These super nice habits are typical of Moroccans. I have learned about them from my experiences living with Moroccans in Morocco and abroad. Tourists to Morocco and foreigners might find some of these habits and practices peculiar and even misinterpret them.
One thing I surely learned about asking for directions in Morocco (or asking a Moroccan for direction anywhere in the world), is that instead of telling you how to get to your destination, a Moroccan is most certainly going to insist on walking you all the way to your destination; just to make sure you get there!
Taking your picture
If you are a tourist in Morocco, be prepared for total strangers to approach you and volunteer to take your picture. Also, if you ask a Moroccan to take your picture, they are not only going to take your picture, but they are very likely going to ask you to pose for a couple more pictures.
Heard of the term “going Dutch”? Well, “going Moroccan” is what I would like to see used as its antonym, simply because it means exactly the opposite. If you happen to go out for dinner or a date with a Moroccan, rest assured that they will most certainly get the bill and save everyone from that awkward moment of when the bill arrives. However, if you happen to be out for a group meal with more than one Moroccan, then sit back and watch them argue (as if fighting) on who is going to get the bill, this time!
Shaking hands… almost every time you meet!
People in Morocco normally greet each other with a gentle handshake, and they do this almost every time they meet. This way of greeting could also be observed in Moroccans living abroad. It mostly takes Moroccans living abroad sometime before they can change this habit, though I personally see no need to change it.
Blowing nose in private
Blowing your nose in public is not considered rude nor gross in most Western societies. However, for Moroccans, it is seen as bad manners and gross to blow your nose in front of others. Next time your Moroccan friend or colleague has a cold, notice how they go outside or retreat to a different room in order to blow their nose.
Sharing food with strangers
Let us say you are taking an intercity train or coach in Morocco, chances are that the passenger traveling next to you will hand you something to munch on at some point throughout the trip. Be it a homemade Moroccan wrap, a cookie or even a chewing gum. For Moroccans, it is considered rude to indulge yourself in a meal or snack while someone next to you is watching. The norm is, if you wish to snack or eat something, especially in an enclosed space, such as a coach or a train cabin, then be prepared to share your food with whoever is sitting next to you.
No food “to go”
It is very uncommon to see people in Morocco walking and eating at the same time. Moroccans normally eat only when seated. Eating in public is generally seen as impolite. The reason is cultural and very much tied to the previous point of eating while others are watching.
In Morocco, it is very common for people to invite acquaintances or total strangers to their home for a meal or tea. If you happen to meet a Moroccan at some point in your life, you will notice that it won’t take them long before they extend you the invitation. If you are touring Morocco, chances are you will be invited multiple times by the locals to enjoy a meal at their house. Here is the thing; Moroccans will get out of their way to make you feel welcome. Moroccan hospitality is unmatched; it is something of a legend.
So, you got invited to a Moroccan’s house. One thing you won’t fail to notice is the pile of shoes and sandals at the entrance of the house. That is a sign that your shoes should not go beyond that point. Moroccans tend to be super polite and might say that you do not have to take your shoes off. But, seriously, take your shoes off.
If you compliment a Moroccan’s taste with regards to their possessions, especially readily portable possessions which can be easily gifted, they are certainly going to either gift it to you right there and then, or at least make sure they get it for you next time. While all you intended was to compliment their taste, for some reason Moroccans see that as an admiration of the object and feel pressured to gift it.
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