5 Tips to Tour Morocco with Good Manners
Here are five important social and cultural tips that will be useful when you travel to Morocco with Access Trips. As it is in any country, the best way to absorb Moroccan culture is to act like local residents. Since Moroccans excel in the role of gracious host, you’re quite likely to get invited to a resident’s home for tea. When you enter a Moroccan’s home, you need to take special care to show your appreciation properly—perhaps offer a gift—and avoid accidentally giving offense. You don’t need to be a Morocco expert to accomplish this. All you have to do is follow these five etiquette tips.
Morocco is a Muslim country, and so modesty is important. Especially in the Berber villages of the Atlas Mountains, some visiting women even wear shawls or a headscarf to show respect for their customs. Men and women alike should wear loose-fitting clothes that cover most of the arms and legs. Capri pants are fine, shorts are not! While this etiquette tip applies on all Morocco tours (except at the beach), it is especially important to dress appropriately when you visit a local home as a sign of respect to your hosts and their culture.
Use your right hand
In Morocco, the left hand is reserved for bathroom hygiene and dirty chores. So it is considered incredibly rude to eat, shake hands, give a gift, or leave a tip with your left hand. If you get invited to a local’s home for tea during your tour of Morocco, be especially careful to only touch your cup and any fruit or bread that may be offered with your right hand.
Take your shoes off
Moroccans typically remove their shoes inside the home, so be sure you’re prepared to follow suit. If you’re given advance notice for your visit, make sure your socks are clean and ready for a public display. This will show you are a considerate person with an understanding of and respect for local culture, not just one of the inconsiderate globetrotters that travel through Morocco.
Don’t give praise
Moroccans generally are not comfortable receiving direct praise. Of course, if there is a language barrier this probably won’t be an issue. But if you can converse comfortably, avoid spouting out the flood of compliments that most Western cultures require during a social visit.
Use traditional sayings
Your Moroccan hosts will be impressed if you can use a few traditional sayings. Use “bismillah” (in God’s name) as a sort of grace before eating or drinking. If you want to praise the food, follow your compliment with “tbarkellah” (blessed is God). This is the traditional way for a Moroccan to say they like something, and it is the one type of praise your host will happily accept!