Morocco has a very young population, more than half of the population is younger than 30 years. People from Morocco can be some of the most interesting people you will ever meet. Their beautiful country is one of the best tourist destinations in all of Africa, offering sights, sounds and ambiance like you’ve never experienced before.
There’s so much to do and explore in Morocco and we’re sure you’ve probably heard more than half of it. But there’s one half you probably don’t know. And that’s all to do with the interesting people of Morocco.
Below are 7 great things you may not have known about Moroccans.
What you didn’t know about Moroccan people
The internet is replete with facts about Morocco and its people. These are useful for getting a feel for the country and a general idea about what you’ll find when you get there. After all, you don’t want to get on a plane to Morocco telling your mates “I hear it’s just like Italy dear.”
But that’s not what we’re after here. There’s a lot that is known, and then some. Here’s where you’ll find out about the “some” that’ll give you far more insight into Morocco and Moroccans. Well, here goes.
We had to start with this because it’s one of the quirkiest, fun, and unusual. Morocco is a country of bright colors. Apart from the colored pigments on sale at almost every souk, the country’s ancient cities are done up in bright, inviting colors winking at you from every shop, corner, and tapestry.
But the Moroccans take it to a whole new level with the color blue. From the Blue Men of the Sahara Desert to the Blue City of Chefchaouen to the famous Yves Saint Laurent Majorelle Blue gardens, you’ll have more than your daily dose of the color blue, and you’ll absolutely love it.
There’s just something weirdly warm about having the colors jump out at you. Get a taste of it and you’ll be a raving ambassador soon enough.
#2: National siesta
Moroccans are religious about their midday shut-eye, usually after lunch. It’s not unusual for shops to close up for an hour or two midday so the owners can indulge in a bit of kip.
Although, there’s no national rule mandating a siesta (obviously) you’ll be hard-pressed to believe otherwise.
Like Mediterranean countries, Morocco is very hot and humid in summer, especially in cities close to the desert. To escape the hottest part of the day Moroccans will get some shut-eye after a nice midday meal.
#3: Soccer craze
If you’re wondering how you’ll keep up with your favorite soccer team during your stay in Morocco, we’re pleased to inform you that your worries are unnecessary. Moroccans just love their football, known as ‘koura’ in Arabic.
Although this craze is mostly restricted to males, it’s not unusual to see a few female folks maintain a healthy interest. Most youngsters love engaging in a friendly game of football after school or work and local clubs are very popular. When it’s game time, most bars and restaurants will tune in to air the latest installments of your favorite European club competitions.
And when the time for the major club and national competitions comes around, you’ll hardly be able to watch anything else.
7 Spectacular Things Morocco is Known For
#4: Bread spoons
The bread spoons! what is that? After reading a few sentences you will understand what I am talking about. One of the most alluring things about Morocco is its strong ties to its rich cultural heritage. Everywhere you look, there are hints of its ancient history peeking out from underneath the modern veneer.
One of the quaint leavings of this rich heritage is the Moroccans’ love for bread. Bread is eaten with almost every meal- with salads, soups, meat, and even with rice or fries. Sometimes bread even replaces your cutlery, scooping up your food with a chunk of bread as you would with a spoon or fork. Moroccan bread is delicious and unlike the sliced bread found in supermarkets, it is much healthier and more nutritious. Typically bread comes as small flat loaves that may be covered in leftover wheat husks, although a wide variety of styles can be found. While meandering through the souks, you are likely to come across the age-old bakeries where bread is still baked communally by the local baker.
Prepare to pack on some pounds during your stay in Morocco as bread is freely handed out in restaurants and believe me you’ll constantly be munching down on and dipping your bread in all your meals. Thankfully all the walking and heat will ensure you come home your current size.
Bread with freshly made argan butter is amazing, so is bread dunked in olive oil or used to clean your plate after your soup or tagine.
You won’t really know until you try it. So, bread spoon anyone?
#5: Language skills
Moroccans are adept at languages. They don’t take too long to get the basic words of new and difficult languages, probably because of the stunning number of primary languages that are spoken in the country.
Classical Arabic is used in formal settings, especially where there’s no common dialect. Darija is the Moroccan dialect and is spoken almost everywhere in the country. Interestingly this language is only spoken and not written. Tamazight (Berber) is the ancient language of Morocco and only became a national official language in 2011. French is the language of business, used for all official documents. English also finds itself in the mix as the language of the cities and tourists, it is mainly spoken by tourism and hospitality workers and also by the younger generation. Spanish is often spoken in the north of the country. Here and there you meet people who speak Germanic languages.
Moroccans are so multilingual, they can combine any two or more of these languages in the same sentence! And probably add your own tongue into the mix too. You definitely have no need to worry about not being understood.
#6: Eating late
Moroccans typically start the day with a light meal while subsequent meals progressively get heavier until it ends with an admirable mountain called dinner.
Lunch is typically just a snack of tea and nuts or bread with olive oil, mesmen, or harira soup. The family meal comes much later in the day and with far more variety, as well as quantity. Apparently, it’s important to end the day well.
If you are invited to have dinner in a Moroccan home, there are some things you need to note: You’ll be eating with your hands, from a large bowl, around 11:00 pm.
#7: Everyone’s a foodie
If you’re a foodie, you’ll absolutely love Morocco. And even if you’re not a foodie, it won’t take much to convert you and get you raving about the Moroccan delicacies because they’re just heavenly.
First, everyone loves themselves a cup of mint tea referred to fondly as Berber whiskey. Moroccans take it with everything and at all times. You’ll probably be offered several hundred cups during your stay. Take it, as saying no might be considered an insult. Salesmen frequently lure tourists into their shops by offering them free tea, however, most Moroccans are very friendly and hospitable people and love welcoming tourists into their homes to share tea or a meal. Often times you’ll find salesmen will live above their small stalls so don’t be too alarmed if invited to have tea.
Moroccan mint tea is delicious and refreshing, albeit sometimes extremely sweet. It’s also interesting how different the tea tastes in the regions of Moroccan due to the type of mint used and the amount of sugar added. The pouring of mint tea is also a fascinating ritual.
Then there are the “national” dishes. Every Friday, the entire nation indulges in a meal of couscous. It’s a staple dish made from tiny, steamed, durum semolina balls and stewed vegetables, usually with meat. Tagine is the national favorite. The meal usually has a protein base, supplied by beef, chicken, fish, lamb rabbit, or goat; and is stacked with local vegetables usually potatoes, carrots, marrow, and tomatoes. Tagine is cooked in special conical pottery dishes usually over a coal fire. One taste is all it takes and you’ll be hooked for life!
Come have the experience of your life
Morocco is beautiful, fun, and refreshing. But you won’t know this from your living room. Schedule your next vacation for Morocco and come to experience the pearl of the desert first hand. You’ll wish you had come sooner.