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There is a small but thriving Cyprus Community in South Australia, many of them related to post World War 2 migrants. Like many other cultures Cypriots have absorbed a blend of European traditions including from Greece and Turkey. Some prominent Australian Cypriots include musician Peter Andre, former AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou and politician Nick Xenophon.
This year the Cyprus Community of South Australia is holding a free Cyprus Festival in Adelaide for the first time with lots of fun things to do. The community is keen to celebrate and share traditional Cypriot culture and heritage with all South Australians as a part of our multicultural community. More than sixty years after the first Cypriots migrated post-war, their descendants are proud to be a unique and diverse traditional group in SA.
Of course no festival in Adelaide would be complete without food and dancing, and people from Cyprus traditionally celebrate exuberantly. Food from Cyprus has lots in common with Greek cuisine, so at the Cyprus Festival you will find tasty treats like smoking hot lamb on the spit. Market stalls at the festival will be tempting you with delicacies including Cyprus fourno, yiros, souvlaki, eftalies, koubes, and delicious Cyprus halloumi cheeses.
Food and wine are a logical combination in any culture, so keep an eye out for the Cyprus wines for tasting, with Cyprus beer also available. If you have a soft spot for sweet things, don't miss the lovely loukoumades (honey puffs), galatopoureko, baklava, and shamishi. No wonder dancing is popular as it would be very easy to put on weight after enjoying these delicacies.
Of course there's far more to Cyprus culture than just food. Live Greek Cypriot music will entertain the festival crowds from 11am, with a selection of traditional dance groups from four regions of Greece doing displays from 2.30pm:
Pontiac dance group
Greek Lyceum dance group
GOYPA – Port Adelaide Dance Group
Local artists will continue the live music entertainment throughout the afternoon as more dance groups perform for you. Band Kosmos takes the stage from 6.15pm with music and Cypriot dancing in full costume continuing until 11pm.
Learn Cyprus History at the Tales of Cyprus Exhibition
One of the highlights of the Cyprus Festival is the Tales of Cyprus exhibition which opened in Melbourne in 2014. This colourful free exhibition portrays life in Cyprus from both a Greek (Christian) and Turkish (Muslim) perspective.
Artist Con Emmanuelle says the exhibition reminds us that 'once upon a time' there lived a people in Cyprus who had a lot less in life but were somehow more content and grateful. As a lover of vintage and analogue photography, Con has curated a captivating collection of contemporary imagery from the twentieth century, and the Cyprus Festival will be a unique opportunity to see it in Adelaide.
Try Lovely Loukoumades and Other Traditional Food and Wine
Of course the Cyprus Festival is full of free family entertainment too, with plenty of activities for kids and fun things to do. A dedicated activity tent for kids will have with board games, drawing and colouring books. Burning off excess energy will be easy with a bouncy castle and football goal scoring competitions, and face painting will be available for the young ones.
Cyprus Festival 2015 - Cyprus Community of South Australia
The Cyprus Festival 2015 is being held at the Cyprus Community of SA clubrooms at Welland in the western suburbs. Admission is free for everyone - come and find out more about Cyprus while you enjoy all the exotic foods and fun things to do. Find out more about the Cyprus Festival from the Cyprus Community of SA Facebook page.