The Culture of the Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands have been influenced by European, Caribbean, and American culture

Photo credit: © J. Stephen Conn

Culture of the Cayman Islands
 

The Cayman Islands are one of the most serene and peaceful vacation spots in the Caribbean. While the primary cultural influences are from the United Kingdom, North America, and Jamaica, 113 nationalities are present on the three islands.

One of the most striking aspects of culture on the Cayman Islands - and an indicator of the predominant British and American influence - is the prevalence of Christianity. Denominations represented on the island include Roman Catholic, Baptist, Anglican, Church of God, and Presbyterian, among others. Churches are ubiquitous on the islands, and many residents reserve Sundays for churchgoing. Religion is taken so seriously that ports on the Cayman Islands are closed to cruise ships on Sundays and other religious holidays such as Christmas.

British influence is also seen in the language of the Caymans, which is English with a lilting combination of accents from English, Scottish, and Welsh settlers. Jamaican settlers also brought their unique patois to the islands; it is still detectable in the accents of select residents today. Jamaican influences are also undeniably present in the cuisine of the Cayman Islands. Jerk seasoning is used to add flair to many traditional Caribbean dishes. The Cayman National Cultural Foundation works to promote the art and culture of the islands through dance, theatre, and the visual and literary arts.

World class scuba diving is among the many alluring features that draw vacationers to the Cayman Islands. It is also an important part of the local culture. The Caribbean's first dive shop opened on Grand Cayman in 1957. American culture also influences the culture of the Cayman Islands, particularly in the tourist areas frequented by travelers from North America. American dollars are widely accepted. Read more about currency and credit card usage in the Cayman's by clicking here.

Caymanians are respectful and friendly. Greetings and pleasantries are common and expected, and most islanders use titles of respect, such as Mr. and Miss, when addressing other islanders.

Although the Cayman Islands are primarily influenced by British and American culture, they are a popular playground for expatriates of all nationalities.

 

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