Customs and traditions
According to Abbreviationfinder, Morocco is a hospitable country where it is easy to make new acquaintances, but the customs are very conservative with Swedish dimensions measured. Religion characterizes people’s lives. The rapid development and influx of foreign tourists has led to increasing cultural diversity, but also to growing tensions.
Morocco is an extremely hospitable country. Visitors are usually warmly welcomed if they only make a little effort to adapt to current standards. Most Moroccans get to know a foreign visitor, and many open their homes to new acquaintances. You show a great deal of respect for the elderly.
- Countryaah: Overview of the capital city of Morocco, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
Religion is important to most Moroccans and Islamic customs characterize everyday life. Atheism is rare and many may take criticism of Islam. Religious discussions should be kept in mind. In addition, non-Muslim missionary activities in Morocco are prohibited, and Christian missionaries have been arrested and expelled.
Visitors should be careful in discussions about politically charged topics, such as the Royal House or the Western Sahara issue, not least because they may happen to put their interlocutor in a difficult situation.
Since Morocco is a tourist country, it is common in some areas for begging, theft and fraud attempts targeting foreigners, but crime is generally low and Moroccan cities are safe to visit.
The customs differ between different parts of Morocco, but especially between different generations and social groups. In well-off urban groups, socializing can often be conducted in the same way as in Europe, and it is common for women to pursue careers. However, life in the poor countryside is often characterized by deep religiosity and traditionally strict distinction between men and women.
It is not uncommon to see friends of the same sex walk hand in hand, but men and women avoid touching each other in public. Friends of the same sex often kiss on the cheek, but love couples do not show affection in public, for example, by hugging or kissing. Homosexuality is illegal. Moroccan women and men usually do not take each other’s hand when greeting. Some men also do not want to say goodbye when foreign women reach out; it should not be misunderstood as a sign of disrespect. ” Al-salam alaykum “, Arabic for “Peace be upon you”, is a common greeting phrase. The answer is ” wa-alaykum al-salam ” (“Above your peace”).
Modern western clothing is the norm in cities, especially among men. Most Moroccan women wear Muslim veil, hijab, over hair, neck and shoulders. In some strictly religious families, women wear a veil that also covers their face, so-called niqab. The clothing style in the countryside varies from region to region, but different forms of hoods and caftans are common, especially among the elderly. The Saharan women in southern Morocco and Western Sahara dress in a loose-fitting, colorful garment called melhfa (malhafa), while the men traditionally wear a shawl that is also used as a turban, which sometimes covers their mouth and face.
Non-Muslim female visitors to Morocco are not expected to cover their hair, but should dress conservatively, not for example in short skirts. Despite this, foreign women in some areas attract a lot of attention, sometimes unwanted ones. The important thing, for both women and men, is to use common sense and take into account the local people’s traditions. Of course, other norms prevail among the tourist creams in a seaside resort than in a remote mountain village.
Non-Muslims are not allowed to enter mosques according to the Malekite law school that applies in Morocco. An exception is the large Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, which is open to tourists.
Morocco is one of the world’s largest cannabis producers. Many Moroccans smoke ” kif ” themselves quite openly, and especially in the northern parts of the country, it is common for visiting foreigners to be offered drugs. It is illegal and it is sometimes the case that tourists are subjected to extortion if they accept the offer.
Alcohol is prohibited by the Qur’an, but not by Moroccan law. Most Moroccan Muslims do not drink, and many associate alcohol with a lack of morals, abuse and crime, much like drugs are considered in Sweden. However, wine and beer are produced domestically in several brands, and are available in all major cities, both at finer restaurants and nightclubs and more or less light-shaded bars.
Vegetarianism is very uncommon in Morocco. Although there are rarely any problems finding simpler vegetarian food, it can be difficult to explain what you want. Very few Moroccan cities and areas are adapted for the disabled. Smoke allergists learn to have problems: cigarettes are lit in all possible and impossible contexts.
The holidays of Islam fall according to the lunar calendar and thus move over the year. During the fasting month of Ramadan, a Muslim may not eat, drink or smoke as long as the sun is up, but this is taken again when the fast is broken (iftar). The fasting and the night wakes can be very tiring, especially in the years when the Ramadan falls in the summer heat. Non-Muslims should respect this by discreetly managing their own day-to-day consumption. The most important Islamic feasts are id sghir (“the small feast”, also called id al-fitr), which ends the Ramadan, and id kbir (“the great feast”, id al-adha) which follows 70 days later and is celebrated by the slaughter of a may.
According to Countryaah, the secular holidays and feast days include the wedding day (July 30, in memory of King Mohammed’s coronation), the green march (November 6, in memory of the entrance into Western Sahara), Independence Day (November 18), and more. The country’s election language is ” allah, al-watan, al-malik “, Arabic for “God, the motherland, the king”.
Violent in Western Sahara
Unrest erupts since a protest camp outside El Aaiún is stormed by security forces. Eleven Moroccan policemen and two saharis are killed. In the following days, Moroccan nationalists are avenged by attacking Saharan houses and families.
Morocco holds its first summit with the EU countries as a result of the country’s so-called “advanced status” in October 2008.
Newspaper is forced to close
Le Journal hebdomadaire magazine closes after several years of fighting against the authorities, with recurring advocacy and ad boycotts. The Weekly magazine has since 1997 carried on digging journalism on taboo issues such as the royal house’s finances, the military and Western Sahara.
The Commission will investigate decentralization
King Mohammed appoints an “advisory regionalization commission”, which will investigate the issues surrounding provincial border demarcation and power sharing ahead of the planned decentralization reform, which will, among other things, facilitate the introduction of local self-government in Western Sahara.