Wednesday, 16 September 2015

SANDY: GROWING UP IN MALTA!

Reader Sandy looks back on her teenage years growing up on the beautiful island of Malta… find out what it was like!

Sandy says:
I come from Malta, a small island in the Mediterranean sea. I grew up in a fishing village in the south, and lived with my parents and my sister, who was three years older than me. I'm an animal lover, but unfortunately I was never allowed to keep a pet at home. I attended primary school until I was ten, a mixed school, and I wasn't very happy as I was bullied back then. My secondary school was girls
only and things changed for the better. I passed my exams and went to college, and those days were awesome… so much fun. I started studying drama and never looked back. I still study theatre studies and sometimes appear in local theatre productions and TV drama shows… it was the best thing I've ever done.

Maltese people are Roman Catholics, and we are famous for traditional village feast during the summer. My village has two feasts, the Feast of Our lady of Mount Carmel, and the Feast of St Catherine. Months of hard work go into each event, which is a week of celebrations including masses, brass bands, fireworks and more… and the statue of the saint is carried around the village while everyone prays.

Traditional Maltese food is amazing! Maltese bread is baked in a unique way… and then we have Pastizzi (cheesecakes) which wonderful. The most traditional food for me is a dish of snails… you might think it gross, but it's delicious. Other typical foods are Patata l-forn (potatoes, meat and vegetables baked in the oven); Kosku (pasta with broad beans, egg and begetables); Bigilla (Maltese bean dip); and Imqaret (dates wrapped in pastry).

Like many countries, Malta has its own traditional costumes which these days are worn for folklore shows for tourists. The most famous costume is the ghonella, a long, loose black gown. Our language is
Maltese, a semitic language derived from Arabic. It's unique, and is only spoken in Malta. English is also widely spoken now, and is overpowering Maltese so that we are now losing some of our Maltese words. Often foreign students trying to learn Maltese find it very difficult to learn and to pronounce.

As Malta is an island, we are surrounded by sea and from a very early age Maltese children are very good swimmers. In summer, the beaches are full of people enjoying the beautiful sunny weather. It is not a huge island to get around - you can drive from north to south in just 45 minutes, but we do have a great many cars which causes congestion. These days, I am grown up and married, but I still live in my childhood village with my husband and our two pets, a rabbit called Pumpkin and a canary called Nenu. Wherever I travel, I am always happy to return to this beautiful place - it's home!

Cathy says:
Malta sounds wonderful! I have never been, but plan to visit one day… maybe soon! The descriptions and photographs look idyllic! Do YOU live outside the UK? COMMENT BELOW to tell me more and to let me know if YOU would like to write about it for DREAMCATCHER!


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