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The odd feast in five

Do we have long-term historical memory loss in the way we designate our national days?

8th September also known as Victory Day is a super day when we commemorate three glorious victories against the Turks, the French, and finally against the Italians and the Germans combined.

Keeping in mind our size, who could have imagined us beating, or coming close to beating, such worthy opponents? Pity our football is not as glorious as our warmongering, as our recent match against England confirmed when they beat us 4-0.

8th September is also one of five national days in Malta. Is there any other country, as important as us, with that many national days?

Is there any other country, as important as us, with that many national days?

Yet the September 8 feast is the oddest one. Or rather it is the odd one out of the five. Putting aside Sept 8, which celebrates victories over global top powers, the rest all centre round one thing: the blooming, bothersome, bullying Brits.

Actually, more than being about the Brits, they’re all connected to our independence and cutting off the umbilical cord uniting us to our former masters. Yes, four of our national holidays basically commemorate us bashing Blighty out of our system.

There’s Sette Giugno (7th June)—the day the occupiers murdered some of our fellow countrymen. We, the Malta peasants, the waiters, the natives, were hungry. There was a bread shortage and we rebelled, went on a rampage, and the British soldiers readied themselves, aimed and fired away to quell our anger not by giving us some ħobż biż-żejt but by intimidating us and sending some of us to meet our maker. But the bloodshed on that day has regaled us with a national day. Malta 1 Britain 0.

Independence day (21st September): After nearly two hard-slogged centuries under British rule we decided to rid ourselves of colonial shackles. Britain is out and we are a nation born; independent, free and unfettered. 2-0!

Republic Day (13th December): We now realised we still had a foreigner based in Buckingham Palace as our head of state. Off with her majesty’s head we all cried in unison. We sent the queen, her powers and her handbags packing. We became a republic, unconnected to anything colonial and truly broke the chains of our British occupation. No more Brits. 3-0!

Freedom Day (31st March): After unceremoniously showing the queen the door, it dawned on us that a load of British military personnel were still present on our territory. So we booted out all silly colonels, sergeants, admirals, sailors and privates and became supreme lords of our country. We waved goodbye to them all and wished them good riddance, at last conquering our own homeland. 4-0!

We either have long-term historical memory loss or we never felt shackled by our various occupiers like the Arabs, the Normans or the Knights as we have never given their booting out national-day status.

We either have long-term historical memory loss or we never felt shackled by our various occupiers like the Arabs, the Normans, Aragonese, or the Knights as we have never given their booting out national-day status.

So, while celebrating Victory Day, remember it is the oddest of the lot as no Brits were harmed or maligned in the process.

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