11th November customs and traditions

Hello everyone,

11th November. A normal day for many people, but not quite for some others. One of my greatest hobbies is meeting people from all over the world, and today I learned something very interesting. The 11th of November is called ‘pocky day’ in Japan, and ‘pepero day’ in Korea.

What could this mean?

‘Pepero’ and ‘Pocky’ are two snacks sold in those respective countries. They are thin biscuit sticks usually covered with chocolate (although many other flvaours can be found such as strawberry, green tea and so on) as you can see below :

Pocky snack - chocolate flavour

Pocky snack – chocolate flavour

Pocky snack - strawberry flavour

Pocky snack – strawberry flavour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So why is this day (the 11th of November) associated with this snack?

11th November formation with sticks

11th November formation with sticks

As you can see, these sticks are symbolic for the number 1, therefore they are associated with the 11th of November. I am sure that this is a marketing campaign which was initiated by the same global snack company.

Various games are played on this day, especially in game exhibitions in the U.S and Asia and I was also told that these snacks are SOLD OUT in Asia on this day.

I did some research and I could find a variation of this snack also in Malta!

Pocky look alike sticks in Malta - Mikado

Pocky look alike sticks in Malta – Mikado

Mikado brand, which falls under the same mother company – Glico is found at a particular supermarket, and I can assure you, that the taste is delicious like the original!

On a completely different topic, the 11th of November is also referred to as ‘singles day’ in China, due to the 1’s in the date. On this day, many parties are held.

Here in Malta, it’s business as usual, no snack games, no particular parties.

How about your country? Does the 11th of November symbolise anything or is it associated with some particular tradition?

Please share with us what you think of these traditions and looking forward to seeing your traditions!

Until next time!

 

 

Origami – Japanese folding paper lessons

Hello again everyone.

It was a rather rainy weekend here in Malta. Due to the rainy days and busy week, I decided to spend my weekend indoors.

Usually, staying indoors means boring, but not necessarily. My weekend was very interesting, and thanks to some coloured paper and a little bit of imagination, you can turn a boring hour into something spectacular.

Origami - Japanese folding paper

Origami – Japanese folding paper

 

Today, I will be sharing with you a traditional Japanese form of art which has been in existence since the 17th century.

“Origami” is a Japanese word (or practice) which originates from the combination of two words ;

“ori” which means to fold and “kami” which means paper. By combining the two words, the word “origami” is created.

What is special about this paper?

By looking at it, this looks like small, square shaped colourful paper, but if you look up online, you can find some various interesting guides how to ‘transform’ “change” this simple looking sheet into something more interesting like below.

Origami cute shapes - dove, rose, box

Origami cute shapes – dove, rose, box

 

With some accurate folds, this origami paper can turn into these beautiful looking shapes! And the amazing thing is that you don’t need any material apart from this paper! No glue, no scissors, no printing, just fold the paper in the right way and enjoy the result!

In Japan, children are taught how to make origami, especially the paper crane model, which is also given as a gift to children in hospital. The latter is believed to hasten the recovery process, therefore children are taught since a young age the quality of patience, hope, praying and positivism.

Origami writing - folded paper to form C H R I S word

Origami writing – folded paper to form C H R I S word

The above is a gift I received. If you notice, the origami paper is folded in a way to form my name…can you figure it out?! Amazing isn’t it!

How about you? Have you ever done something similar? Do you practice this form of art? What other interesting shapes/animals can you do with folding paper?

I am looking forward to see that!

http://www.malta-study.com

http://www.malta-study.com/en/

christian.grech@malta-study.com

Eating Korean and Japanese food in Malta

Hello everyone,

As we entered November, Malta is starting to get a bit chillier day by day, so what better way to spend Saturday night other than with some good food?!

Last night we went to this Korean and Japanese fusion restaurant which is situated in St. Julians.

The patron chef is Korean and he specializes in Korean and Japanese dishes.

The ambiance inside is elegant, reminiscent to oriental restaurants to some certain extent. Being Saturday night, outside was a bit noisy since there is a club just opposite this restaurant, however, this didn’t affect the splendid food which was yet to come.

 

chicken yakitori

chicken yakitori

 

toppoki

toppoki

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ebi tempura- deep fried prawns with tentsuyu sauce

ebi tempura- deep fried prawns with tentsuyu sauce

 

 

 

 

Korean and Japanese starter mix

Korean and Japanese starter mix

 

 

 

 

 

 

The starters were as follows :

Yakitori (Japanese), which is grilled chicken with teriyaki sauce;

Ebi tempura (Japanese), which are deep friend prawns served with tentsuyu sauce;

Toppoki ( Korean), which are Korean rice cakes served with hot chili sauce.

The starters’ taste blended in so beautifully together as it was a mix of delicious spicy, sweet and salty foods, presented in a very beautiful and elegant way. After we were done with the starters, the main sushi rolls followed :

sushi platters -  when art itself is presented in an artistic way

sushi platters – when art itself is presented in an artistic way

Sushi is described by many as “art with food” ; this particular restaurant took this idea to a next level whereby instead of serving normal old school sushi, a slightly varied presentation followed resulted in a very artistic, yet exquisite experience.

As time goes by, sushi places and restaurants are increasing everywhere (and the same goes for Malta).

Being a great sushi lover myself, I tend to stick only with the best three or four restaurants, and this is definitely one of them.

How about yourself? When dining out, do you usually like to vary and change restaurant every-time, or would you rather stick to the same restaurant at times to play it safe?

Looking forward to reading your comments.

 

http://www.malta-study.com

http://www.malta-study.com/en/

christian.grech@malta-study.com

Maltese Restaurant and food

Good evening from Malta,

Today, I will write about a particular Maltese restaurant which serves Maltese food among other dishes.

Although not as popular as Italian restaurants, Maltese restaurants can be found all over Malta, especially in Sliema and in the northern region, whereas the latter are more in the form of clubs and not restaurants per se. Clubs are more local, less poshy and most probably you will be served directly by the owner, who owns the club.

This entry will however focus on a more classy restaurant.

Maltese restaurant

Maltese restaurant

The ambience of this particular restaurant I ate at was quite nice, quiet, with old furnishings and lighting reminiscent of traditional and old Maltese farmhouses.

Above is stuffed chicken with sausage inside. Potatoes and vegetables are usually served with Maltese dishes. In Maltese homes, as well as restaurants, Maltese people like consuming bread together with food. One will notice that most restaurants will serve bread together with the main dish.

Maltese rabbit "fenek" cooked with potatoes and vegetables

Maltese rabbit “fenek” cooked with potatoes and vegetables

This is what perhaps is the most popular Maltese dish. Maltese rabbit (“fenek”) in Maltese, is the traditional local food of the Maltese. Unlike what most foreigners think, Maltese people don’t eat rabbits regularly. On the contrary, rabbits are consumed around once every other month. The most common occasions for consuming rabbits are a ‘fenkata’ night between old friends, or some other special occasion. Maltese rabbit is ideally cooked with wine (both red and white are fine) and can be served either like the photo above, or else as a main dish, with spaghetti serving as a starter generally.

For other Maltese and local food please read more here

 

http://www.malta-study.com

http://www.malta-study.com/en/

christian.grech@malta-study.com

Chocolate Festival in Malta – 2014

Hello everyone,

Greetings from the beautiful island of Malta!

Today we will be talking about a particular festival and probably, something which most of you are interested in!

The chocolate festival, as the title says, is a festival where the main theme of this occasion is indeed chocolate!

Everyone loves chocolate, and I personally know very few people who dislike chocolate, so what if a chocolate festival was held? How would it look like? In Malta, in a town called Hamrun, this is made possible every year, where a chocolate festival is held, showcasing chocolate, art and more !

 

Malta chocolate festival - the crowd at Stradarjali street Hamrun

Malta chocolate festival – the crowd at Stradarjali street Hamrun

 

The venue : This traditional festival has been hosted in the town of Hamrun for the past years. The image above is what one would have found himself/herself into if you attended. It is your traditional/local summer event, where streets are closed for the cars, only open for the public. The streets where the festival is held is jam packed with people walking in opposite directions, trying to visit the various stalls which you will see shortly. Stalls can be found on either side of the street/s; some selling food, drinks or goods, others offer some type of service, being a game for children or adults alike; entertainment for children; art; various promotions and much more!

At a certain time, there was also a parade in the middle of the street, where soldiers were performing some simple drills, as well as a live local band was performing in front of the church.

2014-10-25 19.58.56

Malta Chocolate Festival 2014 – chocolate displays

What you see above is one of the many displays which were shown last weekend. In the picture you can find various artistic creations made entirely out of chocolate. These strange, almost futuristic creations were not for sale, but just for display.  There were also other stands where artists were painting actual paintings using a combination of white and darker chocolate. People simply stood amazed and took lots of photographs of such original art.

Malta Chocolate Festival 2014- talented man sculpting an eagle from a block of chocolate

Malta Chocolate Festival 2014- talented man sculpting an eagle from a block of chocolate

Next was something very cool to see! This talented man was sculpting an eagle out of a block of chocolate! He was sculpting the eagle in front of all the people while they were attentively observing him and taking photos and videos at the same time. I personally find his skills : patience is really astonishing ; firstly because it requires a lot of skill to actually sculpt something detailed such as this, and secondly, it requires a lot of patience not to give into temptation and actually eat a piece of the work! (something I would have most probably done!)

Malta Chocolate Festival 2014 - small scaled village close up

Malta Chocolate Festival 2014 – small scaled village close up

Apart from all of this, I eventually ended up where the big crowd was…a miniature village, made entirely out of chocolate! This was definitely the highlight of the whole night, as the detail was something exceptional! I am sure that the creator of this spent a lot of time not only crafting this excellent piece of art, but also planning, sketching and doing the whole thing from start to finish! I really appreciate art, especially when it’s modern or original art ; I never cease to be amazed by what the human mind can be capable of! Hats off to the individual who came up with and actually executing such an idea

Malta Chocolate Festival 2014 - small scaled village

Malta Chocolate Festival 2014 – small scaled village

Overall, this year, the official Malta Chocolate Festival was an interesting initiative, the weather was great, there was a good atmosphere in this usually not so busy town and definitely a good opportunity for young people to show their talents. Should you be around in Malta at the end of October, make sure to give this event a try!

 

Malta Chocolate Festival 2014 - chocolate goods!

Malta Chocolate Festival 2014 – chocolate goods!

 

And now, if you don’t mind, I will go and enjoy some chocolate products I bought, after all, it wouldn’t have been a chocolate festival if one doesn’t experience it to the full !

 

http://www.malta-study.com

http://www.malta-study.com/en/

christian.grech@malta-study.com

Festive seasons in Malta!

Hello everyone,

It has been a few days since I posted here. I hope you are all enjoying your holidays in Malta!
Today I will share with you some foods in restaurants which I am enjoying with everyone during these days!

It is nice meeting you here in Malta, and I wish you all happy holidays!
If you would like to meet during these festivities, please let me know, I would be glad to meet for lunch or dinner together!

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Enjoy eating in Malta!

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Sea food in Malta

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Malta bread

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Sweets in Malta!

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Chocolate fountain in Malta

English website : www.malta-study.com/en

Japanese website : www.malta-study.com

email : christian.grech@malta-study.com

Christmas in Malta with Malta Study !

Hello everyone !

Christmas is almost here and everyone can feel the Christmas atmosphere in Malta!

In Malta, Christmas is a very important event. Being a Catholic nation, we value the importance of Christmas spirit very much and we try and ‘live’ with a Christmas spirit during these special days.

Once again, this year has been a fantastic year for Malta Study!

We were able to help a lot of people who needed help and assistance with their study abroad and this year has been the best year so far!

I, would like to say a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who believed in Malta Study and I promise you to keep assisting and helping you with your daily life in Malta whenever you need!

I am sure that these days, everyone is busy with Christmas dinners and get togethers!

Here I will share some of the best moments in 2013 with some of the best restaurants and foods in Malta and memories with friends and loved ones.

Thank you very much for your support!

 

Dining in Malta with Malta Study 2013

Dining in Malta with Malta Study 2013

Dining in Malta with Malta Study 2013

Dining in Malta with Malta Study 2013

Dining in Malta with Malta Study 2013

Dining in Malta with Malta Study 2013

Dining in Malta with Malta Study 2013

Dining in Malta with Malta Study 2013

Dining in Malta with Malta Study 2013

Dining in Malta with Malta Study 2013

Dining in Malta with Malta Study 2013

Dining in Malta with Malta Study 2013

 

13th December (Malta National Holiday)

Hello everyone.

I hope you are well.

For those of you who are in Malta, you might know already that the 13th of December is a holiday in Malta!

Yes, that is right :)

Good news for those who work or go to school in Malta since it will be a long weekend!

I will tell you a small story about this national holiday.

13th of December, is the day also known as Republic Day in Malta.

On the 13th of December, 1974 Malta became Republic, which means that the former British colony (Malta) was transformed into a republic country and the new head of state was the president in Malta (at that moment Sir Anthony Mamo)

 

The monument commemorating the Republic Day in Malta found in Marsa

The monument commemorating the Republic Day in Malta found in Marsa

 

Soccer tournament at Malta University!

Hello everyone,

I hope you are all fine.

Christmas is almost here. Have you already done your shopping yet?

I haven’t started yet, but I hope I will be able to start my Christmas shopping soon :)

If you are in Malta, I recommend doing Christmas shopping in Valletta or Sliema. The shops should be open quite for quite a while these weeks.

Today I would like to talk about an activity I did with my friends!

I tell you something about me. A few of my hobbies are soccer and gym! I love sports and every day I try to do some physical activity for example soccer (football) or gym or something else!

How about you? Do you like sports? Please tell me about your favourite sports activities! Maybe we can practice something together someday!

Below I show you two photos from a soccer tournament I had! The weather is still good in Malta, even it’s almost mid December! We were lucky since we could enjoy playing soccer with a nice temperature :)

This soccer tournament was played at the University of Malta football grounds!

Thank you for reading ! My next entry will be about my other hobby, going to the gym!

1 day soccer tournament at the University football pitches in Msida, Malta

1 day soccer tournament at the University football pitches in Msida, Malta

playing soccer in mid December in this nice weather in Malta

playing soccer in mid December in this nice weather in Malta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

English website : www.malta-study.com/en

Japanese website : www.malta-study.com

email : christian.grech@malta-study.com