Morocco is a country that is steeped in tradition and customs, which extends to their hospitality and etiquette practices. Before you embark on your trip to this North African nation, it’s important to acquaint yourself with their cultural norms so that you can fully appreciate their hospitality and avoid any cultural misunderstandings. Here are some tips that will come in handy:
Greet in the traditional way
In Morocco, people greet each other with a handshake, followed by the common Muslim greeting “Assalamu alaikum” which means “peace be upon you.” The response to this greeting is “Wa alaikum assalam” which means “and peace be upon you.” It’s important to note that Moroccan men and women do not typically hug or kiss as a form of greeting, especially if they are not related or close friends.
Engage in small talk
Moroccans are known for their warm and friendly nature, so it’s not uncommon for a stranger to strike up a conversation with you in public. Make an effort to engage in small talk, as this is a way of showing that you respect their culture.
Morocco is a predominantly Muslim country, so it’s important to dress modestly. This means avoiding revealing clothing, shorts, and singlets, especially when visiting religious or conservative areas.
Be mindful of religious customs
Morocco is a country that holds its religion, Islam, in high esteem. As a result, you should be aware of some of their religious practices. For example, during the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, and it’s important to be respectful of this by not eating, drinking or smoking in public. You should also remove your shoes before entering a mosque or someone’s home.
Moroccans are known for their generous hospitality, and it’s not uncommon for them to invite strangers into their homes for a meal or cup of tea. If you are offered hospitality, it’s considered impolite to refuse it. You should make an effort to show appreciation by thanking your host and complimenting their generosity.
Tipping is customary
Tipping in Morocco is expected, particularly in the service sector. In restaurants, a tip of between 10-15% of the total bill is standard practice. You should also tip your driver or tour guide at the end of your journey.
In conclusion, Morocco’s hospitality and etiquette practices reflect the country’s rich cultural heritage. By respecting local customs and traditions, visitors can not only enjoy their trip but also gain a deeper appreciation of the Moroccan culture.