The Cayman Islands are often considered the safest islands to visit, while inhabiting some of the friendliest natives in the Caribbean. There are people here who have lived in this islands for generations, and have a tight-knit community, many of which have followed the Caymanian tradition of all knowing each other and their families. In addition to the locals, many have come to the Cayman Islands from other parts of the world to live, creating a melting pot of various nationalities. Though the community is tight and the islands are small, there are times when Caymanians find themselves in the presence of unfamiliar people, leading them to ask the popular question of the islands, “Who you fa?” (Hoo-yoo-fah).
“Who you fa?” can be translated into “Who you belongs ta?” which can be defined as: 1. Who are you, and who are your parents, siblings, grandparents, etc.? and 2. To which family do you belong?
Who you fa? is often asked by older natives who have lost touch with their family members due to migration, marriage, and/or other causes. While some people see this question as an invasion of privacy, the locals see it as an ice breaker, or conversation starter motivated by nothing more than genuine curiosity. Caymanians are interested in your family history, nationality, and your connection to other Caymanians, with even some concern that you may be related to them, or someone they know.
Even regular vacationers to the Cayman Islands find themselves asking other people they are unfamiliar with “who you fa?” And while it may seem strange to first timers on the islands, to locals- it’s no different than asking “what time is it?”