Friday, July 21, 2006

This Week's NATIONAL ETIQUETTE AWARD goes to... Morocco!

Morocco - Wikipedia

Morocco - World Factbook

Moroccan News

I hereby grant the National Etiquette Award to Morocco, as it is customary in that country to remove shoes when entering homes.

My primary interest in Morocco, I admit, is culinary. I have had the opportunity on a few occasions to eat at Moroccan restaurants and the food has been fabulous. The experience was very similar at each of the restaurants. They attempt at each to make the eating areas look as much like "tents" as feasible. Each party is seated at a low, round table, on soft stool-like seats or cushions. The first ritual is hand washing. As with everything else, this is done together in the center of the table. The server pours warm water (at one place the water was scented with roses) over a bowl onto the hands of the guests. After the hands are cleaned, they bring out bread and put a platter on the center of the table with various food to eat with the bread. I recall an eggplant dip and vegetables. My favorite part of the meal is a large, round pastry filled with shredded chicken and seasoned with cinnamon. Very good stuff. I think there are three courses prior to the main course. The main course is the meat. The meat is according to the common choice of the guests at the table. I have had lamb, beef and chicken with various sauces and seasonings. Dessert is served with tea and typically consists of a variety of whole fruit. Dinner entertainment is often provided by a belly dancer. Some stay in one place to dance and others come table to table. The meal can take two or three hours to eat and there are no eating utensils provided. While a bit pricey, it is a very fun and tasty American Moroccan experience!

At roughly 33 million souls, Morocco is the fourth most populous Arab nation in the world. With 99.85% of the total population professing Islam, the gospel is much needed and much resisted. The country is officially closed to missionaries. As of 2001, there were an estimated 500 believers in Jesus Christ.

The government officials of Morocco admitted to the international community in 1999 that there were over 500,000 children under 15 in their labor force. They are working toward changing their dependence on child labor.

In short, enjoy their food, pray for their souls, and appreciate their courtesy for removing their shoes in homes!


Redeemed said...

Angie, I'm with you on Morocan food, I just love it. And it's healthy food too. ;)

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Yes, Moroccan food is good, especially with couscous. My mother loves to cook Moroccan style.

My parents had a brief visit to Morroco once while on a cruise.

Every Blessing in Christ


The IBEX Scribe said...

Yay for food! ;)