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Adoption Agency Cancels Children’s Party At L-Arka Ta’ Noe After Owner’s ‘Joke’ On Indians

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A local adoption agency that specialises in bringing children from India to Malta opted to cancel its party at L-Arka Ta’ Noe in Siġġiewi after a public status by the establishment’s owner was interpreted as “xenophobic”.

Anton Rea Cutajar, the park’s owner, posted a status to his Facebook page, saying he “wishes that cowboys would come to Malta so that we stop seeing Indians around”.

“Workers at the grocers are Indians, workers at supermarkets are Indians, cab drivers are Indians, everywhere you look, it’s Indians,” he wrote in the now-deleted status. 

A parent of an adoptive child informed Lovin Malta that the venue for the party was changed after the organisers saw his Facebook post and found it offensive and in bad taste.

“We had a Christmas party planned for our adoptive children from India booked there! Obviously, it was canceled after seeing this post,” the parents told Lovin Malta.

The adoption agency, which is specifically for children adopted from India, also confirmed with Lovin Malta the venue was indeed changed for the aforementioned reason.

Upon contacting Cutajar for a comment, he told Lovin Malta that his status was intended “purely as a joke” and that he had even offered free entrance for the children in question.

Though Cutajar owns the venue, a separate catering company, Bonaci Caterers, actually handles parties and events, and have distanced themselves from the Indian comment.

The status in question

The status in question

After Cutajar took down his post, he uploaded an apology post, stressing that the previous post was just a joke. 

“If there was someone that was offended by my previous post about Indians, I apologise. Maybe there were some families that have Indian children and they were offended, it wasn’t my intention, it was just a joke,” he wrote.

However, one of the parents was still left unimpressed.

“The hypocrisy of this person is unbelievable, he’s annoyed with Indians but happy to take their money,” the parent continued. 

“His xenophobic post made me realise how widespread and socially accepted racism still is on our island. It worries me that a well-known businessman thinks it’s okay to post such racist ‘jokes’ and for others to support it with likes and comments, it just makes it worse,” they said.

Lovin Malta toured L-Arka’ ta’ Noe to find out more about Cutajar and his animals in his natural habitat.

Watch the full feature below:

Do you think Cutajar’s status was just a joke?

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Sasha is interested in investigating environmental matters, humans and art. Some know her as Sasha tas-Sigar. Inspired by nature and the changing world. Follow her on Instagram at @saaxhaa and send her your stories at [email protected]

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