Monday, December 7, 2009

My role as a Maltese émigré*

As a Maltese émigré I am different from other Maltese people: I have left the island and chosen not to return, as a consequence my experience of Malta is different to that of other Maltese.

1. I have a very clear idea of what I miss, of what makes me homesick when I am away.

2. On my return I am able to compare my memories with the reality I am faced with, and in doing so I notice change.

3. I am able to compare the state of the country with that of my new ‘home’.

My relationship with Malta is one of homesickness and frustration, a result of the differences between memory and reality.

Note: I wish to be cautious about being yet another colonizer, who arrives and assumes they know better than the locals.

*I refer to myself as an émigré, this is a French term that refers to a person who has “migrated out,” it often carries connotations of politico-social self-exile.

1 comment:

  1. The number of three or four generations of Maltese emigrants and their families today exceeds the actual population of Malta. Mass emigration has primarily been to Australia although there is a strong presence in the United Kingdom and a sprinkling all over Europe, primarily in Italy. Such emigrants, particularly those in Australia because of their number, tend to congregate in specific areas where they retain Maltese customs and usages. In most cases they make occasional visits to Malta to see relatives and old friends – and this includes third and fourth generation visitors born outside Malta. Ties are strong and the number of cases where migrants return for good is substantial.