Religion from an early age
Everyday Catholic life in Malta affects children very early on. This is how most babies are baptized Roman Catholics. This day is celebrated extensively by the whole family with Maltese dishes. You may also know this ceremony from your relatives or friends at home.
Far less well known is a custom that is usually carried out on the child’s first birthday after baptism. During the Il-quċċija, different objects are distributed in front of the child and, while the family calls for confirmation, they crawl towards one of the objects. Which of the objects it chooses as a target is intended to predict the child’s professional future. For example, there is a cell phone or a pocket calculator as a symbol for a career in finance or banking. Traditionally, a rosary is also laid out, which predicts a career as a clergyman, or a hard-boiled egg, which represents prosperity.
What are legitimate and illegitimate children?
As in many strictly Roman Catholic countries, marriage also plays an important role in Malta. Divorce has only been allowed in Malta since a referendum in 2011. This makes Malta the last country in Europe to introduce the right to divorce.
Even so, children from divorced families are often teased. Children born out of wedlock, one of whom is Maltese and the other is foreign, have a very difficult time obtaining Maltese citizenship. The Maltese civil law even distinguishes between legitimate and illegitimate children. The legitimate ones are the children born within a marriage. In the case of illegitimate children, the parents are not married.
From A to B in Malta
Imagine getting up in the morning, brushing your teeth and getting dressed and not getting on the bus or car but in a boat to reach your school! For some Maltese this is part of everyday life, because it may well be that the school, university or work place is not on the island where you live. In Malta, for example, there is only one university on the main island. Students who live on Gozo first have to cross the Mediterranean in the morning.
What sports do the Maltese do?
Sports such as football, tennis, basketball, hockey or badminton are also very popular with the Maltese. Football is unofficially the national sport. After all, there are two leagues with ten teams each.
In addition to the classic European sports, the Maltese also use the sea right on their doorstep to do sports. For example, water polo is very popular in Malta. The players stand on boards in the water and throw the ball to each other.
What do the children speak in Malta’s schools?
Most schools in Malta are state-run and receive additional money from the church. In these schools, lessons are in Maltese. English is also taught, but as a second language. In the meantime, more and more international schools are being added that hold all of the lessons in English. There are more and more families who are emigrating to Malta and because Maltese is not that easy to learn, English-speaking schools are becoming increasingly popular. Check collegetoppicks to see schooling information in other European countries.
How does the Maltese school system work?
The Maltese school system is similar to the English one. It has to do with the history of Malta because Malta was British for a long time. Maltese children usually start primary school from the age of five. Primary school lasts six years, so that you switch to lower secondary school when you are around eleven. You have to go to school until you are 16 years old. Because school is also compulsory in Malta.
Then you can choose whether you want to quit school and do an apprenticeship, for example, or whether you want to continue with upper secondary school. If you prefer to go on to school, you can still choose between the vocational and the academic branch of education. The first one prepares for a job, the last one for studying at a university.
Separated and in school uniform!
From the lower secondary level, boys and girls are taught separately. Many teachers believe that this makes it easier for children to focus on the class.
Most schools also have school uniforms, which is also related to Malta’s connection to England. All the more beautiful that you can wear whatever you want during the carnival!