Morocco is the third welcoming country in the world According to the World Economic Forum investigation measuring the quality of being warm and welcoming to strangers. The survey was done in 2013 and relied mainly upon nations attitude towards tourists.
Only 20 countries among 140 were marked ‘Very good welcoming’. Traveling is almost the same as rebirth, you will not only face new challenging situations, but don’t understand others conversations as well. The best gift you may receive is cheerful eyes and welcoming hearts all around you. Tourists to Morocco will never forget Moroccans hospitality or neglect to mention it in their travel stories.
Is it easy to be hosted?
It is more likely to receive Moroccan families invitations when traveling alone, especially in small villages. You can be easily invited to someone’s home after a conversation with a guide, a trader or even a taxi driver or only by seeking information from a passenger. Don’t worry, the invitation is usually sincere and the host will be so glad to receive you. However, never reject such a request before looking for a convincing reason, the host may feel rejected and it is otherwise an outstanding experience not to miss. The same goes for someone sharing food with you once you walk by, Moroccans believe it is God who put the food on your road.
Tourists enjoying traditional dance with a Moroccan Family
Moroccans eating habits:
Moroccans generally eat from a common dish, but new visitors may be given their own plates. It is entirely up to you to refuse or not the given plate, your hosts just want you to feel comfortable. Also, before walking on the room’s carpet, try to take off your shoes, this is a common tradition to avoid cleaning the carpet: an exhausting mission to complete. In addition, Moroccans wash their hands before each meal and use the right hand when eating due to religious purposes, it would be better if you do the same. Muslims also say ‘Bismillah’ (i.e in the name of god) before eating and ‘Hamdolillah’ (i.e praise be to God) once finishing. Even if your appetite is fully satisfied hosts will invite you to eat more, a good way to refuse is saying ‘baraka, choukran’ (i.e that’s enough, thank you).
Sharing food with a Berber Family
The whole process:
In Morocco, hosting remains a complicated long process. The host goes to massive expenses and does his best to provide a complete experience: a great meal, an interesting conversation, and a unique area of rest and relaxation. Your host will certainly encourage you to eat more at every setting until you can’t possibly take an extra bite of food. The first things you will be given are some tea glasses along with sweets and peanuts or dried fruits. But avoid eating until satiety, this is just an introductory meal, your host is preparing a whole feast. The next course my be Couscous , Pastilla or a Tajine of chiken, Kefta or fish. Always remember, more meals are waiting to be served, so eat with moderation and never think you are finished until you see fruits: the most common concluding meal. During the entire process, your host will be warm, kind and so happy to see you comfortable, a cheerful face is then the best gift he can give.
In Morocco, even children are exceptionally welcoming their guests and try to eat slowly so that guests can eat as much as they probably can. Much more, a fabulous fact to know is that in every Moroccan family, there are specific plates, trays, forks, spoons and knives they never use until a guest is coming.
Is religion presenting any challenges?
Moroccans respect tourists beliefs and won’t talk much about religion in order not to cause any embarrassment. But if you ask about any aspect of their spiritual life they will be happy to explain giving all the details they have known. At the same time you have certain responsibilities too. For example, if you are planning to enter a mosque you will have to know that this requires more than passion: it requires physical and mental preparation, a specific washing of the body (i.e ablution) in accordance with the Qur’an as well as the proper covering for both men and women. Even Muslims would not enter the mosque missing any of these conditions. Also, when being hosted by Moroccans, try not to wear sexy clothes, respectable clothing will make them not only at ease but honoring you as well.
From the moment you arrive until you leave, you can’t be in need of anything. Moroccan families share everything with their guests showing unique displays of kindness. What is also striking about Moroccan hosting is how natural and spontaneous it all seems. When tourists have the chance to encounter such marvelous values while travelling, the best thing they can do in return is being kind and respectful in order to preserve this authenticity as long as possible.
Hence, it is tourists responsibility too to make Moroccan hospitality lasts forever, whatever changes the world is going through.
Peace with all religions (Casablanca Mosque and cathedrale)
What are you waiting for!?
Have you ever been to Morocco and tasted the Moroccans hospitality and generosity, tell us more about what you experienced there !