The Culture of Morocco


The culture and civilization of Morocco is a combination of various ethnic groups. The Arabs, Jews, Phoenicians, Moors, and Sub-Saharan Africans have contributed to the social structure and customs of the Moroccans. The government has strengthened its commitment to conserve the cultural heritage of each province because its own distinctiveness and qualities. The population is composed of 65% Arabs and 35% Berbers making the Classical Arab as official language while Darija-Arabic remains the most widely used; other languages spoken in the country are Berber and French.

The Dar, one of the most common styles of houses in Morocco, is normally seen in walled urban district of a city. It has thick, tall walls with small open-air patios while the interior is usually decorated extravagantly. Djellaba is the traditional clothing for the Moroccans. It is a long, loose, covered dress with full sleeves which are somewhat expensive and most are hand-made. Women prefer bright colors djellabas with ornate patterns, beading, and stitching while men choose the plain. Most men also wear the balgha, soft leather slippers with no heel, oftentimes in yellow while women prefer sandals with high heels and gold or silver glitters. The Moroccan food is popular for its extensive use of spices. Home-grown ingredients such as saffron, olives, lemons, and mint are commonly added to Moroccan cuisines to bring more flavors. Chicken and beef are the most frequently eaten meat. The most popular dishes include the couscous, pastilla, harira, and tajine.

Influenced by African, Arab, and Andalusian practices, the Moroccan music uses various conventional instruments like the shawn, zither, and flutes. Modern music from the West such as hip hop, rock, fusion, reggae, and metal, have also made its way to the Moroccan experience, especially to the youths, by incorporating it to traditional sounds to produce what is known as raï.