46% Of Maltese Believe They Will Go To Heaven When They Die

46% Of Maltese Believe They Will Go To Heaven When They Die
Sep 20 2023 Share

New research indicates that a significant portion of the Maltese population perceives death as a release from suffering, and nearly half believe in an afterlife. 

Among 400 surveyed individuals, 46% expressed some level of agreement with the statement “I will be in heaven after I die,” while 31% disagreed and 23% remained undecided. 

The study, conducted by the University of Malta’s Faculty for Social Wellbeing during the summer and as shared by Times of Malta, revealed that those aged over 65 exhibited the strongest belief in heaven and an afterlife. 

About 32% of this demographic strongly anticipated reuniting with loved ones post-mortem. Additionally, 78% concurred with the notion that death serves as a liberation from pain and suffering, a sentiment more prevalent among older age groups.

The research also suggested that Maltese culture tends to avoid discussing death, with 47% disagreeing to some extent and 21% adopting a neutral stance on the statement “Maltese culture and society are open to discussing death.” 

Data collection was facilitated by research company Sagalytics, which conducted telephone interviews with 400 individuals aged over 18 during the summer. The Death Attitude Profile-Revised (DAP-R), a psychological assessment tool, gauged attitudes and beliefs about death and dying. 

Respondents rated statements on a Likert scale from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree). Results revealed that 69% strongly agreed that “death is no doubt a grim experience,” averaging a score of 6.26 out of 7. While 67% acknowledged death’s inevitability as a natural, undeniable event, a sense of fear persisted. 

More than half (59%) admitted that the thought of their own death induces anxiety, and 51% stated that they actively avoid contemplating death. Interestingly, only 46% reported an intense fear of death, while 13% remained undecided.


Malta Had Highest Bus Use Across The EU

Malta Had Highest Bus Use Across The EU
Sep 19 2023 Share

In 2021, Maltese citizens demonstrated the highest bus usage in the European Union, with 13.3% of total transport performance attributed to coaches, buses, and trolley buses, according to Eurostat. 

Following closely were Hungary (12.8%) and Ireland (12.4%). Malta also had a relatively high car usage at 81.4%, surpassing the EU average of 79.7%. This figure is notably influenced by the limited availability of alternative mass transportation methods like trains and metros in Malta.

Cyprus, another EU nation lacking registered train usage, also exhibited above-average bus utilisation. On average, train usage across EU member states stood at 5.6%. Malta introduced free public bus rides for residents in October 2022. Eurostat’s data was based on passenger-kilometres, representing one passenger traveling one kilometre.

Regarding other modes of transport, Croatia led in air passenger-kilometres at 25.4%, followed by Bulgaria (16.3%) and Spain (13.1%). Austria retained the highest share (8.6%) of rail passenger-kilometres, trailed by France (8.3%) and the Netherlands (8%). 

In sea transport, Croatia led with 2.7% of passenger-kilometres, followed by Greece (1.6%) and Estonia (1.5%). Despite shifts in transport patterns over the past decade, cars continued to dominate, accounting for 79.7% of passenger-kilometres in the EU in 2021.


Thousands In Fund Schemes For Voluntary Youth Associations

Sep 19 2023 Share

Aġenzija Żgħażagħ once again launched several funds in schemes for voluntary youth associations or associations that work with young people, as well as for music tuition in band clubs. These schemes are being launched every year with the amount of funds increasing evermore. This year, the total amount that will be given to voluntary organisations reaches €300,000. The schemes A4U, BeActive, and the Tuition of Musical Instruments aim to continue to increase wealth in the community through projects carried out by voluntary organisations. Each organisation that applies to benefit from these schemes can take up to a maximum of €4,000 in order to further facilitate the work in the youth sector.

Parliamentary Secretary for Youth, Research and Innovation Keith Azzopardi Tanti underlined the importance of similar schemes aimed particularly at young people. “It is important that we do our best so that our youths are nurtured in voluntary work whose profit is not a monetary one but of personal satisfaction. The government, through Aġenzija Żgħażagħ, is giving a small aid to assist these volunteers who give their time and strength in the community so they will be able to have more resources to work with.” He concluded by encouraging more youth voluntary organisations or those that work with young people to apply for such initiatives to increase their contribution in society.

Manager of Youth Empowerment at Aġenzija Żgħażagħ, Mrs Maria Borg, stressed about Aġenzija Żgħażagħ’s willingness to continue offering similar schemes and how important it is that more youth organisations or those that work with young people seek to benefit from them. She claimed that through the A4U and BeActive schemes, as well as the music tuition schemes, Aġenzija Żgħażagħ has managed to create a strong link between various organisations to foster more collaboration, not only with the agency itself, but even between them so that they learn and grow together, support each other, and create bigger and more ambitious projects.

Applications are open until October 23 at 12pm and can be accessed from the site www.vofunding.org.mt or youth.gov.mt.


Michael Jackson’s Iconic MoonWalk Hat Up For Auction

Michael Jackson's Iconic MoonWalk Hat Up For Auction
Sep 19 2023 Share

On September 26, Hotel Drouot in Paris will host an auction featuring around 200 pieces of rock memorabilia. 

The standout item is Michael Jackson’s iconic black fedora, anticipated to fetch between €60,000 and €100,000.

However, organizer Arthur Perault acknowledges that valuations for Jackson’s belongings have declined due to concerns about the sale of counterfeits and accusations against the late pop star.

The fedora gained fame when Jackson wore it during a televised Motown concert in 1983, where he performed “Billie Jean” and introduced his signature move, the moonwalk. 

Adam Kelly, a spectator, picked up the hat, expecting Jackson’s team to retrieve it. When they didn’t, he held onto it for years before it passed through private collectors, eventually landing in Paris for auction.

Other notable items on the block include a guitar owned by blues legend T-Bone Walker (estimated up to 150,000 euros), a suit worn by Martin Gore of Depeche Mode, and one of Madonna’s gold records. 

Additionally, a section of a wall from the recently closed Paris venue Bus Palladium, bearing the signatures of rock luminaries, is valued at 5,000 to 8,000 euros. Co-organizers Lemon Auction made waves last year with the sale of Noel Gallagher’s smashed guitar from the night Oasis disbanded, which fetched 385,500 euros. 

This month, Freddie Mercury’s belongings, including the piano on which he composed “Bohemian Rhapsody,” garnered a total of 46.5 million euros at Sotheby’s, drawing bidders from 76 countries.