Speech - John Pierre Zammit (Maltese of Tunisia)

John Pierre Zammit, for the Maltese of Tunisia explained how in their youth they communicated in French, and Maltese was only spoken within the family. The second generation could understand Maltese but would speak it less and less. As it went through generations it was looked at, as the old people's language, until it was reduced to the occasional saying or nursery rhyme or a prayer... Santa Barbara la deni u la hsara! Now as grandparents ourselves, vague are the memories of our grandparents' culture. The tale of GAHAN carrying the door on his back is probably the most remembered folklore. We never forget the ricotta pies and pastizzi! But is that all what is left from our inheritance? He went on describing the activities in their community are directed towards promoting Malta, the Maltese people and Maltese traditions. These activities are run by volunteers in their fifties and over, however, they are pleased that younger people are showing great interest in the country of their ancestors Malta and Gozo. He said, "Malta will always have a special place in our hearts" and ended by shouting: "Viva Malta u l-Maltin!"

Source: 'Malta' - Maltese Culture Movement, Issues 4,5,6, 2000.

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