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Cultural Spotlights: Morocco


Studying about experiences and views which are totally different from our personal helps our journey of inclusion by decreasing bias, constructing respect and rising empathy, whereas offering a possibility to have a good time our variations and similarities.

At Buffer, we commonly share cultural spotlights from colleagues to attach our world workforce, and assist us perceive each other at a deeper stage.

– Katie, Range, Fairness, Inclusion Supervisor @ Buffer

Right here’s a barely edited model of a cultural highlight we not too long ago highlighted from Ismaïl, a Product Designer at Buffer.

I’m 9,762 days previous. I spent day-after-day of my life in Morocco. I used to be born in a Ksar, a fortified village referred to as “Zaouit Sidi Ali,” one of many 360 Kasrs in Er-Rissani.

Individuals from my village used to stay by farming – they spent all their days taking good care of their date palm timber, they usually ate and bought the date fruits to purchase the fundamentals of life, equivalent to meals, water, and garments.

After years of droughts and after I was 4, my prolonged household of 18 members moved 60 miles to Errachidia. It was certainly one of my household’s large strikes to search for a greater future with extra work alternatives and higher training for his or her youngsters.

Right here’s extra about life in Morocco from training and faith to greetings and meals.

an image of a Morrocan village
Zaouit Sidi Ali in Er-Rissani in Morocco

Household life

In Moroccan tradition, household relationships are a very powerful part of social life. I lived my complete life with my prolonged household in a shared house. In our tradition, it’s thought that sons ought to solely go away the home to work. Regardless that I’m dwelling by myself in Casablanca proper now with my brother, all my household nonetheless stay collectively in Errachidia.

Whereas I used to be a toddler, I had been sharing a room with my brother and two cousins, I not often felt alone. I all the time felt an ideal sense of household and group. Girls normally keep house and deal with youngsters whereas males spend their day exterior working. Everybody was taking good care of one another. We imagine that the larger the household, the extra individuals there are to deal with you, and the higher off you’re.


The training system in Morocco includes pre-school, main, secondary, and tertiary ranges.  At the moment, nobody in my household had an training diploma. My father and uncles had solely been to main college, my mom and aunts had by no means been to highschool, they realized the fundamentals of Arabic writing and studying from the mosque, the place they used to memorize the Quran.

My household was very conscious of the significance of training, they all the time stated that they had no likelihood at their age, they usually received’t let the identical factor occur to their youngsters. I grew up seeing each certainly one of them working very laborious to ensure we went to highschool and had every part we would have liked.

Like nearly all of youngsters my age, I attended a public college, the place corporal punishment was a traditional factor. Major college was not simple, lecturers have the authority to punish and self-discipline college students. Then again, complaining to oldsters wouldn’t change something as they imagine punishment is the one solution to get youngsters to deal with their training.

Secondary college was a bit removed from my house, I used to stroll for half an hour to get there. It’s not lengthy in comparison with many youngsters in distant areas who used to stroll for 1-2 hours to get to highschool.

Nearly all of Moroccan universities are freed from cost, attending a superb one requires good marks along with passing an examination. Most college students obtain training funds to pay for his or her research besides those from rich households. Whereas I used to be nonetheless dwelling with my household, I spent all the cash on my English programs.

I attended The School of Sciences and Strategies in Errachidia and acquired my bachelor’s in software program engineering. I moved to Casablanca to get my software program engineering diploma at ENSETM.

On a regular basis life

Life in Morocco depends upon which metropolis or area you’re dwelling in, rising up in Errachidia is totally different from rising up in Casablanca. The primary has a gradual life-style, whereas the second has a fast one.

I grew up in an atmosphere the place relationships are in every single place, our neighbors are shut mates, and they’re a part of the household. At any time when they want bread, salt, an onion…they knock on the door and kindly ask if we occur to have any of these things.

Dwelling in a rustic with many challenges teaches us what it means to be a resilient one that is proud of much less and isn’t bothered by discomforts. Irrespective of how wealthy chances are you’ll develop into, you all the time admire what you could have and perceive every part might be taken from you anytime.

The variety of Moroccan land

Most individuals assume that Morocco is simply dunes of sand and camels (that are actually stunning by the best way), this mistaken perception could possibly be coming from the film, Street to Morocco which represents Morocco as a desert nation. The reality is, most of Morocco’s territory is occupied by huge mountain ranges, with the Atlas Mountains stretching from the central north to the southwest of the nation.

General, Morocco will get loads of solar all 12 months spherical, nevertheless it has a wide range of climate patterns. The desert is sizzling and dry. The coastal plains have delicate temperatures. In the summertime, the mountains are sizzling and dry. Within the winter, they’re chilly, wet, and infrequently snowy.

Enjoyable truth: In Morocco, It’s possible you’ll be snowboarding within the North whereas the temperature is -5°c, however you possibly can swim or surf the following day down South at 27°c.


Virtually all Moroccans are Muslim and Islam is the state faith. A small variety of individuals are Christian. A fair smaller minority are Jewish. The dominion of Morocco is without doubt one of the oldest monarchies on this planet, It was based 12 centuries in the past. The king of Morocco, Mohammed VI, is known as “Amir El Mouminin,” or chief of the devoted. Whereas the motto of Morocco is “God, Fatherland, the King.”

The unique identify of Morocco was «Marrakesh» which in Berber language means “The land of God.” Whereas Morocco is in Africa, it is just 9 miles from Europe, which makes Morocco a combination of races, with largely Arabs and Berber.


Usually talking, between Moroccans within the streets, you’ll primarily hear Moroccan Darija and by no means Classical Arabic. Relying on the place you’re, you too can hear Amazigh language within the Berber areas and Hassani dialect within the south.

In contrast to Classical Arabic, which is written and spoken, Moroccan Darija is simply spoken. It is rather versatile and dynamic, it comprises some bizarre expressions that all the time makes me chuckle, certainly one of them is: “3tini wahed zouj bidat” the literal translation is “Give me one three eggs” nevertheless it means “Give me three eggs” unsure what the “one” is for. 😂

Whereas plenty of Darija’s vocabulary comes from Arabic and Amazigh, many phrases have entered the language due to French, Spanish, and different languages.

French is spoken broadly in Morocco, and you should have extra services in case you are a French speaker. Some locals converse Spanish in northwestern Morocco due to the Spanish tradition’s proximity and affect.


Most individuals in Morocco put on peculiar clothes like a lot of the world wears. Nevertheless, there are nationwide costumes which are often worn for holy days and celebrations. A few of them are:

Djellabas: an extended unfastened costume with a hood and lengthy sleeves, The material of the Djellaba adjustments in accordance with the climate. Through the summer time, we put on gentle cotton-made Djellaba; throughout the winter, we put on a Djellaba product of wool to maintain us heat. Males typically fold the hood over the “tarbouche” (a small Moroccan pink hat) and normally put on the “babouches,” a heelless slipper that’s normally white or yellow.

A man walking with a cane wearing a Moroccan Djellbass
A Moroccan man carrying a Djellabas from Pexels

Kaftan: a world-widely well-known costume worn by ladies for particular events equivalent to weddings or engagement events. Whereas it is vitally a lot embellished, it’s just about like a djellaba with out the hood.

A women pouring tea, wearing a Moroccan Kaftan
A moroccan lady carrying Kaftan from Unsplash


Moroccan weddings are a wondrous event the place all Moroccan traditions meet, together with trend, music, and meals.

Have you ever been to a Moroccan marriage ceremony? I suppose not. If you happen to ever get the possibility, although, don’t miss it. Simply be sure you have three days to spare. That’s proper, a standard Moroccan marriage ceremony lasts three days and ends with the wildest social gathering you possibly can think about.

One of many pretty issues I like about Moroccan weddings is The Amariya, a standard Moroccan chair product of wooden or metallic, ornamented with gold or silver. The chair permits the bride and groom to be introduced to their friends throughout the marriage ceremony ceremony.

Meals: my favourite half 😋

Moroccans usually have three meals per day. Breakfast would possibly include tea, bread, olive oil, butter, and preserves, or a pancake-like meals often called Baghrir.

Lunch is the most important meal of the day and Tagine is without doubt one of the most well-known every day meals for it. It’s a stew of meat (normally beef, lamb or hen) or fish with greens, spices, and maybe fruits and nuts, slowly cooked on a mattress of oil in an earthenware pot.

An image of a bowl of meat stew representing Moroccan Tagine
Moroccan Tagine from Unsplash

You is likely to be asking how we eat this? I’ll reply that, however let me first inform you about “khobza,” our personal type of bread. It’s a spherical flat loaf that’s torn off in items and used to eat each meal. There are some exceptions, like Couscous which I’ll inform you about very quickly.

In Morocco, the entire household eats from one large plate, and everybody makes use of their proper hand. It’s referred to as Tegomass. You seize a chunk of bread to get some sauce, meat, and potatoes from the plate. The meat is normally on the heart, and it’s the final merchandise it’s best to eat. Everybody respect this order.

Whereas consuming, friends are normally inspired to eat freely; this can be a Moroccan solution to present generosity.

Lunch additionally consists of totally different dishes relying on the day, the event, or the season. a few of them are:

  • Couscous: (the nationwide dish of morocco) Many individuals assume that Couscous is a every day meal in Morocco however that’s unsuitable. Couscous is the principle dish simply on Fridays. Cooking couscous is a murals, I’ve all the time admired seeing my mom making it. (Enjoyable truth: I labored with a Moroccan firm the place we used to offer couscous as a substitute of tacos in Slack when complimenting colleagues).
  • Pastilla: some of the luxurious Moroccan dishes. It’s spiced pigeon meat encased in layers of flaky Warkha pastry, typically dusted with sugar or cinnamon.
  • Tanjia: It’s a pot product of puffed clay, and a meal of lamb or beef, with which the spices are combined and cooked in the identical pot and buried below sizzling ash.
  • Hergma: lamb and cow’s toes cooked with sizzling spices and hummus.

And there are various extra together with Rfissa, Hout, Kefta, Briouats, Bisara, and Chebakia.

Dinner in Morocco ranges from gentle to heavy meals, with soup, often called harira, and bread being widespread.

Moroccan tea

Moroccans are critical mint tea drinkers – we normally pour it from as excessive as you possibly can. The cultural significance behind that is that the upper the tea is poured, the extra welcomed your friends are. As well as, pouring the tea from a excessive distance creates little white foam bubbles that relaxation on prime of the tea, and the concept is the extra bubbles on prime of the cup, the nicer the tea will look.

A well-known Moroccan Proverb says: “When the abdomen is full, it tells the top to sing.” I believe that offers you an concept about what I might be telling you about subsequent…sure, Music.

Music and dance

Moroccan Music is without doubt one of the elementary elements of Morocco’s tradition. There are numerous totally different musical kinds to be discovered, every one with its personal historical past.

  • Andalusian Music: Because the identify suggests, Andalusian music comes from Andalusia, in Spain. It feels like a mix of Arab and Spanish music and is carried out with classical devices.
  • Amazigh Music: it’s referred to as Ahidus. The music is expressed by means of collective dance and tune and originated amongst tribes within the Center and Japanese Excessive Atlas.
  • Chaabi Music: it’s a popularized folks style that usually feedback on social points and non-traditional themes. it largely used at weddings
  • Gnawa Music: Songs are sometimes performed utilizing a three-string camel pores and skin bass instrument (hajhouj), heavy castanets (krakebs), and non secular chanting.

There are trendy Moroccan music kinds like Funk, Hiphop, Rock, Raï, and extra.

One of many well-known singers in Morocco is Saad Lamjarred. His hit tune “Lm3allem” was the primary Arabic tune to surpass a billion views on YouTube.

Along with the good variety of melodies and rhythms, there’s a unusual musical instrument that adjusts the rhythm, attracts consideration, and provokes the need to bop. I’ts identify is “Al-Qa’dah”. This video exhibits the way it works in an exquisite dance competitors with the Flamenco.

Fan truth: Al-Qa’dah will not be solely an instrument. It’s a metallic bowl for laundry and cleansing garments too.

Holidays and occasions

Morocco is a land of many festivals and holidays. There are even three New Years which are for everybody to have a good time. One is from the Gregorian Calendar, the opposite one is for the Amazigh New Yr or Yennayer, and the final is the Islamic New Yr, Fatih Muharram.

Moroccans have a good time secular and Muslim spiritual holidays. One main Muslim vacation is Eid al-Fitr. It’s noticed over the past three days of the fasting month, referred to as Ramadan.

The opposite main Muslim vacation is Eid al-Adha. The anniversary of the occasion is described within the Quran. God ordered Abraham to sacrifice his son Ismail however supplied a ram as a substitute. Each family throughout Morocco sacrifices a sheep and eats it at a household meal throughout Eid al-Adha.

There are different nationwide holidays that we have a good time. One of the crucial vital ones is The Inexperienced March which liberated the Sahara from the Spanish occupation when King Hassan II referred to as on all Moroccans to undertake an extended march to the Kingdom’s south.

Price of dwelling

In case you have a roof over your head, sufficient meals, an earnings that covers your wants, and perhaps a bit extra, then you’re already blessed!

Everytime you ask a Moroccan about how they’re doing, they may say “Alhamdulillah” or “Thank god!” then comply with up with “Hssen mn chi w kfess mn chi” which suggests “Higher Than Some, Worse Than Others.” It doesn’t matter what issues you’re coping with, there are people who find themselves coping with worse. I’ve all the time felt that these phrases are filled with hope and gratitude, whereas for others, it makes individuals discover causes to remain the place they’re and by no means attempt.

Morocco will not be an costly nation. The sum of money you’ll spend right here depends upon the town you reside in. Massive cities like Casablanca are two to a few occasions dearer than smaller cities. Usually talking, round $1,000 monthly is an honest earnings for a family that doesn’t depend greater than 4 members.

Souk: Tens of millions of things … and no costs

I spent many of the summertime within the Souk (Moroccan market), serving to my father along with his small enterprise promoting children toys. As an introverted particular person, it was all the time uncomfortable for me to be on this place. As a vendor, you aren’t supposed to attend for purchasers to come back and purchase. You need to invite them. You need to shout the costs as loud as you possibly can. The extra individuals can hear, the extra probabilities you could have that they may purchase from you. It took me years to just accept who I’m and do it confidently.

Purchasing in Moroccan Souks requires some actual value negotiation expertise. Negotiating is a part of the Moroccan tradition. It’s a regular behavior for the Moroccan individuals. Truly, nobody accepts the primary value within the Souk.

Moroccan Souk is the very best place to get misplaced in. I all the time admired the Attar store, the colourful dunes of spices, and their totally different smells.

An image of a Moroccan shop
Attar store in Marrakech – from Unsplash

Morocco is a cat nation

When wandering the streets, you’re prone to encounter a whole bunch of stray cats in every single place you look. These cute critters are usually liked, fed, and brought care of by locals.

A lot of the cats stay on the road. The town is their house, and they’re a well-integrated a part of it. They haven’t any worry of people, they sit the place they please in the course of busy markets, they usually look each methods earlier than crossing the street.

Good luck counting road cats in Morocco!

A cat sitting next to a blue door in Morocco
A cat in Chefchaouen from Unplash


Moroccans shake fingers throughout greetings and farewells. Shut mates of the identical intercourse generally hug and change kisses on the cheeks. Individuals of the other intercourse simply shake fingers. The commonest greeting amongst Moroccans is the phrase “Al-salamu alaykum”, which suggests “Could peace be upon you.” The response is Wa “alaykum al-salam”, or “Could peace be upon you additionally.”

In Morocco, now we have a fairly much-extended greeting. It’s common to inquire in regards to the particular person and his household as nicely (father, mom, youngsters, partner…).

We don’t rush

Moroccans don’t rush, every part will occur in the best time insha’Allah “if God wills”.  A well-known proverb says “la zerba ala slah” means “There isn’t any achieve in haste”, and one other one says “Li zerbo mato” which suggests “Those that rush are those which are killed.”

Whereas it has some execs, it has plenty of cons. Going to a hospital in Morocco is commonly a one-day journey. Within the ready room, you by no means know when it’s going to be your flip. It’s the identical in terms of paperwork and all that form of stuff.

We love soccer ⚽️

It doesn’t matter what you name it, soccer, soccer, or as they are saying in Morocco Koura,

Moroccans love soccer –  it’s the nationwide sport. Our workforce the ultras are among the finest worldwide!

Moroccans like taking part in soccer as a lot as watching it, and girls get pleasure from it simply as a lot as males, they usually avidly comply with each the worldwide and native soccer tournaments.

Enjoyable details about Morocco:

  • Gladiator, Recreation of Thrones, Jail Break, Inception, and dozens of different films and television sequence have been filmed in Morocco.
  • The Movie Casablanca wasn’t shot In Casablanca.
  • Moroccan moms have an ideal obsession with their front room. As children, we weren’t allowed to sit down there. The lounge wants to remain intact for friends. You dream of at some point sitting there. Mum would clear it commonly, though it already regarded spotless.
  • Morocco is the world’s largest cannabis exporter. In response to the World Customs Organisation, It provides 70% of European Cannabis, (I’ve by no means used it ;))
An image of Ismail standing in a hashish farm in Morocco
Ismail at a cannabis farm

Remaining phrase

In Morocco, we use a quote type Ibn Khaldūn lots, which says  “ما دمت في المغرب فلا تستغرب” which suggests “So long as you’re in Morocco, don’t be shocked.”Do not be shocked how bizarre issues are. Don’t be shocked how good or unhealthy it might generally be. Do not feel shocked how illogical issues generally are. Moroccans are so attuned to being shocked and shocked for the umpteenth time, they usually have misplaced their sense of surprise.

Most Moroccans dream of going overseas. Lots of them try to go away the nation utilizing irregular types, whereas most of these overseas dream of the day they are going to be again.

In Morocco, If somebody says wait a minute, it could possibly be an hour.

In Morocco, in case you are falling asleep individuals will wake you as much as ask you in case you are sleeping.

In Morocco, What’s in between two espresso outlets? One other espresso store.

In Morocco, the image of affection will not be the guts however… the liver.

As Moroccans, We disagree lots on what sort of Morocco we would like, however all of us agree on one factor: that we love this nation as a result of it’s the land, it’s the household, it’s the meals.

Hope this has given you a bit glimpse into life in Morocco and encourage you to go to the nation at some point.



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