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In the Cultural Participation Survey 2016 young people from the age groups 16-24 and 25-34 had the highest rate of participation in most cultural activities compared to other age groups. The below are a few salient points on young people’s cultural participation based on these statistics followed by a summary of main statistical findings (total population aged 16+ for the survey amounted to 360,335):
- Young people registered the highest rate of internet use for cultural purposes. The most popular activities included listening to music online, watching movies and reading newspaper articles.
- The 16-24 age group had the highest readership rate (63% read at least one book in 2016).
- Young people are more likely to listen to music everyday
- Young people registered the highest attendance in most cultural activities from all age groups except for dance performances, museums and historical sites. As for art exhibitions it is the 16-24 age group that the highest attendance rate followed by the 45-54 age group. The most attended cultural activities by young people are cinema and live music performances.
- The 25-34 age group are had the highest rate of regular yearly attendance to traditional events from all age groups except for Good Friday/passion plays. Parish feasts are the most popular from the traditional events which is also the case for the rest of the population.
- As for engagement, the most popular cultural activity in which young people take part is creating digital artworks or animations for the 16-24 age group and crafts for the 25-34 age group.
- Young people are the most likely to have volunteered with a cultural organisation at some point in their life. However the 16-24 age group was the second most likely to have volunteered in a cultural organisation in the 12 months preceding the survey after the 35-44 age group.
- The 16-24 age group are the most likely to perceive themselves as being artists (28% of them do so) from all age groups.
The survey also revealed some barriers that young people face to participate in cultural activities. The 25-34 age group were the mostly likely to agree with the statement “Other commitments in my life prevent me from having enough time to go to arts or cultural events” with 69% saying they tend to agree or strongly agree. Also 16-24 and 25-34 age groups had the highest rate of agreement with the statement “I do not find enough of the kind of events I am interested to attend” (37% and 33% respectively).
Culture is not specifically defined in the National Cultural Policy and the document clearly acknowledges the difficulty and restrictions in defining culture. However, the principles guiding the policy indicate an open and evolving definition that is driven by the concept of culture as a network which bridges differences and which brings people and communities together, while providing opportunities for self-fulfillment through employment and economic activity. Section 8 of the Maltese Constitution states that "The State shall promote the development of culture and scientific and technical research." Malta subscribes to the notions of culture adopted by international bodies such as UNESCO and the Council of Europe.
According to the Cultural Heritage Act cultural heritage means movable or immovable objects of artistic, architectural, historical, archaeological, ethnographic, paleontological and geological importance and includes information or data relative to cultural heritage pertaining to Malta or to any other country. This includes archaeological, paleontological or geological sites and deposits, landscapes, groups of buildings, as well as scientific collections, collections of art objects, manuscripts, books, published material, archives, audio-visual material and reproductions of any of the preceding, or collections of historical value, as well as intangible cultural assets comprising arts, traditions, customs and skills employed in the performing arts, in applied arts and in crafts and other intangible assets which have a historical, artistic or ethnographic value.