Saturday, October 16, 2010

Marriage in Morocco - Musings, Part I

One of my fellow Peace Corps volunteers just got married to a Moroccan and held a completely traditional Berber wedding, which I attended. This got me thinking it's about time I wrote about marriage in this country, and not just a recounting of the different weddings I've been to and how many hours of dancing I participated in. I've been skirting around writing about this issue for two years, afraid of judging another culture's traditions before I fully understood them. And while I don't claim to understand everything even after two years, I don't think my understanding is going to deepen much in the next month, so I'm going to go ahead and write. There are a lot of things that turned me off about Morocco and Moroccans two years ago and that I have since learned to appreciate and even like, but at the end of the day, there has never been a moment when I wished that I was girl born in rural Morocco. The next couple of posts are going to be marriage stories about some of the girls I've gotten to know really well here and who have shared their "boy problems" with me (I've changed their names).

(I fully acknowledge that these girls' experiences are not universal across Morocco and may not even be typical, as cities are quickly evolving and becoming more and more "Western" every day, with more and more liberal values. But it's still hard to listen to my friends tell me these stories and ask for advice, when I have no idea what kind of advice to give.)