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Remember playing in the street? These are locals’ 7 fondest childhood memories in Malta
They go way back!

Jillian Mallia

Like every country over the years, Malta has changed significantly as time has gone by, especially when it comes to the kind of childhood millennials are experiencing today (particularly when compared to that of their parents or grandparents.) But what is it about growing up on the Maltese Islands that locals miss from times gone by? I collected a few fond memories from a handful of older locals... here's what they had to say.

1. Playing in the street

This was a popular one, and I can totally see why! Many locals played hopscotch, tag, hide-and-seek, Oranges and Lemons, and my absolute favourite, lakstu using long pieces of elastic wrapped round people’s legs and jumping around. The wider the elastic, the bigger the challenge. Let’s just say I got a few bumps and bruises from playing this game back in my day, and never learnt my lesson!

memories

David Jennings / Flickr

2. Biking absolutely everywhere

In days gone by, when Maltese roads weren’t so, erm, chaotic, locals would bike to their desired destinations without fearing for their lives!

memories

Ainunau / Flickr

3. Neighbourhood iklas

Great company, the great outdoors, and never-ending tables of Maltese goodness? Where do we sign up?! The neighbourhood ikla (meal), was an unmissable event. It was a bring-your-own-everything kind of situation and one that would be talked about for weeks – until the next one that is.

memories

Bill Bartlett / Facebook

4. Marbles

Another local favourite pass time - this time one that could be played indoors - was marbles. “Us boys used to play with them before our Mużew (catechism) lesson, while the girls used to play with beads. We even used to negotiate and trade the marbles,” recalls one local I spoke to, very fondly.

memories

Adrian Paul Debono / Facebook

5. Countryside walks

Others mentioned weekly countryside walks with family that would consist of capturing frogs and tadpoles in jars. That part is definitely a thing of the past, since frogs are protected nowadays!

memories

sunbeam12 / Flickr

6. Mischief managed!

Locals were mischievous back in the day! The famous ding and dash, or doqq u iġri in Maltese, was a prime sport... it’s technically like training sprints in athletics, right?

memories

UNHCR Central Europe / Flickr

7. Meeting at the każin

While this is still largely done nowadays, meetings at the każin where really popular way back when. Whatever the time of day, it was beer o’clock, or te fit-tazza u pastizz time at least!

memories

Mark Zammit / Facebook

What are your fondest childhood memories?

10th February 2019


Jillian Mallia
Written by
Jillian Mallia
A book lover, writer and globetrotter who loves exploring new places and the local gems that the Maltese Islands have to offer. An avid foodie and arts fanatic, Jillian searches the island and beyond for the perfect settings to write about.

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