After a fair amount of island hopping in the Caribbean, I have come to the conclusion that I have had enough of post colonial islands. Presumably they once all had an indigenous population and a culture of their own but that was before the British Empire marched in and robbed them of both. But the cultural wasteland of the caribbean in the wake of colonial takeover is not unique to the Americas. Cyprus bears the same hallmarks. These days, like its cousins in the Caribbean, Cyprus doesn't seem to know who it is. In the restaurants you can order hummus and souvlaki, not to mention fish and chips.
Like these other wandering island identites, it has come down to a dependence on tourism. In days of yore, Cyprus was the copper center of the ancient world. It used to be a Mecca for devotees of Aphrodite. Now it is home to a large British ex-pat population that likes foreigness to a small degree but is much more comfortable with creating its own Little Britain of the Aegian. Thus, it joins Mallorca, Tenerife, Malta, all these former territories struggling to remember what they were before. Scotland enjoys something of the same dilemma.
But Cyprus, in the spaghetti junction of East meets West, has, through the ages, passed from hand to hand, and no one really knows anymore who the first hands belonged to. Some say the Minoans, others some pre-Greek culture with remnants scattered in language and vestiges left in some traditions. The pre-Greek religious icons are of a different type: their goddess is not what would morph into Aphrodite of the sexy bum. The ancient icon is more primal, a nurturing mother figure with outstretched arms. A sort of cross. Perhaps the first.
Empires are a very regrettable development in human civilisation (or lack thereof.) The more recent ones were made possible by a 15th C papal bull that encouraged subjucation of the heathen. An empire, by its very nature, has already taken the arrogant step of declaring superiority over anything that is not itself. For this, Christianity has a lot to answer for. Not that takeovers didn't happen before, but the British one was more extensive, and, backed by the church, went under the guise of a type of nobility. These days the wastelands of the former British Empire suggest otherwise. Once a colony, it seems, and like the Hotel California, you can check out but you can never really leave.