Maltese Ethnicity: Origin And Cultural History

The Maltese ethnicity is a fascinating culture indeed. It’s one of the oldest known Sicilian and Calabrian blends as well as a vibrant mixture of several others. This little European archipelago is one of the more overlooked destinations in Europe.

In this article, I’m going to cover what the Maltese ethnicity is, how it started and where it originated from.

is Maltese an ethnicity or nationality

Many individuals from Malta regard the term “Maltese” to be an ethnicity as well as a language and nationality.

MALTESE ETHNICITY - LMSHERO

Despite being a part of the EU, Maltese people rarely consider themselves to be “Europeans.” Instead, the common consensus is that Malta is a special nation that serves as a link between Europe and Northern Africa. 

Many Maltese refer to themselves on a secondary level and amongst themselves by the name of their island, such as “Maltese” for those from the island of Malta or “Gozitan” for those from the island of Gozo. 

Additionally, it is thought that the islands have a distinctive history, culture, and language.

What is a Maltese person’s ethnicity?

A person from Malta’s ethnicity is Maltese. The majority of people who live in Malta are of Maltese ethnicity, which is a combination of many different contemporary and historic ethnicities. 

This indicates that Malta’s ethnic composition is largely homogeneous. On the islands, in addition to the Maltese, there are also small populations of Palestinians, British, Greeks. and Sindhis. 

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What is the official language of Malta?

Malti is the official language of the Maltese people. As the only European member of the Afro-Asiatic family, Malta is distinguished linguistically by the Maltese language (Malti). There are few distinctions between dialects of Maltese and it is widely spoken and understood. 

This indicates that language is crucial in helping the Maltese people develop a shared sense of identity. Nevertheless, a large number of people in Malta speak English, and some may also understand Italian. 

The Maltese language, which is written using the Latin alphabet in its traditional form, is a distinctive hybrid vernacular that is mostly Semitic but has a strong Romance (Italian) superstructure.

Malti evolved from an extinct dialect of Arabic (Siculo-Arabic) that was spoken in Sicily by natives. These natives were at the time religiously split into Muslims who had recently converted from Christianity in Sicily and Greek-rite Christians who continued to practice their religion.

Malta’s language has incorporated a sizable amount of Sicilian and Italian lexicons over the course of its history. Additionally, it has a few dozen French loanwords and a far smaller number of English loanwords.

In Malta’s language, anglicisms are more prevalent in conversational Maltese than in literary Maltese.

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What is the origin of the Maltese people?

Roman Catholicism and speaking Maltese are characteristics of the modern Maltese population. Maltese people are the progeny of Sicilian and Calabrian immigrants who migrated to the Maltese islands at the start of the second millennium and underwent extensive mixing and hybridization. 

After the Ifriqiyian invasion by the Aghlabids in AD 870, there had been a two-century period of depopulation before this occurred.

In 1091, the Normans took control of the island, which they totally re-Christianized by 1249. The prerequisites for the development of the Maltese language from the now-extinct Siculo-Arabic dialect were formed by this re-Christianization.

Additionally, the Phoenicians, Romans, and Byzantines who once lived on the islands left few remnants because most historical attributes were destroyed and replaced.

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FAQs

What skin color do Maltese people have? 

Maltese people typically possess pale skin (white or Caucasian),  green, blue, or hazel eyes, and freckled skin that easily burns and peels. With some Phoenician and Northern African ancestry, the Maltese have the closest genetic ties to the people of Southern Italy (Sicily and Calabria).

Do Maltese people speak other languages?

Along with Italian, many Maltese can also speak or comprehend some French, English, and quite a few can speak Spanish and German languages.

What continent is Malta in?

South of Sicily (which is a region of Italy), in the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, is where the island nation of Malta is located.

Conclusion 

There are many debates surrounding the concept, as well as being an ever-changing idea. For some, Maltese ethnic identity stems from a racial/biological bond towards the Maltese Islands. Other theories relate it to language, religion, customs, and traditions. 

Malta is a small island country that has a population of just over 440,000. Malta may not have much in terms of natural resources, but it does have some beautiful scenery which makes the place attractive to tourists from all over the world. 

Maltese history has been riddled with centuries of foreign rule and influence. Throughout this time many cultures have come together to create a Maltese identity. Malta is also known for its unique culture, especially among those who come from other parts of the world. 

I hope you found this article helpful. You can also learn more about other ethnicities and countries on Lmshero

Thanks for reading.