“The first glass is as bitter as life, the second glass is as strong as love, the third glass is as gentle as death”. -Moroccan Proverb
The term place can be hard to generalize or define with certainty, however writer Yi-Fu Tuan refers to place as “a pause in the temporal current.” In Morocco, the “pause” in everyday life expresses its unique cultural heritage in numerous ways, such as tea ceremonies, call to prayer, celebration of life and death, and their use of symbology and tattoos.
Arab geographers call this land El Maghreb El Aksa – ‘the land farthest west – meaning the westernmost point in the Islamic world (Jereb 7). Much of Morocco’s daily life – food, music, craft traditions, ceremonies – revolve around its Islamic religious traditions. While there are many different religious types, Morocco is known as an Islamic state, and also sometimes referred to as an African state. Typically Moroccan Muslims pray up to five times a day, at dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset, and evening. The call to prayer is a reminder of more spiritual things that are integral to Moroccan culture.
The tea ceremonies and culture in Morocco occupies a very important place in its culture. The tea represents the ideology of taking a break from life’s activities and to enjoy simply being. Traditionally, Moroccan’s prefer a mint tea. This mint tea is a gunpowder tea imported from China and is flavored with mint leaves and sugar. Not only is Moroccan mint tea served at every meal but it is also served throughout the day. Unlike Moroccan cooking, which is prepared by the women, the process of making and serving the tea is the man’s business.
What is also interesting about Moroccan culture and society is their use of tattoos. The practice of tattooing is mostly done on women and rarely on men. This is the result from believing that the body had many vulnerable spots that were susceptible to evil. In Moroccan society, the term evil refers to the evil eye and djoun. Many Moroccans do not have open dialogue about either of these terms for it is believed to conjure up mischievous spirits and bad luck. Tattoos are considered to be a form of protection against evil spirits. The act of tattooing is usually done during a social context and acts as a form of nonverbal communication, which exemplifies the role of women in Moroccan societies. The significance of a tattoo lies in the fact that if a women is tattooed it acts as an indicator of her place in a social group. In some parts of Morocco, young girls between the ages of ten and sixteen are tattooed as a passage into adulthood. This passage into adulthood can refer to an upcoming marriage or the fact that she is already married.
It should be noted that even though women may have traditional style tattoos, there is a strong western influence of tattooing in the younger generations. The act of tattooing on men can be seen as against Islamic tradition and religion. There aren’t very many places