What should you call residents of Valletta city – ‘Beltin or Vallettani’?
For many years, Victor Scerri has been roaming the streets of Valletta and meeting with various characters, from judges to common people who made a name for themselves and for the city. Although he was not born in Valletta, he loves the capital and claims that he should be regarded as a Vallettani and not by the name of Belti as a Valletta resident.
Żeża tal-Flagship was not only the character of Mikelanġ Borg’s popular comedy; she wasn’t even the lively woman who did everything for money.
Tereża Dalli was the owner of the Flagship Restaurant in Floriana; known for her joyful and charitable character as her popularity inspired Borg to use the Valletta resident’s name for a theatrical character in a production relating to revelry.
Victor Scerri said “as the name of Żeża tal-Flagship was popular, he used that name for the popularity of the pochade he wrote”.
Tereża Dalli is among the scores of characters and personalities researched and met by Victor Scerri, who has lived in the capital city for 45 years and wrote about every aspect of life of Valletta residents – from academics to broadcasters and sportsmen.
The author, who named his research “Għeruq Vallettani”, said he does not agree that Valletta residents are called Beltin. “Every town has its name. We should be proud of Valletta; have just celebrated the Valletta 2018 and we should be proud to say we are Vallettani”.
Teacher and author Leanne Ellul thinks otherwise. She said that the word “Beltin” has its roots and specifically refers to residents who live in Valletta city.
“The word Vallettani moves on the model of other words, as when we say Misidjani, for example; and at the same time we have the word “Beltin” which is there and everyone knows we are referring to Valletta residents”.
The teacher said that she doesn’t see why the word Beltin should not be used any more in speech and writing.