Posts Tagged ‘church’

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Dress code: Cyprus churches

July 25, 2010

There has been an interesting discussion over at Cruise Critic regarding appropriate dress for those visiting European countries as part of a cruise.  In particular: what should be worn for visiting churches and other religious establishments?

Those on cruises are often up against airline baggage limits and need to balance light packing with the ability to dress for all occasions.  Whilst shorts, tshirts and trainers are preferable for sight-seeing they are usually not appropriate if the sights include the inside of a church.  Among travel regulars it is often said that for visiting churches one should have shoulders and knees covered.  Here in Cyprus it is not unusual for Greek Orthodox churches to have a more stringent dress code.

This is not to say that people would be turned away as many churches are not manned outside of regular services but entering a church in appropriate clothing could well give offense to local residents and churchgoers.

The most strict dress code we’ve come across to date is in the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary the Merciful in Kato Lefkara.

Western entrance to the Blessed Virgin Mary the Merciful

Outside the door of the church is a relatively standard request for visitors to dress modestly.  However there is a lengthier instruction placed in the churchyard.

How to dress modestly

For men: long trousers, covered shoulders

For women: covered shoulders, covered knees, no trousers, no lipstick

Quite why lipstick is immodest isn’t clear.  It begs the question: is lipgloss ok, or lipbalm?

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Tree supports

July 7, 2010

Tree support

We were out and about on yet more village wanderings and came across a gorgeous old tree in a churchyard.  Despite the unforgiving summer heat the area under the tree was blissfully cool and shady and, unlike the rest of the area, had a gentle cooling breeze.

The tree is clearly old and has grown in an inconvenient direction: the low stone wall on the left of the photo marks the boundary of the church land, beyond it is a steep drop.  Rather than cut the tree back it has been allowed to grow at will but essential support has been provide courtesy of a low pillar of Lefkara stone.

This stone, which is found only in a few square miles around the Lefkara villages, is a particularly hard type of limestone.  Our builders needed to use a diamond drill bit to get through some at the house.  In this case it gives a support strong enough to allow the tree to continue flourishing.