Morocco attracts a huge amount of tourism throughout the year and many of its visitors are oblivious to the traditions of the country. By understanding Morocco and its views on religion, its customs, the language, the traditional dress and its political views, you are more likely to settle in and enjoy your experience without feeling too alienated by the surroundings.
Here are a few key things to consider before traveling to Morocco in order to easily fit in with the general traditions of the country.
Religion plays a huge part in the various traditional aspects of the Moroccan way of life. As 99% of the population are Muslims, the general teachings and followings of Islam are adhered to throughout the country.
It is a sign of respect to follow the traditional Islamic way of life during your time in Morocco, though this doesn’t mean you have to strictly abide to a long list of rules. Fridays are considered a holy day with shops and stalls generally closed from midday onwards. Muslims do not drink alcohol or wear clothing that exposes their bodies, so consider this when packing for your journey.
The people of Morocco are tolerant of those who are not from the Islamic faith and would fully understand should you not follow the usual day to day teachings that they themselves adhere to.
Women and Islam
It’s important to remember that the view of women in countries such as Morocco is different to that of other countries, especially those in the West. Whilst there is no set rule for female tourists to behave any differently, Muslims may seem confused by women traveling alone or late at night. However, this is highly unlikely to cause any problems and is usually only ever a possible issue in areas that do not attract tourists.
In some cases clothing can cause offence to the general public of Morocco, so take note of what is acceptable to wear before traveling. Clothing that covers the body would be seen as a respectful gesture by the people of Morocco, as this is their day to day principle. Morocco shares respect to all its tourists, therefore exceptions are often made at major tourist locations; beaches for example.
If you are keen on embracing the culture of Morocco, then purchasing clothing from local markets would be a good opportunity to try out the local dress.
It’s time to brush up on your Arabic, as this is the most popular language of Morocco. Both French and Berber are also commonly spoken languages, so you could rely on a few things you learnt back in school to help you out in certain parts of the country.
Spanish is commonly spoken in specific areas due to the involvement of Spain throughout history.