Students march in the parade to celebrate 'No' day
I find myself working from Cyprus this week. While Cyprus public relations works hard to distance itself from the economic woes of their Greek neighbors, that distance does not over-ride tradition. Especially when a public holiday is involved!
We arrived to Cyprus on October 28th, just in time for Oxi day, the Greek national holiday otherwise known as ‘No day’.
This holiday commemorates the day on October 28, 1940 when the Greek Prime Minister rejected the ultimatum made by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini to allow Italian troops to come into Greece at the beginning of WW II. Had the Greeks not said "No!" (Ochi or Oxi in Greek), World War II might well have lasted considerably longer. Facing Turkish aggression, the Cypriots drew inspiration from Greece's refusal to let Italian troops invade.
As a result, while it’s actually a Greek holiday, Oxi day is also a public holiday in Cyprus - one of 18. Parades and celebrations took place throughout Cyprus, with the main one being along the road outside the Greek embassy in Nicosia.
Love thy neighbor - makes sense...I’d be happy to celebrate with the neighbors on May 17th (Norway), June 5th (Denmark), and December 6th (Finland) for a few more days off!