MOROCCAN IN HIS DAILY LIFE
Like their Mediterranean neighbors, Moroccans have a rather expansive and proud character. The tone of the voice rises quickly to express the emotions, joys or anger. The streets are very lively, especially in the souks. Moroccans love the pleasures of life, count on them for the quality of their cuisine or to discuss a mint tea. The evening is a privileged moment in Morocco, temperatures cool down, it’s the best time to go out and settle on the terrace. Moroccans have probably inherited the culture of the caravaneers, they love to do business. Trade negotiation is an institution in the country.
Prices are not often displayed, they are negotiable! If they are written, consider the price displayed as a trading basis. LANGUAGE Classical Arabic is the language of education, administration and the media. The language of everyday life is dialectal Arabic. Tamazight (Berber) is spoken in the Rif, Atlas and Souss. These dialects vary by region. Most Moroccans speak French, many speak Spanish and English.
Through its recipes and its dishes, Morocco testifies to the great diversity of influences that it knows to gather in a harmonious whole on its grounds.
Attached to its roots, each Moroccan attaches particular importance to his family. Gradually, it is modernizing. Overall, there is less and less forced marriages, polygamy is becoming less and less commonplace.
However, this modernity is not uniform, depending on the place. Big cities have gradually westernized their way of life. Women can easily get out without a veil, in outfits that would be provocative elsewhere.
The situation is still different today in the countryside, where women are not very visible in public places and come out veiled. In these villages, Western women are advised to look after their dress.
Islam is the official religion of the state, the king is the religious leader of the country. 99% of Moroccans are Muslim, mainly Sunni. Coexistence with other religions has been in good faith for centuries in the country, the practice of other religions is guaranteed by the constitution.
Cultural and commercial exchanges with Europe and the West in general influence Morocco for a moderate approach to Islam. Fundamentalist movements remain marginal in the country. The youth remains very religious but becomes a little less practicing. In the cities, the day is punctuated by the muezzin who calls for the 5 daily prayers from the top of the minaret.
During Ramadan, Moroccans fast, stop drinking and smoke from sunrise to sunset. Their daily lives are modified, the public services and the companies arrange their schedules. It is however possible to have lunch in the hotels if you find yourself at noon in a city.
SONGS AND DANCES
Songs and dances have a great place in Moroccan life. Thus, the Chiouks (masters) who are the custodians of the tradition, animate the family festivities in the villages such as weddings, baptisms and other festivals. During these festivals, ancient poems, religious texts or songs about everyday life are sung. The Chiouks are accompanied by the bendir, a musical instrument.
RULES OF KNOW-LIVING
To show a basic courtesy towards a welcoming country is to respect local customs. Misunderstandings and embarrassing situations will be avoided in this way.
In Morocco, access to mosques and holy places is forbidden to non-Muslims, except at the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, at the Mohamed V Mausoleum in Rabat, at the Moulay Ismail Mausoleum in Meknes, and finally at the Moulay Ali Cherif Mausoleum in Rissani.
Mint tea is a gesture of hospitality, accept it. Avoid provocative outfits. If you are invited to share a meal with a family, wash your hands at the ewer. The meal will begin after the householder has pronounced the « bismillah », praise to God. If you are not given cutlery, eat with your right hand. Taste everything, but you do not have to eat all that is served to you, it is very often impossible the plates are well stocked. During Ramadan, avoid eating, drinking and smoking in public. Ask permission before photographing a person.