They say you never truly appreciate what you have until it’s gone. After studying in England for the last two years, I have realised that this is the case with Bayram holidays.
I have gained an increased appreciation of the role they play in an individual’s life. I have really missed celebrating these holidays whilst in England, not because I celebrated the literal religious meanings of these holidays, not because of the vast quantity of delicious food I am missing out on and not even because of the money I would be receiving from elders. I simply miss the tight-knit family feeling a Cypriot would feel on a Bayram day.
One of the best (if not the best) thing about living in Cyprus is no doubt the social aspect. That is also the reason my parents decided to move to Cyprus when I was just a wee baby. Recently, whilst talking to an English friend of mine, he told me that he had read an article about Cyprus. Basically the article stated that compared to bigger nations and stronger capitalist societies, Cyprus is more about “us” rather than “me”. It can be argued that because of globalization and Americanization, this is becoming less the case each day and I would probably agree with this argument myself. However, I think it is still correct to say that relationships with family and friends is a large part of a Cypriot’s life, especially when compared with some other countries like England.
So, my advice for those who are celebrating Bayram with their families is, ignore the little things. Ignore your aunt’s annoying habit of trying to get you married. Ignore you’re little cousin’s fit when he doesn’t get what he wants. Ignore your relative who supports your rival football team and is really enjoying telling you how your team sucks. Focus on the fact that you are with a not perfect, but wonderful group of people who have your back, no matter what. A group of people who might criticize you within the family circle but is fiercely loyal behind your back…and if you are like me spending Bayram far away from your loved ones; to quote motivational speaker Eric Thomas “use them as your why.” When you’re tired and about to give in, when a challenge simply seems too large, a hurdle too high, visualise the people who always have your back, who are willing you to succeed. Use them to find the energy, to find the strength from within to do whatever it is you need to do.
Finally, for those readers who don’t celebrate Bayram. Take a moment to appreciate your loved-ones, for it is they who are the real key of making any day, or any celebration special. I would like to end by saying thank you to all of my family and friends for all the great memories we have shared. I love you all.