Celebrating local culture at CIS

Cayman International School students Natalia Cugliari and Leonor Oliveira make peppermint sweets, supervised by Cayman Traditional Arts instructor Rose Myles.

Cayman food, games, industry and more were the order of the day at Cayman International School’s Cayman Culture Day.

Culture and heritage ambassadors from across the island converged on the school on Feb. 26 to showcase and celebrate Caymanian traditions, states a press release.

Instructors from Cayman Traditional Arts, an organization dedicated to the preservation of Caymanian arts and culture through hands-on learning, taught youngsters how to plait thatch, prepare peppermint sweets and fritters, and paint with traditional brushes made from thatch.

Meanwhile, a group of CIS students had learned the quadrille and wowed the crowd with their dancing skills.

CIS Vice Principal Nimmi Sekhar, who helped organize the event, said the day was one of several campus activities intended to raise awareness about Caymanian culture among the school’s students.

“Today, we’ve had students bring in local fruits from their garden, such as naseberry and papaya and our quadrille dancing has proved to be very popular with students,” said Ms. Sekhar.

Students Natalia Cugliari and Leonor Oliveira, both 9, said the best part of the day was learning to make fritters, as well as eating them.

“Although we haven’t made them before, we will definitely make them again,” they both agreed.

Chris Christian of Cayman Traditional Arts, was delighted with the participation by CIS in Cayman Culture Day.

“We have been championing Caymanian culture within the framework of the school curriculum for a number of years now through our Heritage Arts Programme, and so it is fantastic to see the excitement in the students when schools such as Cayman International School take the initiative to supplement their students’ cultural learning in this way,” he said.

“The staff, students and parents have really embraced Caymanian culture and heritage and helped to bring our culture to life in a way that is truly meaningful to the students.”

Along with Cayman Cultural Day, students have participated in a number of culturally-themed activities, for example, a “Then and Now” project for third graders.