Marrakesh Local Custom Tips by suvanki Top 5 Page for this destination
Marrakesh Local Customs: 100 reviews and 127 photos
Keeping to the right!
When wandering around the souks/ Medina/ Mellah areas, I was often advised by locals/guides etc to keep to the right side of the road/alleyway. Which suddenly reminded me of a line from 'Midnight Express' which I'd seen on TV a few days before my holiday (Yes, those Christmas/New Year TV repeats!) when the hero of the film decides to walk in the opposite direction to everyone else of his 'inmates' and he's reminded that '"a good Muslim always walks to the right"
I've since found out this is also the practice in Venice, another city with narrow, crowded streets
Berber Musicians, Djemma el Fnaa
Although Djemma el Fnaa IS a tourist attraction, where snake charmers, colourfully attired Water Sellers and Gnaoua musicians, pose for photos (for a price!), many of the musicians, singers and storytellers are performing to and for the locals. (Usually dressed in 'everyday clothes' not costumes!)
The speed and dialect they use is often too difficult for foreign tourists to understand!
Around the square, you'll see crowds gathered in a circle around these artistes.
Some may be listening to an animated storyteller, pacing in front of his audience, others to Berber musicians accompanying a singer or storyteller, sometimes with a male or female (or Transvestite or Trans-sexual ) dance, often taking a comic role!
I spent most of my evenings watching a performance from a group of Berber musicians who seemed to have adopted me! (I think they were called Groupe Aylalen)
They often invited me to join them for a drink, at a nearby cafe, after their performance (which I'm afraid I declined)
Gathered around kerosene lamps, the musicians would start a tune, then start singing, their leader would then break off and start appealing to the crowd- Although I couldn't understand fully, there seemed to be different storylines, where other musicians from the group would also take their turn in the proceedings to appeal for money.
Slowly, coins would be tossed into the arena, when enough was judged to be collected, the music would continue - a sort of pay per view!
There were also cassette tapes of the groups music to buy. (Which I did - a souvenir that reminds me of my happy evenings in Djemma el Fnaa!)
Often musicians and dancers from other groups would come and join in for a song or two, before returning to their own group.
The musicians are on the lookout for tourists taking photo's, and will (rightly) expect a tip, but often they are then invited to take a seat, with a front row view.
These evenings made my stay in Marrakesh even more special, I felt quite at home here!
'The Hand of Fatima'
Usually gold (or gold coloured) 'The Hand of Fatima' is often either worn as an item of jewellery, or fashioned into door knockers, to ward off 'the evil eye'
The hand is usually holding a gold ball, and wears a ring on the 2nd or 3rd finger.
Although this photo was taken in Essaouira, I did spot examples whilst wandering around the Medina in Marrakesh. I've since spotted examples in Granada - (Andalucian Spain)
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