70 teenagers went on a symbolic bicycle ride across both sides of Nicosia on Saturday. The event took place under the auspices of the Cyprus Friendship Programme, a bi-communal youth group.
The bi-communal cycling event ended in front of the Home of Cooperation opposite the Ledra Palace hotel at midday, where Kadri Fellahoglu and Constantinos Yiorkadjis, the mayors of north and south Nicosia, representing the divided communities of the town, addressed the participants. Teenagers from the Cyprus Friendship Programme offered the men two army helmets with flowers in them.
“The symbolism refers to the time when a solution of the Cyprus problem will be found and the demilitarisation of the island will be agreed,” a press release said. The Cyprus Friendship Programme has proposed to give thousands of army helmets for free to Cypriot households so that they can be transformed into flower pots hanging at the front of houses. “And when the next generation will be asking what those are, we will say that they are reminders of a long period of conflict and pain that is no more.”
The ceremony ended with the teenagers from the two communities holding many pieces of a large map of Nicosia and putting them all together into one map.