Best Morocco Tours Agency specializing in Merzouga Desert Tours

Morocco Life

Morocco Life

People and Culture

Moroccans are known for their warmth, humour, openness and sociability. Your experience will be shaped by the great tradition of hospitality during your encounters with ordinary Moroccans, in cosmopolitan cities and remote villages alike.

If you are invited to eat with a family, you will typically sit on the floor and eat from a communal plate, placed in the middle of a small table – eat with your right hand. Utensils are not used although, as a visitor, you are likely to be offered a fork or spoon. . If you are invited to a home you should try to take a small gift such as fruit, nuts or sweet pastries.

Although Morocco is considered more relaxed than many other Muslim countries you still need to be respectful of the culture and traditions of the local people.

 

Dress and Attire

In the cities of Marrakech, Fes, Agadir, Casablanca etc., Moroccan men and women often dress as they would on the streets of European countries. However, outside of the cities and especially in the rural villages, we recommend that you follow local tradition where both men and women cover their knees (shorts or skirt below knee) and shoulders. (short-sleeved T-shirts not tank tops).​

In the High Atlas mountains, a warm jacket and long pants are needed for desert and High Atlas nights outside of the summer months. For winter, a warm coat, thermal underwear, a hat, gloves and wool socks are essential. A windproof jacket is also essential for walking treks in the desert or in the Atlas mountains.

 

Nourishment

Food: 

Moroccan cuisine is delicious and offers you traditional dishes such as harira (tasty and nourishing bean soup traditionally served for breakfast), tagine (succulent meat cooked with spices and vegetables in a conical shaped pot), meschui (whole roasted sheep/goat), tangia, a Marrakech specialty, couscous, fresh salads and fruits, hot steaming bread and other delicacies. Café au lait, or café “nous-nous’ with pastries is a popular pastime in the street side cafes and mint tea awaits you wherever you go.

Water:

In the cities is fine for washing and brushing teeth etc., but we do not recommend that you drink quantities of tap or well water. Excellent bottled mineral water is available everywhere.​

Alcohol: 

Although an Islamic country, alcohol is available but respect has to be shown by not overdoing it or making a big show of it.  In the big cities there are plenty of bars and all modern hotels sell alcohol. In the Marrakesh Medina (old walled city) licensed bars are very rare. In the new quarter there are numerous bars and clubs where alcohol is served. Here you find the “off-licences” and most people will tell you where they are. Moroccan wines are very good.  Outside of the cities, apart from tourist hotels, alcohol is almost impossible to locate so stock up at the off-licence before you set off.

 

Shopping and Marketplace

Shopping in Morocco can be an challenge rather than a casual pass-time. A visit to the souk (a market consisting of hundreds of tiny shops), will possibly involve sharing a glass of mint tea with the merchants while you examine variety and quality of the craftsmanship, and haggle for a bargain. All this takes time. Enjoy, it can be a lot of fun.

Moroccans are very skilled salesman – if you do not want to buy something from every shop that you enter you must learn to say “NO”.  If you do not want to buy anything and are approached by a salesman just smile and say “non merci” and walk on.​

The shopkeepers will offer you mint tea and to sit in the cool of the shop, they will offer you a very good price, the last price and the best price.  Keep in mind that it is unlikely you will get any real bargains, the salesman are very practiced.  It is good fun to bargain but you should only bargain for items that you are willing to buy and you should know how much you are willing to pay and keep to your price.

 

Language and Native Berber People

The official language is Classical Arabic but Morocco has a distinctive Arabic dialect called Derija that is widely spoken throughout the country, while most of the words find their root in Standard Arabic, some words are borrowed from Spanish, French and Berber.  French, Spanish and English are spoken in many cities and towns popular with tourists.   You can usually find someone who understands enough of your own language to get the information you need. Moroccans are very friendly and hospitable, so try saying “salamu ‘aleykum” (peace be upon you) and “insh’allah” (God willing).

Berbers are the indigenous people of North Africa while Arabs are native to the Arabian Peninsula in the Middle East. Despite living on different continents, Berbers and Arabs live near each other since Asia and Africa have a land form that connects one to another. Both groups have their own language. The Berber language is a part of the Afro-Asiatic linguistic family. The Arabian language is also a member of this language family. 

The largest settlement of Berbers is in Morocco while the Middle East is the hub of Arabs.  In terms of size, Arabs live in large urban settlements. On the other hand, Berbers live in small settlements in rural places, countrysides, and mountains. Berbers have distinct European features like blonde and red hair as well as blue and green eyes. On the other hand, Arabs are more Asian in appearance with black hair, brown or black eyes, and brown skin. The majority of Berbers and Arabs are Muslims. Berber Muslims practice Islam with a bit of their traditional practices.

 

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