Fes Local Customs

  • Local Customs
    by Robin020
  • Local Customs
    by Robin020
  • Local Customs
    by Robin020

Best Rated Local Customs in Fes

  • 78Eva's Profile Photo

    Cover up a little

    by 78Eva Updated May 26, 2004

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    spaghetti straps

    Morocco is in many way both a conservative and very westernized country. Almost all extremes can be found. You'll find women in jellabahs, completey veiled, just hijab, or in modern skin-tight clothing.
    In general, you don't have to dress too conservatively. You'll get hassled in Fes no matter whether you are covered up a lot or not. They will recognize that you're a foreigner, and that's enough.
    However, there are still degrees of hassling. Occasionally in Fes, you will see groups of foreign girls wearing mini-skirts and spaghetti strap shirts, i.e. exactly as they would be dressed in their own countries. This is not suitable and you will also feel the effect of it quickly. I never wore as little as this, but still noticed that the hassling increased even if wore short sleeves or some skin on my legs showed at all.
    Basically I wore long trousers or skirts and long sleeves. If it's hot, just wear light tunics or blouses - that way you're covered up but don't get too hot. It'll just get you a lot more respect and make it easier to travel.

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  • 78Eva's Profile Photo

    Tip in Morocco

    by 78Eva Written May 11, 2004

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    When I was in Morocco, nobody paid in foreign currency (except at very high-class hotels or foreign institutions). I would just pay the taxi driver in Dirham.
    You don?t have to pay the taxi driver a tip just as tip is generally not expected in Morocco (at good restaurants you do). That doesn't mean that you can't sometimes give it anyway. When some service was very good we gave tip, and also in places where we frequently returned to, and thus established friendly relations. You could mostly see, though, that people were surprised about being given tip.
    On a taxi ride, I would just round the sum up if it is convenient, e.g. if it?s 18 Dirham, I might give 20 or so.

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  • iaint's Profile Photo

    tea

    by iaint Written Jan 2, 2010

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    biscuits were gone before I got the camera out
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    A key component of Moroccan life!

    This should be on all my Moroccan pages, but Fes will have to do because that's where the photos were taken.

    I arrived at my riad before my room was ready, so I was offered mint tea on the sunny roof terrace while I waited.

    Actually, I'd rather have dropped my bags and gone for lunch, but one of the things you have to learn about Morocco is to just give yourself up to doing things their way. If you do you'll have more fun and be the better for it. Trust me...

    You will also be offered mint tea in shops - all part of the trading process.

    You can ask for it without sugar if you prefer.

    You will also notice how many tea houses there are, and that they're always busy!

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  • JamalMorelli's Profile Photo

    Cats: Kindness and Baraka

    by JamalMorelli Written Oct 28, 2006

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    Fes Cats sharing travel tips

    Like I said before, cats are charged with baraka. They are blessed in ways that if you hurt them, it is said you will be cursed.

    Islam officially likes cats. So, the Muslims of Fes have taken up the lion's share of charity towards makinng sure the cats are well watered ever since Hasan II reportedly redirected the Fes River to water his golf course - and hence, the empty fountains in most houses in Batha, etc, and dried up street fountains.

    Be nice to cats. I know you will be. You are a good person, I can tell.

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  • JamalMorelli's Profile Photo

    Riffian: Tougher than you

    by JamalMorelli Written Oct 27, 2006

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    Riffi tat
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    Okay. Fassis with names like Bennani and Idrissi mean quality pigeon pie and getting weepy at lunchtime when the Andulcian music puts them to sleep. That's a fact. But who really kicks ass up in this here ancient city? Bounjen and Khurzooz, that's who. The Rif has it's own standards, it's own culture, it's way of representin'. Peace.

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  • JamalMorelli's Profile Photo

    Crashing out to Andalusian Music after Lunch

    by JamalMorelli Written Nov 9, 2006

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    Crashing out to Andalusian Music after Lunch

    After eating bastilla, when you are feeling full, grab one of those fruits that will be offered after and get comfy on one of our famous hard sofas. If the household is traditonal Fassi, you are very likely going to be lullabied with Andalusian Music, which, like most everything else significant in Morocco, comes from Fes.

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  • JamalMorelli's Profile Photo

    Fassis: Better than you

    by JamalMorelli Updated Feb 9, 2007

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    giant wedding chair, lil guy - photo Jamal Morelli
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    Though the title catches the spirit, ask around. What do Moroccans outside Fes think of Fassis?
    As an adopted Fassi, I'll say that the attitude isn't just that your city is measurable less souflful, that your food (and yo' mama's food) is not as tasty, your clothes don't have that combo of ancient elegance and still sexy look, that your particular culture hasn't had the 1300 year headstart that Fes has -

    I'll say it again and again - any place that has had as long as old Fes has had to come up with an idea of itself is going to feel, or at least appear to feel, superior. (and therefore, possibly make you feel out-classed, a cultural 'wuss')

    WARNING: uh-oh, You feel small.
    Well, if you feel put upon by so much seemingly innate native cultural magnificence and grandness, try this: Hot Summer Best Selling Books are a bit of weak point with them. So point out (to a Fassi poet, Sufi philosopher, medina boho, Quran reciter for one example) that while the Fez-educated authors may be of some of most profound in the world, they don't really understand 'where it is at' when it comes to Jackie Collins! Yeah! Fes has never created anything like "The Stud," "The B*tch" or anything in the Hollywood Series.

    Bayti: Care for the Street Kids of Morocco
    Morocco
    Learn Arabic
    Bargaining pt 1

    Photos by Jamal Morelli, uploaded at Studio Shamharush

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  • MichaelFalk1969's Profile Photo

    Donkeys have right of way

    by MichaelFalk1969 Updated Feb 7, 2008

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    1 more image

    Many passages in the Medina are so narrow that the only means of transport is either human labour or a donkey. It is incredibile what these sorry animals have to shoulder here - don`t be surprised when you see one with several TV-sets or refrigerators on its back. When you hear the sound "barak, barak", best get out of the way quick, a donkey is coming and you don`t want to get run over. The donkey has always right of way.

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    Guides

    by MichaelFalk1969 Updated Feb 11, 2008

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    I was not approached by many "false" guides (who in most cases a) do not really know the city or b) try to overcharge you, or c) try to take you to their brother`s/father`s/uncle`s shop or d) all in one), but to use an official guide for an introduction to Fes-El-Bali is highly recommended. They might even tell you the one or other odd information which you do not find in the guide books, and are pretty cheap (100 Dirhams per hour). They are also useful for navigating the city for the first time - as you will soon find out, orientation is mainly learning by doing here. A city map is only of limited use here.

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  • JamalMorelli's Profile Photo

    Clapping Games

    by JamalMorelli Written Dec 28, 2006

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    Follow this rhythm, baby - photo Jamal Morelli

    The tiny alleys and cave like nature of the medina make great acoustic for the wild polyrhythmic clapping games of Morocco. Keep your ears open...try and follow the pattern and you will belong to Fes in your self-hypnotized state...

    Back to the Moroccan Main Page

    Bayti: Care for the Street Kids of Morocco
    Morocco
    Learn Arabic
    Bargaining pt 1

    Photos by Jamal Morelli, uploaded at Studio Shamharush

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  • JamalMorelli's Profile Photo

    Headscarves

    by JamalMorelli Updated Dec 29, 2006

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    Headscarves2 - courtesy of Studio Shamharush
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    I go into it more on my Moroccan page - this is a good town to wear a headscarf if you have ever considered it. It is not mandatory by a long shot, just quite common to see on the women on Fes.

    Bayti: Care for the Street Kids of Morocco
    Morocco
    Learn Arabic
    Bargaining pt 1

    Photos uploaded at Studio Shamharush

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  • JamalMorelli's Profile Photo

    Eyes to the medina's cave walls: Love Graffitti

    by JamalMorelli Written Dec 29, 2006

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    Love bomb shrapnel - photo Jamal Morelli

    (There are more photo examples and a bit more verbiage on the Moroccan page...)

    Something to make your heart small while lost in the medina is a preponderance of hearts and the word 'love' scratched into the walls...

    Keep your eyes and heart open...

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    Shoemakers crammed into Tiny Spaces

    by JamalMorelli Written Dec 30, 2006

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    Even though it is a hotter topic to talk about women, poor men's lives (to me) look ten times worse. You will see it during your wandering in the medina. The chinese have started competing heavy in the Fes shoe market, so, if you want to help the local economy - buy Fassi shoes (even if they have Italian designer label on them)

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  • solopes's Profile Photo

    Bargaining

    by solopes Updated Dec 30, 2013

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    Fes - Morocco

    No, I don't like it, but "In Rome be a Roman"... so, I tried my best bargaining everywhere. I don't know (nor care) if I did good or bad deals! I just found amusing that, for them, it seems more important to discuss the articles than... selling them.

    That's why sometimes I gave up and left, and... bought cheaper at the shop doors.

    Remember: Bargaining is a cultural reference, and if you don't do it you will be spending your money and... chocking them.

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  • keeweechic's Profile Photo

    Zelij Tiles

    by keeweechic Written Mar 7, 2009

    Zeilij is a type of Moroccan tile mosaic and there is a beautiful fountain framed by a sandstone horseshoe arch on either side of the lower level of the Mausoleum. Zelij is a traditional art of Fez and the name given to a certain design handmade tiles chiseled into exact geometric shapes. It is commonly used for a number of things such as the tops of tables, floors and walls and of course beautiful fountains.

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    • Historical Travel

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