Minister confirms local thanksgiving holiday

| 02/12/2014

(CNS): The minister for culture has announced the formal recognition of Caymanian Thanksgiving in the local calendar. Osborne Bodden told the Legislative Assembly last Thursday that as Cayman had developed so rapidly, with shifts in sectors of employment from seafaring and agriculture to tourism and finance, Caymanian culture was at risk of being diminished. He said that officially recognizing the day would strengthen and promote the cultural identity of the islands, especially for the younger generations, as well as building a cultural bridge with expat communities. There will not, however, be an addition to the list of public holidays because the holiday will fall on the first Sunday of December, Bodden explained.

Many Caymanians from earlier key generations of Cayman's culture and history were, he said, “departing this world”, taking their knowledge, skills and traditions with them, while many younger Caymanians were unable to identify characteristics of Caymanian architecture or sing traditional Caymanian songs.

However, one aspect of Caymanian culture that everyone could recognize is the food, he said, and its promotion would provide incentives for local business and food producers by bringing local restaurants into closer and more regular interaction with the focus of the holiday on the Sunday meal. 

The benefits of promoting the islands culture would also be a boon for tourism, the minister said, as holiday makers from the US and Canada would be interested in seeing Thanksgiving “Cayman-style”.

North Side MLA Ezzard Miller questioned whether there should be potential household limits for consumption of turtle, and whether the premier would also have to “pardon a turtle” for the promotion of the holiday, much to the amusement of the House (a reference to the tradition in the US where the president pardons a turkey every Thanksgiving).

The independent member also queried whether or not the cost of turtle meat could be reduced for the holiday, which is approaching this weekend.

His wish appeared to have been granted as the Cayman Turtle Farm issued a release Friday stating that the meat would be on sale this week at a reduced rate. From Monday through to Thursday the farm has reduced the price of turtle stew meat and menavelins by $2 per pound, but officials said steak meat is not being reduced.

Cayman Thanksgiving is a weekend-long national celebration to honour Caymanian heritage, culture and way of life. It is a time for fellowship among family, friends and neighbours while allowing an opportunity for our Caymanian community to express gratitude for our many blessings on the passing of Hurricane season. This weekend celebration will culminate on the first Sunday of December, centered around a traditional Caymanian meal.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Ossie sems to have a new portfolio – Minister of Total Bollocks.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Why not make the holiday which is worth celebrating, a true holiday and keep it on the same day as Americans do?


  3. Anonymous says:

    Lets have a piss up in a brewery


  4. Anonymous says:

    To the previous commentors, if you listen to what Minister Bodden said in the LA on Thursday 27 November, you will realise that he did NOT say government was declaring a "holiday"…he was simpy stating that Government was acknowledging the grassroots effort and has now officially endorsed the first Sunday in December as a part of the calendar.

    “The time has come for this grassroots movement to take the next step on its journey to becoming established as part of Caymanian culture, by receiving the full and open support of the government [and] by having the first Sunday in December officially recognised and included on community calendars as Cayman Thanksgiving,” announced Minister of Minister of Culture, Hon. Osbourne Bodden in parliament on Thursday (27 November).

    He even continued to explain why it would NOT be deemed a "holiday". Maybe if people would get their facts straight before posting, these things wouldn't be so blown out of proportion!

    And to the other posters who have not heard the explanation of WHY Caymanians are urged to celebrate, let me explain.

    It is using the name only, and the premise of sharing family or fellowship time though food, Cayman's traditional food, i.e. Turtle, beef, rundown etc. And asCayman's culture was developed on Christian values/missions; the thought of giving thanks by way of prayer is not far fetched for those who believe that we have much to be thankful for having come through the hurricane season unscathed. THAT is all it is about.

    It is not taking a page from our northern nieghbours, ie, the pilgrims etc. But that we are thankful, and what better way to show thanks than through sharing and fellowship with one another?

    One of the other aspects being promoted through Cayman Thanksgiving is building upon unity, by asking an expat or someone who does not know much about Cayman, Caymanians and our culture, to enjoy a meal on that same SUNDAY in which we then can bridge the divide that has sadly taken root in our country.

    SO please don't knock it.

    When in Rome right? 


    • anonymous says:

      Yep, when in Rome.

      That is why I am going to celebrate the Roman festival of piaculum, feast then have a good old bisexual orgy!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I like the idea of a new tradition. Maybe the name needs a little work. I remember seeing "homecoming" a year or so ago.

    One thing, as a small business owner we do NOT need is another public holiday. It is tough enough that three holidays in the space of 8 days often fall in the same two week pay period. 

    My revenue is cut in half on two of those days and we close Christmas. 

    It is not an easy time of year when you are paying staff for 17 days in a two week period with only 12 days of revenue. 

  6. Anonymous says:

      Civil Servants should be given a days holiday for Cayman Thanksgiving

  7. Anonymous says:

    caymanians giving thanks????……..

  8. Anonymous says:

    maybe the caymanians should give thanks to the expats which built their island and economy….

  9. Anonymous says:

    cayman has culture and heritage???????

  10. Anonymous says:

    Ozzie…a holiday that really isn't a holiday? maybe you could figure how to give us a dump with out a dump..

    Count your days man..The stuff you come up with…hilarious!

    • anonymous says:

      Why wait until then?

      There are mechanisms to remove people out of the position if there is no confidence in that person.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I strongly suggest that you do a liitle research as to the origins of the Thanksgiving celebrations here in Cayman before you condemn it.  It was an idea that was formed around a dinner table by a young lady right here in the Cayman Islands.  I applaud her for her efforts and for seeing it through to the point of having it actually recognized as an official Caymanian celebration.  I think we shoud all be a litt;le more thankful .

  12. Anonymous says:

    Isn't there enough multi day celebrations around here??? One day is just never enough. Ridiculous ………

  13. Anonymous says:

    Black Friday?! Exactly! What's Black Friday to us? Why are we importing another fad that we don't even know what it means?? Check last week's papers and see the ads! WTF???

    "Black Friday" is a US (and maybe North American) phenomenon which has existed for the past few decades and we had no need to copy it. Why now??

    Who the hell are we anyway?? We talk about our culture getting swamped?! Caymanian traditions disappearing?! Who are having the "Black Friday" sales? Caymanian-owned businesses!

    Sure, I'm all for supporting my Caymanian businesses and getting a deal, but can't they call it something else, please? Why do we have to sell out our own culture then cry that it was robbed from us? Come on Cayman, where's your identity? WTF??!! 

  14. Anonymous says:

    Formalizing any act of giving thanks for our respective circumstances, will only be done by a relatively small portion of our population, by statistic and common sense. Not everyone has a lot to be thankful for; many who do, don't give a damn about giving thanks; so that leaves a third, or less, of the population who will display thanks in some manner. Creating a "holiday" to preserve our cultural traditions but focusing mainly on Caymanian food is quite unnecessary, and could be construed to have been implemented to represent the views of a minority of the population, generally speaking. That makes you go huunnh?

    Declaring a "holiday" to primarily duplicate a traditional Caymanian Sunday (and almost daily in recent decades) dinner, and thus adopt another "foreign" tradition, is disappointing.  It is paradoxical to the stated intent. 

    Traditional Caymanian food, while delectable when cooked properly, is not known as the healthiest of diets. It is ironic, therefore, that Hon. Bodden would declare this "holiday" a week after his latest health message. This is astonishing.

    Ossie, you need to school your advisers!

  15. Hear, Hear! says:

    Where is Daylight Savings Time?   I would rather walk the beach tonight then create a new holiday.


  16. Anonymous says:

    "Caymanian culture was at risk of being diminished." ………………….. I know let's have a holiday – that will fix it! Let's do it on a Sunday so as not to disrupt business – the hardworking (LMAO) voting mob in the public service would love for it to be a Monday though????? Call sick on the Friday before and Bingo! super long-weekend!

    What to call it though………….

    St. George's Day? ………..naaah

    Australia Day? ………. hmmm…….naaah

    Labor Day? ……… might work? ……….naaah

    Wait the US just had something……wah dem call it?……yeah yeah got it – Thanksgiving!

    Genius! Let's have Caymanian Thanksgiving!

    Watch dem votes roll in boi! ya hear!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Can somebody tell this lunatic that if it isn't a public holiday no one will care.  The public holiday I would like to see is one that celebrates the removal of all corrupt politicians and corrupt public servants.

  18. Knot S Smart says:

    So we will have a holiday that wont actually be a holiday because it will fall on a Sunday…

    Did Ozzie figure this one out all by himself?

    This reminds me of a friend telling me recently that his wife is 'almost' pregnant…

    • Anonymous says:

      What has ozzie been smoking? its a holiday but not a holiday lol…well that seems to be the norm here…we have gangs but we don't call them gangs….we have crime but not really, burgularies are down, but murders are up….

  19. Anonymous says:

    Ossie is steadily progressing to the summit as Cayman's new king of bad ideas.  

  20. Anonymous says:

    I hardly know where to start commenting on this nonsense but let me begin with the name of the new holiday: "Thanksgiving".  ‘Thanksgiving’ is an American holiday and has its origins in America.  Will we be importing ‘Black Friday’ too, the day after ‘Thanksgiving’?  Oh no, we can’t because this new holiday is to fall on a Sunday.  But Sundays are by definition, already holidays!

    It will apparently strengthen and promote the cultural identity of the islands.  What, by eating Sunday lunch?  When I want a celebratory meal I get as far away from traditional Caymanian food as I can. 

    If the island’s culture and heritage is to be promoted and celebrated, it won’t be through Caymanian food.  I have no idea what the real point of this nonsense is but it will have no effect or impact whatsoever and will soon be forgotten.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is a tourism device to have American tourists come and celebrate "Cayman Thanksgiving."  It will also serve to further dilute the Caymanian culture.

  21. Anonymous says:

    What a ridiculous idea! What has thanksgiving to do with Caymanian culture!

    • Anonymous says:

      Unless you are so insecure with your own traditions, you feel the need to import the traditions of others.