A taste of 9 Maltese cultural strong points

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Malta and Culture are one and the same - here are the top 9 cultural experiences you need to sample.

The Maltese culture is a mystery to most but a cherished element to its locals. When on holiday to Malta, don’t limit yourself to Instagramming Malta’s photogenic nooks, take the time to appreciate its culture in order to garner a holistic account of your vacation spot. 

1. Food 

The Maltese are foodies - a traditional Maltese meal is representative of that. When visiting Malta, make sure to pay a visit to a brewery to get a taste of the local Cisk. Top off the hop lager with a pastizz or a Maltese platter comprising of bigilla, galletti, zalzett tal-Malti and sundried tomatoes to get a better taste of Maltese cuisine. Up to some dessert? Try an Imqaret to satisfy your sweet tooth and extend your palate. Here’s a list of Maltese cuisine you have got to try.

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2. Għana - traditional folk music and song

Għana is Malta’s own unique folk music. Although Għanneja (folk singers) are a dying breed in Malta, the trade is still upkept by some. In fact, Għanafest (a two day folk singing festival), is held annually in an attempt to revive interest in folk music. If you’re interested in grabbing some dinner, submerged in a choir of Għanneja, visit Ta’ Marija Restaurant on a Friday for their iconic folklore dinners.

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3. Craft 

The Maltese have craft in their blood. Whether it’s glass-blowing, or lace weaving; they excel at it all. Visit Malta’s craft village, Ta’ Qali, or  Ta' Dbiegi in Gozo to experience a true crafting experience. The final products make for unique souvenirs and decor for your loved ones back home. 

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4. Clothing 

Although fashion nowadays has become very westernised among the locals, the Maltese have a rich history regarding their clothing. In the olden days, locals would wear the virtuous Għonnella - a gown comprising of a shawl and hooded cloak. The clothing would be made of silk or cotton and bare the colour black; not the most suitable for the summer! 

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5. Fishing 

Marsaxlokk is the city dedicated to fishing. Marsaxlokk is home to many luzzus (traditional fishing boats) which await their masters to carry their duty at sea. Fishermen are bountiful in Malta and although most are simple sportsman, they keep the trade alive and the source of fresh fish continuous. 

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6. Religion  

The Maltese are highly religious. Although the population is slowly experiencing secularization, Roman Catholic values prevail in everyday life. Here's a fun fact for you: there are over 365 churches around Malta - that's more than one for each day of the year! There are so many beautiful churches and cathedrals worth visiting whilst wandering around Malta's picturesque villages.

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7. Language 

The Maltese language and its 520,000 speakers are very uncommon but this doesn’t take away from their beauty nonetheless. The Maltese language is semantic - meaning it adopts features from Arabic, Italian and English. Although the Maltese have been adopting their second language, English, more, Maltese remains prevalent as a tongue. 

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8. Festi 

Festi are local feasts that celebrate village patrons. Throughout a typical Maltese festa, statues of patrons are carried across the village square, populated by an eager crowd. Streets are lined with lights and traditional draperies, the sky is lit by jaw-dropping fireworks... The tradition represents Maltese values to the t! 

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9. Courage

This is no case of bragging, the Maltese are in fact courageous. During a heavy stage of the second world war, the Maltese were awarded the George Cross (which is now woven on their flag) by King George VI, as a homage for their faithful service and demonstration of courage throughout the war. 

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