Culture of Morocco
Discover the culture of Morocco, from everyday etiquette to cinema, music and art, straight from our experts.
Most of the culture in Morocco is founded on the indigenous traditions of both the Berber tribes of northern Africa and that of Islam. Each has added something to the country, which has made it a rich tableau of languages and heritage.
You’ll quickly fall in love with the sandy streets, the warm air and the uniqueness of the colors incorporated into the buildings and homes. Much of modern day Moroccan architecture is heavily influenced by the Moors, the French and Islamic culture. They brought with them colorful Zellige tiling, fountains, mosques, and Arabesque patterns and motifs. Fes in particular is an architecture lovers’ dream with many resplendent untouched historical buildings, the grand Fes el Bali medina, and its famous tanneries.
For the culture vulture, it’s impossible not to be distracted. Plenty of galleries and international exhibitions have popped up all over the country. Realizing its potential to promote the emergence of homegrown and international contemporary art, the Marrakech Biennale began in 2005 and has gone from strength to strength reinforcing Morocco’s image as an artistic powerhouse in Africa. While Casablanca has the Villa Des Arts, Marrakech is also home to some of the country’s most stunning museums including the Dar Si Said Museum, the Museum of Islamic Art, and the Majorelle Garden once owned by Yves Saint-Laurent.
Abroad, Morocco has always been in the limelight. The multiculturalism of Tangiers from the 1940s-1970s created an artistic mecca and its own literary history by drawing the likes of Paul Bowles, William Burroughs and many others.
Casablanca has always been an import seaside city and port but international attention spiked with the release of the 1942 titular Hollywood classic and never let up (you can still check out Rick’s Café). Morocco’s first international film festival took place in Marrakech in 2000.
Moroccan Arab Bedouin music is well-known internationally and in recent times the music scene has become a melting pot of cultures and influences that includes: Andalusian, Chaabi rock bands, folk, classical, Persian and recently hip-hop.
Morocco is a welcoming holiday destination for just about anyone, with friendly faces and colorful buildings all around you. If you are willing to put yourself out there and mingle, Moroccan people will welcome you into their homes and make you feel instantly comfortable, often telling you tales of their homeland.
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