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Welcome to Malta!
Where to Wanderlust

We need to remember not all islands are equal for many reasons, but they are all worth learning about! In July we looked at some off the coast of South America, and this month we will look at a country made up of islands between Europe and Africa. Visiting the Mediterranean Sea brings us to some beautiful islands that make up the country of Malta. Though many of us have a certain picture that pops into our heads when we think of an island, I want to challenge you to see the different cultures and what you can learn from it.

General Information:

Capital City: Valletta, located on the island Malta

Location and Land: The country of Malta is made up of five islands: Malta, Gozo, Comino, Kemmunett, and Filfla. The islands are located in the Mediterranean Sea. It is known for its beautiful coastlines and its amazing diving spots!

The People: Most of the people are ethnically Maltese, and most live in urban areas. They have maintained their culture even as far as keeping the main language Maltese ("the only semitic language written in the Latin alphabet") as well as English. Though the national religion is Roman Catholicism, they do have religious freedom. 

Free Color Sheet PDF
Free Digital Color Sheet PNG

This month for the color sheet, I included the country name and the flag. I also added an interesting animal. See if you can figure out why this animal is important to Malta. I also included a boat. These boats are well known in Malta for their design and use. Click here for more on the history of these boats! Finally, I included a sword. There is a traditional Maltese sword dance that "commemorates the victory of the Knights of the Order of St John over the Ottoman Turks". 

Nurturing Knowledge

Temples and Caves

You have probably heard of the pyramids in Egypt or Stonehenge in England, but Malta is home to a wonder even older than both of these beauties. About half an hour outside of the capital is the Hagar Qim, which is a location of ruins that date back to between 3600 BC and 3000 BC. It is a great place to visit, along with the other temples close to it called Mnajdra.

Next to the ruins, caves are a must when visiting Malta. There are several "incredible" caves, but probably the most famous is Ghar Dalam. Archeologists have found fossils of some animals you might not expect, including dwarf elephants and hippopotami. 

Festivals

Festivals play a large role in Maltese culture. The main celebrations are called "festas," which are celebrated for several months in a row. Festas are long weekends all over the islands that celebrate a patron saint for a certain area. These celebrations are bright and full of music, and include feasting. 

Check out this video for a glimpse into these festas.

Because of the main religion, Easter and Christmas are largely celebrated each year. In addition, the Maltese people have begin to have more art and music festivals to celebrate their culture in more recent years.

Nurturing Taste Buds

Malta is located in the Mediterranean Sea, so you can imagine that most of the food is of the Mediterranean style. Since it is between Europe and North Africa, the recipes reflect some influence from both of these. Below I will describe the top foods, a pastry and a stew. There is a wide range of popular dishes; sandwiches, fish, snails, and a pasta pie make it to the top of most lists. Here are three good lists I found for you to check out!

7 Popular Maltese Foods

11 Traditional Maltese Foods

15 Foods from Malta you have Never Heard of

Pastizzi

This pastry is as fun as the name sounds! Pastizzi is flaky and buttery, and it is traditionally made with a pea and cheese filling. 

For the bakers out there, here is a good recipe for making Pastizzi.

Stuffat Tal-Fenek

Stuffat Tal-Fenek, or rabbit stew, is considered the national dish. As with most national dishes worldwide, this also has many interpretations based on which local family is cooking.

Here is one of the most common ways it is made.

Dig Deeper

Family Discussion Questions:

  • Together look up the age historians give the pyramids, Stonehenge, and the Hagar Qim. Do you have anything in your country that old? Discuss how it may have been hard to construct these structures in ancient times.
  • Diving is big in Malta What would be interesting to find if you went diving in the Mediterranean Sea?
  • How are the Maltese islands different from the ones you looked at in July (Trinidad and Tobago)? Why do you think they are different?
  • Draw and design your own Maltese boat. How would you make it stand out from the others? Compare yours to the ones your family members drew.

Other Resources:

Seeds to Grow

Nurturing Wanderlust

7381 Old Highway 280, Sterrett, AL
United States

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