Hobza u Sardina

Daphne’s article in today’s Independent really does bring some truths home about navel gazing Malta. It is not the first time that I point out that Malta still suffers from the centre-of-the world mentality that was inbuilt into our parents by the Mintoffian generation. In the efforts to build some semblance of a Din l-Art Helwa we might have gone a step too far. Nation building in Malta had the consequence of a dramatic hyperbole suitable for a peplum starring Toto’ versus Maciste (as can be seen in that great peplum called Gensna) but not for the tiny island state that we are.

Daphne rightly points out the sad and sorry difference between the way Malta and Lampedusa respectively cope with the boat people. Suddenly the Mother that gave us her name is powerless to handle the waves of immigrants while the 5,500 persons on the rock of Lampedusa (farther from Italy than Malta) continue to tackle the issue with compassion and understanding that is either absent from our shores or lies silent while being out-shouted by the vociferous rabble. We have fallen victim of another heritage of Father Dom’s era… the nanny state. We forget our Catholic upbringing and instead of pulling up our sleeves and coming up with solutions we find it easier to identify the latest drama, the latest problem and complain that the state is doing nothing about it. The momentum reaches its climax when the State itself starts to whinge and requests aid because this great Maritime Republic never foresaw the dangers that the sea surrounding it could carry.

Until now our poem writers and crafters of epics have been able to rewrite history in a way that the Maltese oppressed always comes out victorious. It is in our peplum that the termination of a contract for an army base becomes a day of Freedom and release as though the valiant Maltese patrol boats pushed away the last remnants of the NATO and British armies. That sad joke of Jum il-Helsien will remain one of the last bastions of Mintoff‘s nation building efforts that fit more with the carnival floats than with monumental efforts of great leaders.Meanwhile (after a short parenthesis of terror until 1987) the army of our liberated isle could now concentrate its efforts on the courageous deeds of dealing with the coloured invader who attacked our shores in the hundreds armed with boats, salt water, hypoglycaemia, diarrhoea and a determination to survive. Can’t you see it? In the not-too distant future… a memorial to the soldiers who kept Malta free on August 2005. Jum ir-Respinta … when we sent them all back from where they came from. Mass, wreath laying ceremony at the foot of the Monument tar-Respinta complete with Brigadier throwing into the sea in the late afternoon.

Sic Transit Gloria Melitae. (Ave)

�The smell is awful. Sour and overpowering, it rises from two wooden boats and two rubber dinghies tied up in a far corner of the picturesque harbour on the Italian island of Lampedusa. In these small craft some 300 people arriving from North Africa in search of new lives in Europe have endured dangerous journeys at sea, crammed together without adequate water, food, shelter or toilets�.The terrible stench gives some idea of the ordeal they must have endured. �When they arrive they are suffering from nausea, vomiting, sunburn, dehydration, hypoglycaemia, diarrhoea,� says Dr Claudia Codesani from the charity Medicins Sans Frontieres. �They have been at sea for 17 hours or for as long as five or six days, and they are desperate to eat and drink. Everyone is shocked and frightened.” (source)

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6 responses to “Hobza u Sardina

  1. Jacques what an excellent post, prosit. It’s always a relief to find out that there still are sane people out there!

  2. l-ewwel artiklu bis-sens li qatt hareg mill-pinna ta’ daphnecaruanagalizia… wara xi tlett sekli u nofs tikteb kazzata wara l-ohra kitbet xi haga dicenti. ghadni ma nistax nemmen…

  3. Antoine Cassar

    Naqbel ma’ Athena. Prosit Jacques. Interessanti hafna din tan-nazzjon/mit li holqot ‘il-generazzjoni Mintoff’. Personalment, ikolli nghid li jien kburi li Malta saret independenti u ghalhekk nghozz u niccelebra l-hekk imsejjah “Jum il-Helsien”. Mhux ghax jien patrjottiku (il-bnadar ma nhobbhomx, u inqas l-innijiet nazzjonali), imma ghax anti-kolonjalista. X’aktarx jekk nerga’ naqra l-istorja kontemporanja ta’ Malta issa li sirt naf pajjizi ahjar (ghax sirt aktar “ta’ gewwa”) nibda naraha mod iehor. Grazzi talli dawwaltni.

  4. Jacques René Zammit

    Ghaziz Twannie. Hemm differenza kbira bejn a) l-Indipendenza, b) ir-Repubblika u c) il-Helsien. L-ewwel tnejn kienu asserzjoni tal-awtonomija tal-poplu Malti. Fil-kaz tal-Indipendenza hadna r-riedni tal-gvern f’idejna (jew kif ihobbu jghiu tal-lejber rghajna f’idejna) izda zammejna lir-Regina Betta bhala kap ta’ l-istat Malti (jigifieri teknikament Elizabbetta I ta’ Malta). Fil-kaz tar-repubblika 10 snin wara ghamilna tranzizzjoni minn Monarkija Demokratika ghal sistema Repubblikana bi President li ha post ir-regina bhala kap simboliku ta’ l-istat. Il-farsa tal-Helsien ma fija xejn sinjifikattiv storiku. Jekk wiehed jaghti l-importanza xierqa lir-Repubblika (1974) allura wiehed jinduna wahdu kemm ma kien baqaghlna xejn minn xiex ninhelsu. Jew konna ksibna ir-repubblika fl-74 jew le. Jekk ksibnieha u kellna rghajjna f’idejna allura minn xiex izzikk inhlisna ezattament? L-iktar l-iktar jum il-helsien ghandha tkun iccelebrata mill-movimenti pseudo hippie u anti-gwerra ghaliex irnexxielna nakkwistaw n-neutralita non-alieneata izda ironikament dawk li l-iktar ghandhom bokka bil-helsien imbaghad ghaddewna minn non-alineament fejn kellna hbieb bhal Tito, il-Jamahariya, il-Kuomitang u Koreani ta’ Fuq. Kif inhobb nghid… sic transit gloria melitae!

  5. Biex nghidlek il-verita, meta xi hadd hawn isaqsini dwar il-festi pubblici, dejjem “ninsa” jum il-helsien 🙂

  6. L-Imżebbel

    Athena, biex nghidlek il-verita, meta xi hadd jistaqsini dwar il-festi pubblici, spiss niftakar biss f’Jum il-Helsien 🙂

    Jum il-Helsien inhares lejh bhala tmiem ta’ era, ghalkemm jiddispjacini li l-era li segwiet wara ma kienet promettenti xejn.

    L-izball ta’ xi whud bhali huwa li jharsu lejn dan il-jum b’mod romantiku zzejjed, daqs li kieku din kienet xi rebha mdemmija fuq xi ghadu bhall-Assedju l-Kbir. L-istorici tal-partiti ghandhom habta joholqu dawn il-miti storikament skorretti, l-izjed biex jaghtu lis-segwaci akkaniti taghhom ‘bazi’ fuq xiex jiggustifikaw l-affiljazzjoni mal-partit taghhom.

    Jiena wiehed minn dawk li mill-festi taghna nghozz l-izjed Jum il-Helsien. Pero ftit li xejn nifhem stqarrijiet bhal “Mintoff kecca l-Inglizi ‘l barra b’kollox” u ohrajn simili, li ma jghidux il-verita shiha. Hafna li bhala jghozzu dan il-jum jinsew li l-interess politiku u strategiku ta’ l-Inglizi fil-gzejjer Maltin kull ma jmur kien beda jnaqqas, l-izjed ghax l-Ingilterra ma baqghetx dik is-superpotenza li xi darba kienet. F’das-sens, li nammira hu l-ftehim li Mintoff ghamel maghhom izjed milli l-mit fantastiku li Mintoff tqabad mal-hakkiem sakemm ghaddiet tieghu u dabrillhom rashom.

    Imma jekk qeghdin nitkellmu fuq il-fares, nemmen li f’das-sens l-ikbar farsa fl-istorja taghna kienet l-hekk imsejjah Jum l-Indipendenza, li kien gie u ghadda bla ma bidel xejn. Forsi lil dak il-jum nistghu nsejjhulu avvanz fil-mixja lejn l-Indipendeza, izda li nsejjhulu Jum l-Indipendenza tkun tassew “sad joke.”

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