Culture

Religion

  • Islam is the dominate religion practiced by the majority of Moroccans.
  • Prayer 5 times a day is required (dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset, evening)
  • Friday is the Muslim holy day (everything closes down)
  • During Ramadan all Muslims fast from dawn to dusk and may only work for six hours. At sunset families gather to celebrate the breaking of the fast (iftar)

Family

  • Family is most significant unit of Moroccan life
  • Both the nuclear and extended families are important
  • One gains influence in the household with age

Food and Etiquette

  • Food is influenced by many different cultures including Berber, Moorish, Mediterranean, and Arab.
  • The middle of the day is when the main meal takes place
  • Couscous is the most well known or typical meal for the majority of the population.
  • Spices are used extensively in meals and many are home grown.

    Typical Moroccan Meal for Middle Class Family

  • Dessert usually consists of some sort of seasonal fruit.
  • Kaab el ghzal is a “pastry puff stuffed with almond paste and coated with sugar” it is a common dessert in Morocco.

    Spices for sale in a Moroccan market

Greetings from Morocco

  • Moroccans of the same sex that do not know each other well will shake hands
  • Between people that know each other well a kiss or brushing on the cheeks is standard.
  • As a sign of respect children often kiss the right hand of their elders.
  • At social gatherings it is customary to shake hands with a person starting from right to left and to say goodbye to each person individually

Clothing

  • Typically covers everything besides the hands, feet, and face. The shoulders and legs of woman in many cases are considered private and should be covered.
  • Djellaba is a long loose hooded garment with full sleeves that serves as traditional dress for men and woman. It is usually worn over clothing.
  • Djellaba worn in Fes, Morocco

  • Balgha are soft leather slippers with no heel that are worn by nearly all men and woman in Morocco. They are usually dyed yellow.
  • Fez is a red cap Moroccans sometimes wear for special occasions

    Moroccan Kaftan

  • Kaftans are tunics that button down the front and are only worn by woman in Morocco. They vary in quality depending on the fabric and design. They are different then a Djellaba because they do not have a hood.

References

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