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Buzzfeed finally teaches the world about Malta

Malta makes it to Buzzfeed... and the local orbit of the web goes wild.

teodor_reljic
Teodor Reljic
19 June 2014, 12:06pm
Be grateful that you live here. Buzzfeed commands you to
Be grateful that you live here. Buzzfeed commands you to
It appears as though Malta has finally been validated as a bona fide country, if we can agree that the viral ‘listsicle’ website Buzzfeed has basically become a barometer by which the online world measures the value of anything – and the person responsible may just be getting a free trip to Malta for her trouble.
Local orbits of social media were on fire yesterday evening after an article, ‘14 Pics That Prove Malta Is The Most Underrated Country In The Mediterranean’ began to make the rounds, to the understandable glee of many Maltese users.
Penned – if we can allow ourselves to refer to Buzzfeed’s technique of compiling large photos and sprinkling hyperbolic captions on them as being related to actual writing in some way – by Erin Chack, who has yet to visit Malta, the article implores Buzzfeed’s enormous community of readers to not dismiss Malta as a tourist location because of its size and relative anonymity.
“Listen, I get that Malta isn’t Italy or Greece or any of those sexy countries you’ve actually heard of, I’m just saying it still got it going on,” one caption of Chack’s article reads.
"Aesthetically speaking," Chack qualifies at one point. "My knowledge of their politics goes as far as the Wikipedia page."
(Perhaps it would be best to keep it that way, so that the illusion can remain unsullied?)
Though its selection of clearly Google-sourced photos isn’t all that representative – spanning a rather thin range of Valletta, St Julian’s, the Azure window, Birgu and a couple of beaches – a glance at the comments the article received shows plenty of love, with a number of local users clearly proud that our little island has been regaled with a post on what is probably one of the most popular sites in the world right now.
(Though the images are also curiously devoid of people, which makes Malta look like some kind of recently-evacuated island utopia).
Some have even gone an extra mile to show their appreciation to Chack: by offering to raise €1,200 to fly Chack over to Malta for a holiday. Operating under the #GetErin2Malta hashtag and using GoGetFunding website to raise the necessary funds, the initiative has amassed €251 at the time of writing.
“I can’t believe this is happening. Haha,” Chack wrote on the initiative’s Facebook page, before adding “Would it help the cause if I mentioned my grandfather was 100% Maltese?”
Okay, kids, so: take away lessons from all of this?
1. Malta is clearly still infatuated with the concept of international attention (owing to our size and bla bla bla), as was also amply demonstrated by the online enthusiasm about Miley Cyrus waving a Maltese flag – along with a packet of its favourite cheesy snack – on stage. This year is supposed to be the year when Malta’s identity becomes an all-important issue, owing to the 50th anniversary of since Independence. So historians, anthropologists and sociologists – take note!
2. Writing a gushing article about a small country might just get you a free trip there. Any suggestions as to which other geographical “pearl in a sea of sapphire” (to borrow Chack’s own phrase) my colleagues and I could write about in the hope of bagging a free holiday? Answers below, please.

Read the Buzzfeed article here

teodor_reljic
Teodor Reljic is MaltaToday's culture editor and film critic. He joined t...
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