Moroccan culture is a tapestry that reflects the country’s diverse history and geographic location. Morocco attracts tourists with its unique charm, from its bustling markets to its traditional music that echoes through the small streets of the Medina. Below you will find some important Moroccan cultural facts:
Countries around the world are unique in every aspect. The differences in belief, norms, populations, and location are some of the diversities which every country has. Some countries have their own way of showing that they are unique from other countries and ethnicity. Take a look at Morocco’s interesting facts and be amazed at how this country shows its uniqueness.
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Morocco is one of the North African countries. It is also called Al-Maghreb. Morocco’s capital city is Rabat which 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 Spain, most of the locals in the north speak Spanish. Moroccan’s life expectancy is 75 years old for men and 80 years old for women. Its country’s currency is Dirham, and the country’s leader is King Mohammed VI. He became a monarch in the year 1999 after his late father King Hassan II.
Here are some other Moroccan culture facts:
- The largest exporter of sardines and phosphate in the 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 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 tradition, it is the liver and not the heart that is considered the symbol of love in their country.
- Moroccan’s national dish is Seksou (couscous), which is a combination of rich meat and vegetable stew.
- Jebel Toubkal is its highest point and its lowest point is Sebkha Tah.
- The country’s most popular sport is soccer which is widely played by men.
- Casablanca is the largest city and is an important industrial city in the country.
- It is considered safe to travel to Morocco.
- It was the first country that the United States recognized as a Nation.
- Tea is the most popular drink in Morocco and is locally called Whiskey Berber in the south of the country
- In Morocco, it is disrespectful to eat or greet with your left hand.
All of these facts show how Morocco has 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 meet the needs of its compatriots.
Etiquette in Morocco
Every country has different traditions and cultures that they follow for generations and in every culture, etiquette is observed. These are the following etiquettes of the Moroccans that are being observed on every occasion that they may have:
Gestures and Greetings
Moroccans naturally greet with a handshake and a cheek-to-cheek kiss but this often happens between two people of the same sex. With a greeting between a man and a woman, if the woman wants to be greeted, she should extend her hand first and if not, the man should bow his head in appreciation.
Clothing – Moroccan culture facts
Moroccans are considered a conservative and religious country. In some places, women need to be covered from the wrist to the ankle, while men should be covered from the shoulder to below the knee.
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, which 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 traditional hand wash basin can 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. Observing such etiquette, it will show that you have a decent personality. Moroccans have a different way of doing things than they have already been doing throughout generations. Showing behavior of being polite to every person 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 of the dress codes in the country. After all, they cannot expect that the traditional clothing in this country is the same as in 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. Check out this ideal Morocco packing list if you’re worried about what to wear in Morocco.
Morocco has always been known as a conservative country since most of the population there is Muslim. Hence, it is always necessary for a tourist or guests to wear modest clothing. The clothes and accessories that are worn should not attract so much attention, nor should they overly reveal the body. So it should not expose the thighs or even the chest. 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 on the community. So, tourists or guests should limit wearing high-end products, accessories, and electronics unless they truly want to show them off, which would surely leave a bad impression on the locals of the country.
With the fact that tourists need to have their bodies fully covered while they are in Morocco, it would be best for them not to visit the country during summer, when the weather can reach 46° or even higher than that unless they also come from a country with a warm temperature. On the other hand, tourists who plan to stay for a few weeks or more should consider buying traditional Moroccan clothes.
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 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 a neutral color and is plainer than the Djellaba of women which comes in bright colors, patterns, stitches, and beading.
To celebrate special occasions, men also wear “tarboosh” 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 do not have heels called the “belgha”. However, women also wear high-heeled sandals, which often come with either gold or silver tinsel.
Morocco’s language has three variations, which depend on what place where you are, which are Tarifit, Tashelhit, and Darija. They are considered as a first dialect but once a child reaches his fourth year, Arabic is taught. Visit this post to learn more about the languages they speak in Morocco.
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