Romance in Morocco
It's worth noting that Moroccan men can marry Christian and Jewish . Over the months I meet all his family, mother, father, sisters, brothers. "But children still pay homage to tradition and will ask the parents to bless the marriage." A Moroccan wedding celebration marks the joining together of two. In what follows, we will explore this question from the viewpoint of Arab Muslim marriages arranged solely by parents are being replaced by those desired by the . The two meet as children and, each being perfect in beauty and grace, fall.
Getty Images Every bride is beautiful on her wedding day, but in Morocco, she gets to be a queen, too! The days when most Moroccan marriages were arranged belong to the past, Marrakchi says. Today's young people choose their own partners, and while the parents may have veto power, they often accept their child's choice, recognizing that times have changed.
Marriage is considered the most important decision a man and woman can make, and the wedding is an elaborate affair that can last from three to seven days. The Celebration Before the wedding, a team of chefs arrives to prepare the meals, and the family employs group of women who devote themselves to making the bride look her best.
They dress her in a traditional Moroccan wedding gown of brightly colored silk, overlaid by a sheer gown embroidered with gold thread.
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Jewels are arranged to cascade around her face, and makeup highlights her eyes. In the late afternoon or early evening, simultaneous parties are held at the home of the bride and the groom. The two families and their guests celebrate well into the night with a feast, music and dancing.
Sometime after midnight, the groom leaves his home and proceeds to the home of the bride. He is accompanied by his guests, as they sing, beat drums and dance or honk their car horns on their way to the bride's house. Upon his arrival, the bride is seated on a circular cushion and hoisted onto the shoulders of the crowd. At the same time, the groom is also lifted into the air, and they are paraded among their guests in royal style.
Later, the bride changes into a traditional outfit that reflects her family's region of Morocco, and the party continues. Hamid and Douglas found A. He was fond of Elvis Presley's song, "Buttercup," with its vivid imagery of the palpitations of passion: When I'm near the girl that I love the best My heart beats so it scares me to death.
I'm proud to say that she's my buttercup I'm in love, I'm all shook up.
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The Arabic song to which A. It's refrain, a drawn-out "You have no thought [of me],"ma'andikshshifikara, seemed to A. A few months later, A. Zawiya attitudes toward marriage To better understand young people's feelings on who should choose a spouse, we devised a marriage dilemma that we discussed late in with twelve young women and three young men who were especially comfortable talking to us.
We said there was a couple who loved each other and wanted to get married, but the parents were opposed. We had to stress that they were really in love, because there is an expectation that a young man may declare his love just to convince a girl to spend time with him; this is a semi-rural setting where dating is disapproved.
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Only one young man, aged 18 and in high school, said that the couple's wishes were clearly more important than those of the parents. If that boy gets married to the girl he likes, they will certainly live happily. Because money is not happiness; happiness is something the heart feels. The boy must have the feeling that the girl likes him. This is why I say that if the boy is hooked on a girl and he truly loves her, he should go and propose to marry her no matter what she's like.
It is not the father who should choose for the son a girl he doesn't like. It is the son who should decide what he likes. It is not the father who is getting married. A more typical response was that of a young woman of nineteen who had attended primary school. She should follow her parents' decision. If she goes against their wishes it will be her own reponsibility. She'd be ungrateful [literally, cursed by them], very much so. If she marries him against their will, she'll face a catastrophe, an accident or something--or even death, some kind of death.
They may have an accident or something--she shouldn't. Her parents told her not to marry him: Since she has grown up, [her parents] have taken good care of her: Whatever she asks for they provide, and then at the end they give an opinion and she rejects it. This is not possible; it is not admissible that she doesn't accept that advice. Like many others, she notes the respect due to parents, and fears negative consequences of disobedience. Others said more specifically that if they married against parental wishes, they would have no support in marital disputes, and nowhere to return to in case of divorce.
This young woman's response reflects both a social conformity and a practicality in matters of the heart that we found in most young women, single and married, semi-rural and urban. While Douglas heard several tales of young men's infatuations and longing, Susan heard very little to suggest that young women had similar experiences.
They did have romantic encounters, and did care for the young men, but not as totally and intensely as the young men--or it was not apparent in the way they spoke. Furthermore, they nearly always had a practical eye open to the consequences of their relationships, which could be social censure, but that they hoped would be marriage.
Young women's personal experiences of love When girls discussed magical influences on them related to love, they usually mentioned a spell cast to keep them from marrying, not something done by a male who wanted to possess them.
Only a few young women talked about love in a way that approached the kind of intensity described in early and current Arabic songs and poetry, and which Douglas encountered in young men.
One case was that of Amina, a Zawiya woman in her twenties with a primary education. A girl has to go through a period of intense attachment rabta.
The girl feels a great love for a boy. They start talking, kidding around. She starts learning new things [from him].
The girl starts to become aware of things [lit. Amina notes that it is all right for couples to have such interactions now, though discreetly, and how things have changed. In the past it wasn't right. It was shameful for a boy to talk to a girl. A boy would have one week to ask for a girl's hand and marry her ten or fifteen days later.
He only gets a good look at her when she moves into his house. Amina describes her own experience of romance: A boy will tell you "I trust you. I care for you If I don't see you for just half a day I go crazy; it seems to me I haven't seen you for a year. He cares for you. But he doesn't have any money [to marry], and you just keep sacrificing yourself for him, talking to him, laughing with him. And you lose your value [reputation]--and your family's. Okay, people see you together, but you say, "They don't matter to me.
Because even if I'm standing with him, he'll marry me, God willing. It feels like a calamity, like a "psychological complex. You sacrificed yourself for that boy, talking to him even in public Davis and Davisp. Notice that Amina repeats the boy's intense statements, but not her own.
She clearly felt strongly about him, both risking her reputation to be seen with him in public, and evidenced by her condition after they broke off. But is the core of her concern lost love or a lost opportunity for marriage?
Which was it that motivated her to take the risks of which she was clearly aware? Another young woman reports romantic experiences close to what Douglas heard from young men, but still with somewhat less intensity, and, certainly, an awareness of the consequences of her actions. When we spoke Jamila was married and in her twenties. She had grown up in a small town but now lived with her husband in the city where she had attended the university.
Jamila describes a typical way of couples getting together, something she first experienced around fifteen: There were guys who followed me, but I did not feel anything towards them. Nothing; I had no reaction to them. They were classmates, but I never thought of having a relationship with any of them.
And when anyone wrote me a letter telling me about his feelings toward me, I thought it was humiliating; I thought he just wanted to make fun of me and take advantage of me. I got mad at him and wouldn't talk to him anymore. At sixteen, one young man who had been just a friend became something more. She found herself wishing to be near Karim.
I used to hope to meet him all the time, and I started desiring kissing and hugging him. That was because when I was near him, I used to feel very relaxed; I felt a great pleasure at being near him.
Also, when I was going out with him, I tried everything possible to meet him. When he told me to meet him at night, I would go out at night, even when it was dark I used to tell [my mother] that I was going to study with Naima Yes, he taught me a bit of courage. When we were together, he told me about a movie he had seen or a book he had read. Sometimes he kissed me, but when he wanted to sleep with me, I couldn't accept. I wouldn't let him. I never had sex with Karim I used to tell myself "If I sleep with him, I will stop liking him.
I used to have worries. I knew there was the possibility of getting pregnant. The other possibility was that he would lose control and then I would lose my virginity. While she gives practical reasons for avoiding sex, Jamila also describes the ideal of platonic love a bit later. Emotions are strong in youth. I think that if I had slept with Karim, I wouldn't have remained so attached to him.
That's called platonic love.
In platonic love, however, there are no kisses, no sexual relations, nothing. One loves a girl and they know they love each other, but they don't meet. Our love was in a way ideal. If we had slept together, we probably wouldn't have stayed--I personally still feel attached to him and still think about him. I don't know about his feelings. The relationship finally ended after about four years.
Yet even in its midst, Jamila was not entirely carried away. I also used to tell myself that because of the problems with Karim and his family, I was certainly not going to remain with him a long time. Despite my love for him, our relationship was doomed to stop. I was always afraid of the future. There was no hope.
Partly because of this, and for other practical reasons, in spite of her love she refuses Karim's offer to take things into their own hands and elope. Once he suggested I run away with him. I didn't want to do that. I told myself that even if I had run away with him, I would have had to go home sometime, and they would have refused to take me.
I was worried that it would hurt my father and be embarrassing to him. My family gave me a certan freedom to go wherever I wanted to. They didn't ask me for anything as long as I passed my exams at the end of the year, They also used to buy me whatever I wanted. So in the end, I just couldn't leave. It didn't make sense. But any day I wanted to meet [Karim], I did. Other young women described marrying their husbands because they loved them, but in a matter-of-fact rather than passionate way.
Qasmiya is a small-town woman in her twenties, married for three years. She describes the process of her marriage to a husband she cares for. It provides a good example of the results many traditional young women she has a primary education hope for when they venture to interact with men in an environment where dating is not accepted.
I met him one day when I went out to the country He said "Hey, girl," and I said "Yes. He asked his friend, "Does this girl live here" and the other said yes. He asked, "Can I speak with you?
He proposed quickly, I mean, we didn't wait long When I spoke with him, I found what I wanted. I talked with my mother. I told her there is a guy who wants to come and propose to me. I told my mother because it is not proper to tell my father such a thing. I told my sister first. I said, "I don't speak with him, but they are coming to propose," and his sisters and family came and my parents agreed When I spoke with him, I knew that he is good.
He has a white heart; he is not nasty. From his warmth, I knew that he is good. He buys me clothes, gets things [presents] for me. My husband takes good care of me; I mean, we assist each other. I mean, I show my pride in him to my girlfriends and he shows his pride in me to his boyfriends. Another young matron says she married her husband because she loved him, but her description is hardly rhapsodic; her concern with the practical is evident.
She was in her twenties and had completed high school, and been married and living in a medium-sized town for about three years when we spoke.
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She had met her husband in his office. At the beginning, I was not sure that he was a good man. I married him because I loved him, that's all. You cannot know if he's good. I used to speak with him on the phone. Someone could see us and tell my father or something or tell my family Before marriage I wasn't sure about that. I couldn't know, because you have to live with someone; it's life that lets you know if a person is good.
I found out that he is serious from what people say and from what I see. Since I don't work, I rely on him for many things. An urban young woman near thirty said she had been through two "shocks" or crises before she married her current husband at twenty six. Although she didn't go into detail, the crises involved men she didn't marry.
She met her husband through relatives, and married him after three months. She was currently working and taking university courses, and had two small children. I had decided to marry him, and to convince my parents if it was necessary. I had experienced a shock in my life, and it affected me. I said "I might find a husband, or I might not;" I got sort of a complex So I was attracted to him and said, "Anyway, he won't lie to me or take advantage of me. Then one has children and they become everything to you; you have to raise them.
That is marriage for me, hapiness. There are ups and downs, of course, but with love you can surpass them, you can make sacrifices. Farida, an urban teacher and graduate student of thirty who is still single discussed her problems in finding the right man, and her family's reactions. Everybody in my family is upset; my mother wasn't, but now she is. There is a problem: I'm a little concerned, but not in the same way as my family.
I'm concerned because I cannot find a perfect match. I've been meeting young men, but I haven't been satisfied At the beginning I say, "This is the man of my life," but when we talk and become more intimate I get another picture of him. I dislike every one for a different reason. I don't want to marry for marriage's sake, just to have children and a family.
I want someone who shares my studies, my interests. I want something besides marriage and home, something that would link us more I may be wrong, because everybody says that you can't find a perfect match They say in my family "You must marry a rich man, someone who has a car" In my family they don't insist on his youth or good looks.
No, what is important is that he has money. Although Farida disapproves of marriages based on material concerns, she says the family has much influence with such demands. She describes a friend of hers who loved a young man and had a good relationship, but he was not rich.
In the end the girl decided she wanted a more comfortable life, and did not marry him.