I suspect bones that creak minute by minute are part of getting older. And so I find myself regularly on the couch of my persistent physiotherapist. Recently, for my Knarrfest session, a young Sicilian physio intern joined us. I have to say he made the hard work a lot easier for the simple reason that he kept talking about food. Italian food to be more precise.
As I was walking backwards quickly on the treadmill, he told me all about the different regional mozzarellas (the Salerno is the best); how to make the best tomato sauce (with the Ispica tomatoes); and the best batter for pizza (dilemma: Roman or Neapolitan style?). This student was hardly older than his teenagers and you could feel the pride and the cupid proprio for the kitchen of his home country.
He’s no exception. Have a conversation with any Italian, regardless of age, and they will talk to you about their cuisine, arts and cultural heritage. If you get into a conversation with a Maltese, they will certainly list their complaints (see my introduction above), how much they ate during their last stay abroad and what a bargain it was. When pushed to talk about our food, we route the conversation to Twistees and Kinnie. Our neighbors, the Italians, learn culture from the crib. You will appreciate that Paestum-Salerno mozzarella tastes different than Foggia and that Ispica tomatoes are good for making sauces, while Pachino’s are best eaten raw.
They know the art treasures of their region and are proud of them. But that’s because culture comes first not only in school, but also in the family. Italians will leave Italy and work abroad, but they are forever tied to their country.
Where has our cultural culinary identity gone in the meantime? Our cuisine is so rich, so full of influences from all over Europe (just read Matty Cremona’s The Way We Ate), but how do we look after it? We are not. We just go to restaurants because we have nowhere else to go and eat what is given to us because we don’t know how to be critical.
If you have a love of culture, then you are referred to as a snob and an elite (and other non-printable things). How long has it been? This is the land of Mattia Preti, Valletta, the most delicious honey and Mediterranean food. Why do we now worship ignorance, bland, and ugliness? Are we letting the tasteless nouveau riche and champagne socialists take over and make us believe that we should all be like them?
Culture is what binds people to a country and when something goes wrong politically and economically, their hearts bleed and they want to fight to make their country better. In the absence of cultural ties, if something goes wrong, the only way to go is. If we continue like this, Malta will experience worse brain drain than it did in the 1950s and 1980s.
Don’t wait for it to creak, we’ve paved the way to the EU for you – get started, pack your bags now– Kristina Chetcuti
The EY Generate Youth Survey published a few days ago gave us a snapshot: 60 percent of young people in Malta would prefer to live and work in another European country. Our young generation has a strong environmental awareness; They cannot stand overdevelopment and care about Malta’s international image. No wonder they feel so hopeless about their own future.
Meanwhile, our ministers are busy making home visits before the elections. One of them told a friend of my daughter’s – a 15 year old who was very concerned about the environment – that “it’s just a phase”. “You worry about trees now because you’re only 15. Soon you will forget trees and worry about getting a house and furniture. “
With sexist idiots like these who rule the country, I say to the young people: Don’t wait until you’re too creaky, we’ve paved the way for you to go to the EU – go ahead, pack your bags now.
I wonder if the Prime Minister goes to the supermarket to do his monthly grocery shopping. If so, has he noticed that the bills are getting steeper and steeper? Maybe not, because, let’s be honest, if he can afford hundreds of euros of fuel to take his boat to Sicily on weekly trips, then 100 euros doesn’t make a difference on the supermarket bill.
In the past three weeks, I’ve stopped counting how many people have told me they can’t keep up with the cost of living.
“I only work to pay for the household food; My husband’s salary pays off the home loan, utility bills and school supplies for our son … then we have to make it to the end of the month, ”one told me.
During the summer, staple food prices doubled or tripled due to Brexit, COVID, shipping and so on. The daily cost of living has skyrocketed.
“I’m going away. I can’t afford children here,” another woman in her early 30s told me.
It looks bleak internationally and 2022 will not be a great year for the planet.
We have already started to feel the crisis, but next year price increases will hit us like a thunderstorm.
Only then will the Prime Minister understand that an increase of 7 euros a month is an insulting joke.
Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the Price for a coffee.