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Terracing is used to contain erosion in agricultural areas, and herding is confined mostly to Gozo.There is little wildlife besides insects and migratory birds.Lampuki pie is a seasonal pastry-covered fish casserole containing spinach, cauliflower, chestnuts, and sultanas. Rabbit stewed in wine is a specialty, often with some of its sauce served over pasta as a first course. Malta's decimal currency has the lira (LM) as its basic unit and one lira is equivalent to 100 cents.Stuffed octopus, squid, and cuttlefish are served with a tomato sauce, while a roulade of beef known as bragoli is served with gravy. Among favorite finger foods are hot pastizzi , in which ricotta cheese, peas, meat, and anchovies are encased in a crust. Over two-thirds of the population is employed in services, slightly less than one-third in industry, and about 3 percent in agriculture.Perhaps six hundred Maltese are married to Arabs, mostly Libyans and Palestinians.There are a few Chinese as well as illegal immigrants from Bulgaria, Albania, and Russia.Most houses lack lawns and are attached to each other in rows that nestle close to sidewalks or streets, which are often narrow.
The territory of the three inhabited islands is 94.9 square miles (320 square kilometers).
Maltese claim little knowledge of or are ambivalent about the northern Africans who contributed the foundation of their language, however.
The nation became independent in 1964, and became a republic in the British Commonwealth in 1974.
Although identification with Europe remains strong, it has been tempered by a strong emphasis on nationalism and neutrality coupled with the idea of forming a cultural bridge between Europe and northern Africa. Malta is relatively homogeneous by modern standards.
A Jewish community numbers about one hundred twenty, and settlers from India number about sixty.