Spiteri is not a politician even though he loves his country
like hell. Many do not know him by name but if someone whisper's
the word "Kilin" then everyone will stand up and notice.
The children just love reading his books and his weekly features
on the popular magazine, Saghtar.
Today, living quietly at the age of 85 he still finds time to
read, write and experience the few nice things that life still
gives. "I am not a young man anymore and lately I have been
losing some of my eye-sight, so it's not that easy. But I still
work on my computer and always try to keep myself occupied,"
"Kilin" hails from Rabat and is in love with literature.
But he was a late starter and only started writing poems and stories
when he became a grandfather. He remembers that the first poem
he wrote was "Jekk qatt ma doqt il-benna taz-Zebbuga."
Spiteri also contributed a lot in the local newspapers and wrote
about the importance of all languages. "Obviously the Maltese
language is something which I adore, it's rich an healthy but
unfortunately it is not being used well. There was pressure in
the past and even today there is an awareness for the language
to be read and talked well even at media level. But as always,
following some tough measures at first, we go back to square one.
They tried to do it at the PBS long time ago and in some other
stations, but it never materialised.
"Languages are all rich and are all important. The BBC
and RAI give example on how a language should be read. I taught
myself to read several languages including Spanish and French.
Languages are a way of life and culture."
Kilin is the father of seven children, grandfather of 17 and
great-grandfather of 12. Besides writing books for children, Kilin's
other hobbies are chess, photography, classical music and acting.
Today's world he finds tougher than before with fewer values.
He said that before the young would respect everyone but today
they've really lost their identity. Television, although a good
invention has done as much harm as good to the Maltese society.
"It is better being informed of what is happening in other
countries but on the other hand, copying what other countries
do, may sometimes work against you. We have not kept the same
identity. Even during feasts, everyone used to buy and wear the
best dress or suit available, now it's all drinking and shouting
rude words and abuse.
"Unfortunately the idea that everyone can do whatever he
or she likes has become something that has to do with Maltese
culture. Stealing, swearing etc. has become the order of the day.
Even our youths have become like a herd. If the majority say that
one can't have fun except at Paceville, then everyone goes to
"Marriages have become like a joke. Marry for a year or
two and change partners. We have become worse than dogs."
Kilin also said that he has been happily married for 61 years,
so why can't today generation be loyal, it is something which
both partners promise when the get married. But today even promises
have become a joke.
But Kilin also said; "I am not stating that everything
is bad and rotten in this country. The people that run the MUSEUM
are doing a wonderful job helping others moving on to the right
track. Let's hope that there will be more of them.'"
Kilin was talking to Ray Abdilla