Hope you all had a loving weekend.
Morocco is truly one of those exotic places that can take your breath away.
Knowing the various etiquette and manners will make your travels smoother and avoid embarrassment.
Here are some to keep in mind when visiting.
The first meeting amongst men to men is a handshake, not firm, but somewhere in the middle. Meetings between men and women are either a handshake only if the woman extends her hand. If she does not, a man will nod. Sometimes two kisses (starting with the left cheek), but this only occurs when the two people greeting are of the same sex.
Since Morocco is a Muslim country, women should refrain from wearing clothing that does not cover their arms, shoulders, and knees. T-shirts are considered undergarments to some of the locals. If you are traveling to a smaller city, be sure you cover your ears and hair. In cosmopolitan cities, such as Marrakesh, Rabat, and Fez, the dress code is more relaxed and typical to see women wear short-sleeve tops and knee-length skirts, and men often wear sleeveless t-shirts. In the event you are invited into someone’s home, take your shoes off.
Don’t Give Praise
Moroccans are generally not good at receiving Praise or compliment, especially if it’s a direct one. So you want to avoid something like, “Wow, the food is so delicious, your wife is a great cook” or “Nice carpet you got over there, I like the color.” It will just make them feel uncomfortable, and you will appear fake.
Using your index finger to motion a person to approach you is considered impolite. Moroccans — as with most non-Western cultures — beckon someone by placing the palm downward and sweeping the hand toward themselves.
Public displays of affection in Morocco should also be kept to a minimum, as this is a conservative culture. Hand holding is considered platonic between members of the same sex, though homosexuality between Moroccans is illegal.
Ramadan is a month-long holy celebration held each year in the Islamic world. The Islamic calendar follows a lunar pattern, so every year, Ramadan is held at a different time in the Western calendar (it generally moves ten days forward on the later calendar from year to year). This month of celebrations is devoted to swam, or fasting, which is one of the five pillars of Islam. From sunrise to sunset, the faithful abstain from food, drink, tobacco, and sexual thoughts and activity to focus on spiritual renewal. It is expected that you show respect by avoiding eating and drinking in public places.
No one is on time. It is not a trademark of the culture. Expect to wait for a half-hour from the time of your scheduled appointment. The exception to this rule is the country’s guides — especially the faux guides and hustlers — who will be waiting long before any agreed time.
Yes, you are expected to tip anywhere: in a cafe, in a museum, in a hotel. Typically it’s around 2-3 Dirhams in cafes and 10% of your bill in restaurants. But in taxis, you’re not expected to tip, although many people do, and the drivers will gladly accept your tip. In the gasoline station, you are expected to tip around 3 or 4 dirhams to the attendants.
Use your right hand only for all things in Morocco as your left hand is considered unclean. If you are invited to someone’s house, do not bring alcohol instead opt for a dessert or flowers.
Women in Morocco
As a woman traveling in Morocco, it is different as gender roles are more defined and based on a patriarchal society. Women are generally expected to dress more modestly, not engage in drinking or smoking in public, and avoid physical contact with men. Take extra precautions when discovering the colorful streets of Morocco and try to travel in a group, especially outside of Marrakesh, Rabat, and Fez.
Did I miss anything? Let us know in the comments below.
Sending wanderlust vibes! 💋
Feature photo credit: voyagefox.net