A little bit background on Moroccan history, I am learning it too, as I travel through this fabulous country.
“In 1912, after the First Moroccan Crisis and the Agadir Crisis, the Treaty of Fez was signed, dividing Morocco into French and Spanish protectorates. In 1956, after 44 years of French rule, Morocco regained independence from France, and shortly afterward regained most of the territories under Spanish control.” from Wikipedia
If you travel around Morocco or you are in Marrakesh you will be able to have a proper conversation with just about everyone if you speak French. I speak a few languages but sadly French isn’t one of them. I have to rely on my husband’s French to get by or arm myself with Arabic, which I do find far more fascinating language in general.
I’ve travelled a tiny bit in my life and I know a little of the world. I love Morocco but what’s with the French in Morocco? I understand it’s an ex colony. All the French love coming to Morocco for their holidays. I don’t blame them it’s an amazing place! But what’s this meanness and disrespect to the rest of the world?
I am from Lithuania and I have never in my life forced anyone to speak Lithuanian, or indeed, ask them to learn the language. In fact, I would always say why would anyone want to learn Lithuanian if you don’t live there? It’s not worth it. Lithuania is a tiny place; only 3.5 mln speaking the language in the whole world and the world is massive!
The Encounter with the French in Morocco
I personally have experienced the meanness of the French in Morocco. First time, it was in the medina a year ago. We were in herbalist shop and were enjoying discovering amazing natural products of all kinds. A couple walks in and we all said ‘hello’ their reply was ‘bonjour’ and turned their backs to us. Fair enough they don’t want to talk to us!
However, they were interested in the same oil we were looking to buy. Me being me I jumped in in having a conversation and telling all I know about it. Obviously all in English. I speak no French. They, the French couple, said something in French and turned away from me. It made feel like a fool. Why on earth do I bother? I still remember this as if it was yesterday and it’s not a pleasant memory.
This year we booked ourselves in one “riad” based on booking.com reviews in Zagora. We didn’t know what to expect as booking.com can be hit and miss. However, we decided to give it a go. We were greeted with a statue of a pig at the entrance! This Riad is in a muslim country and muslims don’t eat pigs! What’s more pork is cancerous, check out world organisation warnings.
The place is run by a French lady who disrespects the muslim culture. When I walked into it I said “Salam Alekum!” I am in a muslim country after all! She ignored it and spoke in French. I politely and apologetically told her I don’t speak French. She continued to speak to me in French. How rude is that!!!!? I would never in the world do that to anyone!
When I was in Paris I understand I am in the French land. I have no reason to be upset when people speak to me in French. I remember once I was desperate in finding a train to take me to the Eurostar. I was in a rush and I couldn’t find the right train to get on. I nearly started crying after desperately asking for help and no one bothered to help me.
They don’t care if I was dying on the street no one will blink an eye and it’s all because I don’t speak the f****ing French. I leave the French world to their conscious. Having said, we met some lovely two French people who live in Marrakesh. They were fantastic! Great attitude, great advice, knows so much about the place and happy to share it.
Even they don’t like to work with the French! That says a lot, doesn’t it? I must say I have met some lovely French people over the years in London and Barcelona. I don’t advocate the hatred towards anyone. I am for peace and love around the world of everyone. I don’t care what religion, background, language anyone speaks. I am willing to open my heart to anyone.
Respect of Others and Travel to Far away Places
What I do genuinely dislike is disrespect to another country, religion and people. It doesn’t matter who (nationality) is doing the abusing I would say the same thing. In this instance is the French in Morocco but it’s a small amount of people. I cannot judge the rest of the French population. It’s like saying all Lithuanians are bad people that simply wouldn’t be true.
If the travellers are mean to the country they are visiting that’s horrendous. Why on earth would you be mean in a country where you are the guest? I don’t like meanness full stop. The mean people should stay at home without insulting anyone or change their attitude to the world and others. The more I see of other countries the more I am open to learn more languages and history.
Travelling is the biggest educator. People not only learn about other countries but also about themselves. One thing is clear travelling teaches tolerance, no judgment and acceptance of others. I don’t mean travelling around Europe where everyone is pretty much the same. Germany, France, the UK, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Czech, Poland have similar, or indeed, the same shops. I doubt you learn something out of this world.
What I mean by travelling is going to places where everything is different like South Korea, Morocco, South Africa, Africa, Japan, China, Thailand, Nepal, Peru, Argentina and so on. The places where they don’t have Starbucks, Zara and McDonalds. The places where you have no idea how the world works there. The places where you are completely out of your comfort zone.
Don’t Waste your Time being Mean
One day we will all leave this beautiful place called planet earth and be somewhere else. We don’t have much time on this earth why waste it being mean to others? Whether you speak French or not it should be the same treatment for all, not turning your back. I don’t turn my back if someone doesn’t speak Lithuanian. We should all open our hearts instead!
After all being nice doesn’t cost! I believe and I have always believed that kindness always pays. So please be kind to everyone around you and when travelling don’t force the French language on the people who don’t speak it. To my defence I speak five languages am sorry French isn’t in those five that I speak.
Travel, be kind and open your heart you might learn something that makes you an amazing human being that you already are.