Traditions And Culture

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Environment of Errachidia

Errachidia is situated in the ZIZ valley, in between the mountains of High Atlas and the dessert sand hills.
The landscape is dominated by red colored mountains, rocks and fields of stones.
In the middle of this dry environment you can find many oasis of palmtrees which produce delicious dates.
On a 18 kilometer distance of Errachidia there is the Blue Source Meski located.
Blue Source Meski is a natural stream which cold water comes directly from the mountains.
In summer Blue Source Meski is an ideal place for a swim or refreshment.
Because of the drought it is difficult to make a living out of agriculture.
Nevertheless agriculture brings the main source of income for most people.
Weather
Errachidia has a desert climate, The winters are cold, temperatures fall to 12 degrees under zero with huge differences between night and day.
The best temperatures are those in spring and autumn with an average of 25 degrees.
The summers are hot. July and August are the hottest months with a temperature of around 40 degrees in daytime.
The evenings and nights in summer are very pleasant.
The weather can change in a very short period. In two weeks time the weather can change from around zero degrees and snow to 25 degrees and sunny.
The people and culture
The region of Errachidia is a cultural and linguistic mosaic.
Every tribe, every valley, every village has its own unique characteristics, identifiable by its music, architectural features and its customs.
Ethnic diversity is considerable with many races and colours in evidence: the Chorfas Alaouites, natives of the Arabic peninsula mixed with the Berber tribe of Ait Morghad (from the region of Goulmima), the Ait Izdeg (the area around Rich) and the Ait Atta (around Aoufous).
Even if men dress in more or less the same way with regional nuances undetectable to the unaccustomed eye, the costumes and hairstyles of the women and equally their living conditions differ from one spot to another within the province and from one tribe to another.
There is a world of difference between the black ‘Haiks’ worn by the women of Rissani and the costumes of the Ait Morghad and the Ait Izdeg.
Every region and every tribe has its own dialect.
Tribal members are recognisable by their language and accent and every tribe posseses a rich and varied oral and poetic tradition.
Islam
Islam dominates the Moroccan way of life.
Five times a day you can hear the call from the mosques when it is prayer time.
People pray in Mosques, but it is also common to pray on any other place as long as there is a clean subsoil.
When there is no clean subsoil people use small carpets to do their prayer.
You can find people praying in the suq, in the busstation or just on the street.
Friday afternoons are reserved to spend the day in the mosques, or to dedicate the time to the God in another place.
For Moroccan people it is forbidden to drink alcohol, eat pork or have sexual relationships outside marriage.
For tourists all this kind of behaviour is tolerated.
You will never see people showing their love in public places, for example kissing or hugging in the street is not done.
It is even undesirable for a man and a woman to hold hands in public, whether they are married or not.
Greetings
People usually greet each other by shaking hands.
Good friends kiss each other on the cheek when they haven’t seen each other for a long time. Kissing is only common between people from the same gender, except between close family members:
brothers and sister kissing each other is very normal. The greetings are followed by many questions about the wellbeing of the other person and his or her family.
In Moroccan Arabic there are about five ways to ask how somebody is doing and all these expressions are used when people meet each other ‘labas, bgar, kdir, gbark, mezyan?’ It is very normal for two people of the same gender to hold hands.

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