Don’t sell out, Cayman

Over the past few decades, Caymanians have enjoyed the success of an economic boom as a result of foreign investments and major developments.

We have evolved from smoke pan days and days of hardships and poverty to days where a family has a BMW, a Jaguar and a Lexus parked in their yard. Yes! All these vehicles in one yard for one family.

Well done, again, I say well done.

You’ve worked hard, no doubt, and you’re enjoying the fruits of your labour. But will you eve satisfy your insatiable wants? Ah, the joy of capitalism…isn’t it great?

My fellow Caymanians, do we know who we are? Have we so quickly forgotten from whence we came? We as a cultural man and a social commentator, please continue to read on as I share my opinions, views and concerns.

Let us never forget from whence we came. We were poor; our fathers and grandfathers. Our men went to sea for there was not much work on the land. Caymanian seamen made a very favourable impression as they were emulous and hard working. As a native Caymanian I am proud of my maritime heritage and you should be as well. No electricity; doing homework by the light of a kerosene lamp. We were all reminded of those olden days in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan some 16 months ago. Some folk even reverted back to the vintage caboose. The aftermath of Ivan reminded all of us from whence we came. We were more considerate, we shared, and we were concerned about our neighbour. And that is what I miss about the old-time Cayman days.

2. Self identity. Do we know who we are? I want to think that we do, although there are times I think that we don’t. I’ll remain optimistic! We are Caymanians even though our passports say that we are British overseas dependant territory citizens. What? All these years I was told I was Caymanian. This in itself can bring about confusion.

We must be proud of who we are. We must be proud to call ourselves Caymanian! We are the minority in our own three-island nation. I won’t dare express here how that makes me feel, the editor probably wouldn’t print it. I’ll just pretend I’m a visitor visiting the beautiful Cayman Islands for the fist time…yeah, right!

Cayman is my home. That goodness for freedom of speech so I can express my sentiments. I’m not asking anyone to agree with me. You are at liberty to disagree. I also welcome feedback, be it good as gold or bad as a sour lime. We all have opinions. Some choose to remain silent; others are more vocal and expressive.

In order for our children to be aware and proud of their self identity, start turning off the TV, BET, MTV and all the other great American channels. I know it’s going to cause some discomfort and inconvenience, but trust me parents, our heritage and unique way of life are both on death row waiting on the chair! We must gout our youngsters involved with CNCF’s Gimistory, [email protected], etc. and BCTC’s Storytelling and plays. Get them involved with local arts and crafts programmes.

Send them on a visit to Mrs. Clem Bodden’s abode to learn how to bake a nigga bible, cassava cake or how to cook a pot of authentic Cayman-style turtle meat, stew or rundown. If your children say they aren’t interested, be their parent(s)! Children shouldn’t dictate to parents. If your minors are telling you what to do and they’re calling all the shots, I’m afraid you’ve lost the battle and the future of Cayman. Believers keep praying. The future sure is looking interesting.

Let us find ourselves before it’s too late. Let’s go back and just be simple, yet powerful. Look at the lives of people like Aunt Julia Hydes. That’s what I call Caymanian self identity.

3. Sold out? What about our birthrights and souls? Many native-born Caymanians fell like Cayman is no longer for Caymanians.

Historic sites should be preserved. The town hall in George Town, the original George Town Library, the George Town Post Office, Elmslie M. Church, and the list goes on. It’s my desire that these buildings and structures be protected by law and if necessary, the government should purchase them for the Caymanian people forever. May these buildings stand forever!

They should evoke a feeling of Caymanianness and remind us of our rich history.

Come on guys, it’s not all about money, or is it?

Quincy Brown