Countries around the world are unique in every aspect. The differences in the belief, norms, populations and location are some of the diversities which every country have. Some countries have their own way of showing that they are unique from other countries and race. Take a look at Morocco’s interesting facts and be amazed of how this country shows its uniqueness.
Morocco is one of the North African countries. It is also called as Maghreb. Morocco’s capital city is the Rabat and has an estimated population of 32.6 million. The kingdom has a land area of 710, 850 square kilometers or an area of 274, 461 square miles. Its major languages are Arabic, Berber, French and Spanish. Since the kingdom is near in Spain, some of the locals know how to speak Spanish. Moroccans life expectancy is 70 years old for men and 75 years old for women. Its country’s currency is Dirham and currently, the country’s leader is King Mohammed VI. He became a monarch in the year 1999 after his late father King Hassan II.
Table of contents:
- Etiquette in Morocco
- Gestures and Greetings
- Social Events and Gatherings
- Dress Codes
Here are some other facts about the Kingdom of Morocco:
- The largest exporter of sardines in the whole world.
- Their national animal is the Barbary lion.
- White is the color of mourning in the Kingdom of Morocco.
- The seventh largest mosque in the world that was built by over 30, 000 workers can be found here.
- Morocco is very near to Europe and was estimated to be 8 miles away from it.
- According to the tradition, it is the liver and not the heart that is considered as the symbol of love in their country.
- Moroccan’s national dish is the Seksou, which is a combination of rich meat and vegetable stew.
- Jebel Toubkal is its highest point and its lowest point is thee Sebkha Tah.
- The country’s most popular sports is soccer that is widely played by men.
- Casablanca is its largest city and is an important industrial city in the country.
- It considered safe to travel to Morocco.
- It was the first country that recognized the United States as a Nation.
- Tea is the most popular drink in Morocco.
- In Morocco, it is disrespectful to handle food with your left hand and say no to meat if it is offered on a meal.
All of these facts shows how Morocco has been developed as a country. It is the main duty of the King to rule his country properly. Hence, with his guidance, the country continues to grow and develop to provide the needs of their countrymen.
Etiquette in Morocco
Every country has a different tradition and cultures that they follow for generations and in every culture, etiquette is being observed. These are the following etiquettes of the Moroccans that are being observed in every occasion that they may have:
Gestures and Greetings
Moroccans naturally greets with a handshake and a cheek to cheek kiss but this only happens between two people of the same sex. With a greeting between a man and woman, if the woman wants to be greeted, she should extend her hand first and if not, the man should bow his head in acknowledgment.
Morocco’s language has three variations, which depends on what places where you are at, which are Tarifit, Tashelhit and Darija. They are considered as a first dialect but once a child reaches their fourth year, Arabic is taught.
Moroccans are considered as a conservative and religious country. Women needs to be covered from the wrist to the ankle while for men, they should be covered from the shoulder to below the knee to prevent any sexual harassment that might occur when they do wear a dress or clothing.
Social Events and Gatherings
In social events and gatherings, if you are invited, you have to go with your partner, specifically your wife or husband and you have to remove your shoes before you enter that would then be left by the door. As a way of showing hospitality, they also offer green tea with mint to anyone who stops by, which is oftentimes prepared in front of the guests.
Once their dinner is prepared, you would be asked to take a seat on a floor mat around a round table that is knee high with one common dish in the middle. A wash basin may be carried to the table before the meal is served. While the water is being poured, hold your hands over it and dry them with the cloth provided. When the host starts eating, you may eat as well.
It is a tradition that when eating, the right hand is the one to be used and if you are left handed, try to eat with your right hand but nevertheless, it will not be an issue if you are a left-handed person. Also, expect that when you’re done eating, lots of other foods will be presented to you because it is a sign and an act of showing generousness towards their visitors.
Those are some of the cultures and traditions that Morocco has. Through observing such etiquette, it will show that you have a decent personality. Moroccans have a different way of doing things that they already been doing throughout generations. Showing a behavior of being polite to every people you’ve interacted with is a sign that you are an etiquette oriented person.
Dress Codes – What To Wear in Morocco
For people who are planning to travel to Morocco, it is just right for them to be equipped with knowledge on the dress codes in the country. After all, they cannot expect that the traditional clothing in this country is the same as their own country. So, to ensure that they would have a great experience in the country, understanding what the Moroccans wear may help as it can make a positive impression on them.
Morocco has always been known as a conservative country since most of the population there are Muslims. Hence, it is always necessary for a tourist or guests to wear modest clothing. The clothes and the accessories that are worn should not attract attention nor should it reveal the body excessively. So, it should neither expose the thighs, shoulders and even the décolletage. After all, having a romantic interaction between Moroccan men and women is very uncommon before marriage.
The Moroccans are also not necessarily fond of wearing brand clothing. They are not that materialistic. Instead of buying luxury clothing, they spend their money to the community. So, tourists or guests should limit wearing high-end products, accessories, and electronics unless they truly wanted to show it off, which would surely leave a bad impression on the locals of the country.
With the fact that tourists need to have their body fully covered while they are in Morocco, it would be best for them not to visit the country during summer, where the weather can reach 46° or even higher than that unless they also came from a country with a warm temperature. On the other hand, for tourists who are planning to stay for a few weeks or longer than that, they can consider buying a traditional Moroccan clothing.
The traditional clothing in the country is called “djellaba”. It is a loose and long hooded garment with full sleeves. It also comes with a hood called “qob” that helps protect the wearer from cold climates, falling snow and from the direct heat of the sun. It is worn by both men and women in Morocco. The only difference is that the Djellaba of men often comes with neutral color and are plainer as compared to the Djellaba of women that comes in bright colors, patterns, stitches, and beading.
To celebrate special occasions, men also wear “bernousse” or “fez”, which is a red cap while women wear “kaftans” that are decorated with ornaments. Now, when it comes to their footwear, they wear soft leather slippers that does not have heels called the “balgha”. However, there are also times when women wear high heeled sandals, which often comes with either gold or silver tinset.