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Cayman Islands Government

Cultural Leanings

Deal Ebanks' gigs are always popular.

Some 100 students and cultural representatives, as well as government ministers, MLAs and educators, came together yesterday (Monday, 5 September) to launch a cultural immersion programme for schoolchildren.

Bringing Heritage to Life is organised by Cayman Traditional Arts (CTA) in partnership with the Office of the Premier. The after-school programme offers lessons and demonstrations such as seafaring, thatchwork, cuisine and games.

CTA Director Chris Christian and his team showcased local culture at the opening, where children enjoyed making and tasting local peppermint, spinning gigs, 'laying' rope, blowing conch horns, and other activities.

Premier Bush also displayed his skills while participating in the rope-making demonstration, which he said "brought back memories from my childhood".

Sanctioned by the Education Department, the Bringing Heritage to Life initiative is offered to Year-Five and -Six students in government schools throughout the Cayman Islands.

In his address, Premier the Hon. McKeeva Bush OBE, JP, said, "This programme is necessary… for too long we've neglected this all too important component of our curriculum. I wanted to launch this for many years, and I feel the times we live in now prove critical for us to do so. We don't want our 'sense of self' to be lost forever."

He added that this and similar efforts are encompassed in the ongoing nation-building programme.

Indicative of the significance placed on this renewed focus, the inaugural event at Sir John A. Cumber Primary School's hall was attended by all serving government ministers, and other serving and former MLAs, as well as by community representatives.

Past government leader and education minister Mr. Truman Bodden, OBE also commended the initiative, saying, "This is important, for children should be proud of where they come from."

For further information, contact Chris Christian at 926 0119 or e-mail artcayman@gmail.com.

For further information contact: Lennon Christian