Yesterday, I participated in Medieval Mdina.
While this Medieval Festival was taking place in Mdina, two other localities in Malta were ‘competing’ with the Mdina Local Council in attracting the crowd by offering two other ‘festivals’. Mgarr was celebrating ‘Festa Frawli‘, which basically promotes strawberries as a local produce. In a couple of weeks there will also be ‘Festa Mqaret‘ – mqaret are a kind of Maltese sweet fried biscuit.
Also last weekend Hal Qormi were hosting ‘Festa Nutella‘, which, on the other hand, is most notably NOT a local produce, since in fact it is produced in Italy.
I get it – every product imaginable is an excuse to invent some kind of ‘festival’ or ‘festa’ (in Maltese) to promote it and make money, but sometimes too much is TOO MUCH.
This morning I saw another local council, this time ‘Festa Bruschetta‘ was being promoted. Seriously? We all know and love the so-called ‘kisra hobz biz zejt‘ which is totally Maltese (this consists basically of freshly baked Maltese bread with tomato paste, olive oil, tomatoes, capers, pepper, salt, and spices to taste), however as such the ‘bruschetta’ can be found almost anywhere in Europe, so what is all the hype about?
Throughout the year, I remember also the Festa tal-Qargha Hamra (Pumpkin Festival), Casal Fornaro (Bread Festival), and the chocolate festival (ok we definitely did not ‘invent’ chocolate… or did we?)
Seriously WE GET IT. MALTESE PEOPLE LIKE TO EAT!
However while I am one of those persons who love to say that any excuse is good to party, I must also admit that at this point, local councils are just showing how desperate they are to make a little bit of extra money. What next? A Peanut butter revival? (Peanut butter is most definitely not a Maltese product, in fact most Maltese never even tasted it). A Treacle Pudding Feast? (this is a British dessert) A ‘Minestrone alla Genovese‘ Festa (this is obviously Italian, but then again, so is Nutella).
Please dear Local Councils, why don’t you stick to original Maltese products and food instead of trying to make up new ways of lining your pockets? Ways which actually, don’t even make any sense! If the idea is to promote Malta, its traditional way of life and its traditions STICK TO MALTA! Don’t steal other countries’ products and try to pass them off as yours! So Nutella was ‘invented’ in Qormi? Sure it was! Pft!
Festa Nutella was done in aid of a good cause rather than to generate money or promote local produce. The money was collected in aid of The Inspire Foundation. So, definitely not a competition against any other event which was held in the same weekend. Furthermore, it is normal for multiple events to be happening at the same time especially now that summer is approaching. Lets be happy that the weather was in favour and did not disrupt any of these festivals instead! 🙂
When I wrote ‘competition’ I meant a competition to attract the most people. It’s nice to know that the money was collected for a good cause at least. Still, I’m guessing local coffee shops and restaurants who profited when people who were at the event deviated there, did not donate right? The market itself and the stalls there would have donated the money made from products sold, however Qormi itself – that is the established clothes shops, pastizzi places, etc, wouldn’t. I think that’s how it works. So, the town itself did benefit. What bugs me though is that these kind of ‘festas’ are marketed as a way of encouraging Maltese traditions. In fact during the Nutella fest in particular there were children singing Maltese songs, and Maltese dances. But Nutella itself, as a product is not Maltese. So what does this have to do with the price of bread? lol (Personally I love Nutella, but then again, that’s not the point ;p)