After receiving the 25th e-mail from a friend that included the question “Where is Malta, actually?”, I decided to devote a blog post to this recurring question. I cannot do so however, without voicing my despair about people’s lack of geographical knowledge. After all, Malta is a member state of the European Union, so it’s not as if I moved to Guadalcanal or Onotoa. (I had also attempted to describe Malta’s location in my first blog post about moving to Malta.)
So, here is the map of Europe. Malta is within the red circle towards the bottom, in the Mediterranean Sea, between Sicily (Italy) and Libya (North Africa). Yes, it’s quite small.
For those who don’t know where Europe is, there is a map of the world in the bottom right corner.
And why is Malta part of Europe instead of Africa?
That’s easy. A British law of 1801 (“Malta Act”, 41 Geo 3, c103) settles this question: “… the said island of Malta and dependencies thereof shall be deemed taken, and construed to be part of Europe for all purposes, and as to all matters and things whatever; any law or laws, usage or custom, or Act or Acts …”
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Malta looks beautfiul! Now you can be a waterbaby and be near the ocean all the time! Very cool!
not an ocean, but the sea.
It’s quite funny how people imagine Malta is part of the Canary Islands. We have a house in Valletta ( we live most of our time in England ) and people always ask if Valletta is in ‘ Tenerife or Gran Canaria ‘. Unbelievable! Yet the Island surely made it’s mark in the second world war as ‘ the most bombed place on earth’. They are very brave and tenacious people and i have the upmost respect for them. May i ask you, Herr Moser, how you support yourself on your travels?
Of course you may ask: I do a bit of freelancing, mainly translations and legal advice work. It’s enough to cover the bills if one knows how to travel cheaply.
Sadly, very funny!
I think the most worrying aspect of people’s ignorance is the fact they don’t feel ashamed of it at all! If you don’t know where Malta is, then just you can still use a part of your brain to figure out you can easily Google it and avoid appearing a total ignorant!!! If there’s one advantage is availability of modern technologies is that they can help us to appear less unprepared and stupid!
You are lucky that you live in Italy.
Even if people don’t know where Italy is, at least they realise how embarrassing it would be to ask and they refrain from posing the question.
Can you believe it: yesterday somebody from Italy asked me “where is Malta?” How can people not even know their neighbouring countries?
They probably don’t even know Malta is a country… People’s ignorance is so depressing!
You are unfortunately right. A whole lot of people ask “What is Malta? Is it Italy? Is it a city? Does it belong to Spain?” It drives me crazy.
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Geography really has fallen out of fashion in the last 100 years or so, hasn’t it?
I am afraid it really has.
As a child, I had a map of the world hanging over my bed and I was looking at the continents, countries and cities every night. My parents gave me books about explorers and their voyages. I am glad that a lot of it stuck.
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i love malta and its great that you can visit new zealand next door