Once known as ‘The Islands that time forgot,’ the Cayman Islands has now caught up to the 21st century. However, as a visitor to the Islands there are several ways in which you can immerse yourself in the local culture and have a ‘true Caymanian experience’.
Caymanian food pre-dates supermarkets and refrigerators; so as one would expect, it is focused on the things that could be grown and caught locally. For example:
The sound of shouting and banging the table will be the first clues that you’ve stumbled upon a game of dominoes. Caymanians play a variation of the game called ‘Cut Throat’ where players play individually, rather than as part of a team. To witness the sights and sounds of a lively game of dominoes we recommend Sunset House and any number of local restaurants.
Music and singing have been part of Caymanian culture for hundreds of years and were born out of adversity, in particular slavery. Not surprisingly, the Caymanian music style has strong European and African influences, but due to the Islands’ isolation it took on its own identity. In its earliest form it was a type of folk music with lyrics passed down through generations and can still be heard today. There are a variety of local bands and one in particular called the ‘Swanky Kitchen band’. If you get a chance, listen to them! Read our article on the Local Live Music in Cayman for more information.
In Caymanian culture Sundays traditionally consisted of church, rest, food and family time. Families gathered on a Sunday to attend a lively and joyful church service, followed by a meal then games and music. They also loved to sit on their porches ‘shooting the breeze’ and watching the comings and goings around them. For a visitor wanting to experience this age old tradition, we recommend attending a Sunday service at the Elmslie Presbyterian Church or The First Baptist Church and then taking a drive around the Island taking in families sitting on their porches.