Since I arrived in Morocco, there is one thing I noticed directly! Of course, before I got to Morocco people already told me some stuff about it, but I never experienced it in real life. Luckily, I had taken it into account. I am talking about the way people dress in Rabat and especially in the Medina.
Normally, when it is thirty degrees outside like it has been here in September, I just wear a short dress or a short with a top because else way I get way to hot. The people in Rabat do not do that. When they go outside of the house, they are fully covered. With fully covered I mean that, especially for the women, they cover their shoulders and knees. The older women also wear a headscarf. I noticed that a lot of younger girls, like my age, do not always wear one. I talked about this a lot with my host family, and mainly with my sister here. She told me that in your own house, you can wear whatever you want to. Sometimes she just walks in her underwear, without a headscarf and still complains that it is too hot. But when she goes outside, she covers herself in total, so with a long dress and a headscarf. I asked her why it was normal to dress like that outside and dress totally different inside in the house. She explained it to me very clear.
In Morocco, Islam is such a large part of everyday life. She told me that because of Islam, it is important to cover yourself and that you do not show your body to everyone. This is a part of looking chaste. People respect you because you live up to their religion. One time, I thought maybe they think it is fine if I just wear a short here since they can absolutely see that I am not from Morocco with my light skin, green eyes and blond hair. When I did this, it was uncomfortable. People were looking at me the whole time and some people called me out. When I dress properly, I never notice this kind of call outs and people respect you more. I really wanted to know more about it because I was very interested, so I asked my sister more about it. She told me that if she is with her friends, they dress up like Europeans, I thought it was so funny she called it ‘like Europeans’. But she prefers just to wear the long clothes and she feels so much nicer in it. I do like that, so I went shopping with her and I bought a typical Moroccan dress. These dresses are so nice! They are very loose so it is not hot and they look pretty.
So, to conclude, dressing is a way of respecting each other. It is a Moroccan value that I think you have to respect when you arrive here. For me, it annoys me when I see a tourist wearing a very short dress, and I have only been here for three weeks now. Also, it is better to adjust yourself to the Moroccan values because the people will respect you much more. Of course, they also respect you in your own clothes as my sister calls it European clothes, because the people are so nice, but when you try to look like them, they welcome you even more. Then you show them, in my opinion, that you respect their norms and values.