Once upon a time, I had a career in IT in the Travel Industry. Durning this phase of my life, I did quite a bit of traveling for both work and pleasure and refined my skills at navigating airports, train stations, and cultures which sometimes had very little in common with my own. From this period of my life, I developed a love for getting to know other people in other places, and seeing how they view themselves and their society.
One way to learn about a people and their culture is to look at their money. Currency is one of those elements in a society that strongly bonds it together. Paper bills and coins not only serve as elements of value exchange, but are also small monuments to what people think are important about the country they live in.
Over the years I have made habit of keeping a few small bills and coins from all the places I have visited. Most of these end up in envelopes in my desk labeled as to the place and date they came from. I’m not a “coin collector” per-say, I have no knowledge as to their deeper meaning or value. (Though with the falling US dollar value, I say my collection is worth more now than it was 2 years ago.)
Every so often I open one of these envelopes and reminisces about the time and place when those bills first entered my wallet. A day or two day, I happened to open up the envelope from a trip I made to Grand Cayman. It happened to be from my last trip there in 2003.
Of course, The Cayman Islands are part of the British Overseas Territory System, but they print and issue their own money. What struck me when I picked up this bill was the “fine print” in the lower right hand corner.
It is the International Copyright Symbol, followed by “Cayman Islands Monetary Authority”.
I just had to laugh, what a wonderful abuse and misunderstanding of copyright law that a government feels the need to “copyright” their money. I wonder if you counterfeit Cayman Island Currency, are you charged with Paganism as well?