Getting someone the perfect gift is never easy, especially when you are giving to a person of another culture. Cultural etiquette regarding gift giving is especially strong in Morocco, where the people adhere to very strict and deeply held cultural traditions. If you want to give a gift to a Moroccan, there are some things you be aware of.
Before you give a gift to a Moroccan, it is important to consider Moroccan culture to understand the values of the recipient. About 97 per cent of the Moroccan population is Muslim. Muslims adhere to a strict, traditional cultural code. There are many rules regarding social interactions, including gift-giving customs, eating habits and relationships between men and women. If you are giving a gift to a member of the opposite sex, stick with something basic, like flowers or food. Because alcohol is typically not consumed by traditional Muslims, it is best to avoid giving it as a gift altogether unless you are sure that the recipient drinks it.
Gift Giving Etiquette
For Moroccans, it is customary that people get to know each other before exchanging gifts. This means that it is not necessary to present a gift to someone upon a first meeting. However, if you are an invited dinner guest at a Moroccan home, you should present the hostess with a gift of sweet pastries, nuts, figs, dates or flowers.
Gifts for Children
It is customary for small gifts to be given to the children of a host and hostess. This is considered as a token of affection and is smiled upon in Moroccan culture. An appropriate gift would be a book or small toy. Children will appreciate any small item from a foreign country, as any non-Moroccan item is held in high value.
Gifts for Weddings
Weddings are a grand affair in Morocco. Like in other Muslim countries, weddings last anywhere from four to seven days. Weddings are typically very expensive, with money being spent on food, drink and special clothing. A dowry is given to the bride by the groom's family, and it is used to buy household items for the couple's new home. Wedding guests can add to the couple's new life by giving household gifts or cash. Guests can also send wedding gifts for the bride, such as clothing, jewellery and perfume.