish Cypriots celebrate all the Muslim and Christian traditions and the one eagerly adopted by your refuse collector is the one where the dustbin men come round for their Christmas box. I personally think it is wonderful that we share all cultural experiences in our adopted country.

I personally love the Ramadan bread which incidentally seems to be on offer all year round at the Lemar supermarkets and I have seen it occasionally in Starling supermarkets at times other than Ramadan.

Happy Bayram to everyone.

Pauline Read

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