Dress for success at Cayman’s National Arts Fest

One of the facts trotted out proudly is that there are 135 different nationalities represented in Cayman. 

Celebrating this takes many forms, from street dances to food festivals. And now there’s a special Dress for Culture Day coming up this Friday, 4 May. 

“On this initial Dress for Culture Day,” explains Lorna Bush of the Cayman National Cultural Foundation, “Organisations all across the Cayman Islands can get involved by dressing up (or down) exhibiting at least one item from their own culture. 

“People will decide how much or how little of their cultural dress to wear, determined by the dress code of their organisation. As is normal practice, the individual will make a small donation ($5 or more suggested) toward the charity, which in this case, is the youth programmes of the Cayman National Cultural Foundation.” 

It’s not necessary to put on the full, traditional costume if that’s tricky, says Lorna. 

“Persons can wear just one item (e.g. a headdress) or the colours from their flag incorporated into the dress for that day; or perhaps even show off their former school by sporting something from the uniform. 

Then of course sports, the great cultural unifier – wear a jersey from your national football team, for example,” she explains. 


Celebrating diversity  

Who Yuh Fuyh? Dress For Culture Day fundraiser is part of the ongoing Cayfest, Cayman Islands National Festival of the Arts, which is about celebrating the culture of the country in all its diversity. Lorna says that acknowledging the common experience of living here whilst also being proud of our different journeys is key. 

“I feel this is extremely important; it will encourage less divisiveness amongst communities whilst showing that as individuals we can still be ‘who we are’. Homogenisation is not the goal but, rather a cultural bouquet, where each item contributes to the overall beauty of the finished product with each still maintaining its own individuality. 

“In the grand scheme of things, we humans are all part of the same family of man. Social responsibilities must include elements of justice and cultural harmony. Now that our technology driven world has become one global village, even large corporations are realising that diversity should be encouraged and harnessed to give a positive impact on the bottom-lines; should we as a small community do less?,” she says, sagely. 

So what will Lorna be wearing? 

“Although a national dress has not been defined for the Cayman Islands, I will definitely wear something that incorporates our silver thatch and rope-making traditions.” 


How to register  

Email [email protected] for more information on selecting a coordinator, registration and all questions. Other fund raising activities can take place around the event including competitions, bake sales, trivia nights and more. Youth programmes set to benefit from the event include Young at Arts, Summer Arts Camp, Young Image Makers and Grants for the Arts. 

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