Every year, more than 11 million tourists visit the Moroccan kingdom of North Africa. Its magnificent deserts and its impressive culture have nourished a thousand and one legends. Unfortunately, victim of its success, Morocco is also associated with many stereotypes. Often unusual, sometimes downright offensive, they reign supreme in the minds of many foreigners.
1- Welcome to the land of couscous and tajine!
Don’t play innocent… When you think of Morocco, your mind projects the image of a plate of a steaming couscous. Yes, couscous is a Moroccan dish. Yes, the tajine is a real treat for the taste buds. But the kingdom’s gastronomy is not limited to these two dishes. In fact, the Moroccan gastronomy is ranked as 2nd best cuisine in the world and is so vast that we can’t enumerate all the Moroccan dishes.
Next time you visit Morocco, feel free to share something other than photos of couscous or tajine. The Moroccan people will be very grateful to you.
2- Moroccan women have only one idea in mind: getting married.
Preferably with a rich man so that they can spend their days in front of the television screaming at domestic servants. Of all the stereotypes, this is without a doubt one of the most offensive.
In the land of King Mohammed VI, innovation is rewarded and entrepreneurship in all its forms is encouraged. Every year, more than 75,000 new businesses are created, 12% of which are initiated by women. In Casablanca and Marrakech, incubators are multiplying. The excellent 4G speed has allowed many women to earn money on the internet without having to leave home. More than a tourist country, Morocco is also a country at the cutting edge of technology. So try not to meet women on these premises. In spite of all the facts previously mentioned, some people persist in believing that Moroccan women are diamond diggers.
3- All Moroccans are Arabs
No, no, and no. Morocco is a country of cultural diversity that many people do not suspect. Alongside the Arabs are Berbers, Amazighs, Saharawis, and many other peoples. It is difficult to know this when you do not know the history of the country. Morocco is not just Marrakech, Fez, or Casablanca. These tourist sites do not reflect all the beauty of this amazing, beautiful, and diversified country. Want to discover the true face of the Moroccan people? Venture off the beaten track and dare to visit small villages or rural communities. You may be pleasantly surprised.
4- Moroccans travel by camel
This stereotype is hard to qualify. The many postcards depicting camels on a desert background have not only had a positive effect. Outside tourist areas or regions where camels are used as draught animals, you are unlikely to come across them frequently. With almost 1 million inhabitants, Marrakech is a modern city where paved roads have long since replaced dirt tracks. Covering an area of 230 km2, it cannot be crossed by camel.
Did you think you would have to ride a camel every time you leave your hotel? Then forget about this crazy dream right now! In Morocco, the inhabitants use cars, taxis, and buses to get from point A to point B. They simply move around just like you do.
5- Moroccans practice “Tberguig” with assiduity
Also known as gossip, slander, and the fact of noticing everything to the smallest detail, “Tberguig” seems to be a Moroccan specialty in the same way as couscous.
In Morocco, friendliness is the order of the day and your neighbor will never hesitate to step over your fence to lend you a hand, but that’s where it ends. Of course, you will find people who like to meddle in other people’s business. But try to find a country where they don’t exist. No matter where you live, there’s always someone willing to gossip about X or Y. It’s sad, but that’s life. You can go to Morocco without fear of having your life spread out in the public square. Don’t let preconceived ideas prevent you from discovering this splendid country.
6- Moroccans are too corrupt
This is a stereotype that is all too common. For many people who have never been to Morocco before, you can negotiate whatever you want. According to the beliefs, it would be enough to slip money to a policeman, for example, if one wants to avoid a fine. Slipping money to the right person would also make it possible to be at the head of the queue. That is obviously not the rule. Like most countries in the world, there are corrupt people who have no qualms about doing this kind of thing. In order to deal with this scourge for which Morocco is being singled out, the authorities have in recent years put in place various initiatives.
7- Moroccans are most of the time behind schedule
According to many foreigners, Moroccans are people who have no notion of punctuality, which is according to them the origin of the formula “a Moroccan appointment”. In other words, when a Moroccan sets an appointment with a person, he or she will not be there until an hour after the time indicated. However, this belief should not be relied upon, since the country has populations with very different mentalities, as is the case in most parts of the country. Therefore, while some Moroccans will be very punctual, others will not be able to show up for an appointment at the agreed time since they consider themselves as more ”relaxed” and do not see, for example, the use of running for an appointment.
8- The majority of Moroccan women are “prostitutes”.
This is one of the stereotypes that greatly damages the image of all women in this country. Even if it is true for some girls in Morocco, it does not mean that all women in this country are promiscuous. Rather, Moroccan women are women who most often aspire to marry and start a family in accordance with tradition. This stereotype should therefore not be relied upon.
9- Moroccans all practice witchcraft
Despite the fact that it is made up of a population that includes a majority of Muslims and Christians, many consider this country to be the land of witchcraft. According to them, in order to fulfill their most cherished wishes or to achieve their goals, it would be enough to turn to a sorcerer. With the help of a few tricks of the trade, the latter could then perform miracles. However, this belief should not be trusted, because it is by no means the reality, and of course it is not practiced by all Moroccans.