How to qualify yourself as tal pepe or tal hamallu
In Malta, we have always enjoyed the constant battle between tal-pepe versus il-hamallu. By extension, it is the battle between the higher versus lower class people, or ‘il-puliti jew tas-sawt’.
In this article, we discuss those renowned as tal-pepe and highlight a number of characteristics which make someone fall in this social class category. We also discuss the typical traits of the hamallu mis-sawt.
Being from Sliema.
The epitome of being truly tal-pepe is by being born and bred in Sliema, one of the elite localities in Malta. (Elite.. my ass)
Speaking in broken English.
Speaking to your friends and relatives in half English half Maltese, is also a key trait of such people. Being able to converse fluently in English, mimicking a British accent is definitely the way to go if you want to appear posh by Maltese standards. Have you realised we loose the ‘R’ when we try so ha’d?
You must own a Mercejdijs!
What tal-pepe person are you if you don’t own a nice car? You will need to complement your overall sophisticated style with your daily Mercedes and a weekend car such as a Porsche, Jaguar, BMW or Audi.. or a Bentley! If it was paid by daddy, much better!
It is important to maintain your image by wearing top of the range branded clothes, where each garment piece costs hundreds. Oh and a small brand which doesn’t show on my shirt is not worth the money.
High paying job.
You will need a good job to maintain your status. Preferably, in combination with a great income, your work is one of the most respected professions, such as a lawyer or an accountant, or an inherited business. Heqq, ahjar mix-xejn hux!
Academic qualifications or faking it.
To contribute to this successful persona, you must claim a long list of academic qualifications under your belt. Preferably some of these need to come from a foreign university, because you know, a degree from the University of Malta sounds too cheap.
On a separate fold, we will find the opposite extremes of those tal-pepe, normally referred to as the rude hamalli. So what are the traits of the Maltese hamalli?
This segment of people normally have their own set of statements, when communicating with others. Such statements include “Aw hi”, “Aw buli”, “Aw kugin” amongst other statements which may not be fit to share in this article.
Making fun of the English speakers.
Not that I am a ‘hamallu’, but equal to the fun I had describing ‘tel-pepe’, Maltese people who speak in English revolt the hamallu. They are a disgrace to Malta’s identity. If Malta has its own language, then why do you speak in English? kif tista ma tidghix!
Loud cars, spoilers and stickers.
The normal sound of a standard car will not suffice. The engine needs to make sounds which alert the entire neighbourhood of your arrival. This must be coupled with loud music whilst your tinted windows are open. That way everyone can enjoy the tune and congratulate you on how ‘ta l’ostja’ your car is. But this is not enough. Your car must have one of those stickers with your family nickname on, or the names of your 7 children: Denzel, Shalaia, Shakira, Rocky, Elvis, Zalayn.. ( we might be risking it here)
For the hamallu, there is no need to invest a lot of money in clothes. Kiss my ass bro!
So which segment is the best? And under which category do you fall in? Love you all 😀