Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Morocco. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Morocco. Sort by date Show all posts

Fairy Tales in Different Cultures--a Moroccan Snow White

While we have been in Africa for awhile with our Snow White stories I thought I would share one from Morocco too. Again this is a story that I have not shared with Hazel as it would definitely scare her.The story is called "The Jealous Mother" and I found it translated in English in Moroccan Folktales by Jilali El Koudia. 
Source: Google

Now for a bit about Morocco. Morocco is a country in Northern Africa. It joins Spain and France as the only countries to have coasts on the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. The official name is the Kingdom of Morocco. The Arabic name translates into The Western Kingdom or The West. It is often called these as well. The capital is Rabat, but the largest city is Casablanca. Morocco has a history of independence unlike the other countries we have been sharing lately.

Source: Google
Morocco is a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament. The King of Morocco has much power including the power to dissolve the parliament. His decision also overrides the parliament if there is a contradiction. 

Morocco has the coastlines and many mountains as well as the Sahara Desert. Needless to say the climate varies greatly. Morocco is also the only African country not in the African Union. (Source)

Now my experience with Morocco is very limited. I met a Moroccan man who claimed to instantly fall in love with me and want to marry me. He invited me to come meet his family in Morocco. I did not go. However several people warned me that if I did there were very strict things I needed to know about traveling as a single woman there. This made me look up some information on women's rights in Morocco. In 2004 the parliament tried to improve women's rights. What they passed included a man not being able to take another wife without his wife signing off on it. In 2006 a royal decision granted women to be able to pass their Moroccan citizenship to their children (previously it could only be passed by the father). In 2009, women were granted the right to divorce without their husband's consent. (Source) Needless to say it sounds like they still have some work to do there.

Now onto our story. Similar to the version from Algeria, the Morocco version has a beautiful mother who talks to the moon. The moon tells her that the child in her womb is more beautiful and of course the mother gets jealous. The mother has the trusted midwife bury the baby as soon as it is born and to replace it with a puppy dog. The mother paid the midwife a great deal of gold to do this. The midwife produced a puppy, but she took the girl away and secluded her inside her own house and took care of her. 

The husband of the beautiful woman was ashamed when he saw God had given them a puppy dog and threw the dog away. The midwife raised the baby as her own and named her Lalla Khallalt El Khoudra. She grew to be very beautiful and people would compare any woman's beauty to that of Lalla. Her birth mother heard of her and asked the midwife to send her over to help her untangle her ball of yarn. 

When the birth mother saw the girl she was overcome with jealousy. She gave the girl the ball of yarn and told her to walk until it was untangled. The girl ended up in the land of ghouls. Her mother cut the yarn when she guessed Lalla had walked that far. Lalla could not find her way home and night had fallen. When she saw all the strange creatures in the land she guessed she had entered the land the midwife had told her about and she was afraid she would be eaten alive. She hid herself in a thatch roof. The house that she chose to hide in was one of seven ghoul brothers. They had a slave to cook for them. Every morning the ghouls went out to hunt and the slave remained to prepare their food. The slave heard something on the roof and saw the beautiful woman. Lalla begged her for food and drink. She gave her some but advised her to stay hidden from the owners. Lalla repeated this every day. She would join the slave and help her prepare the food and then hide herself again. The brothers noticed a difference in the food. They wanted to figure out what was happening, so they had the youngest brother stay behind hidden to see what the slave was up to. 

The youngest brother stayed hidden, but saw the slave and Lalla cooking together. Then he jumped out. Lalla was scared, but the brother was kind and gentle and when he looked in his eyes he fell in love with her. The next day the brothers held a wedding ceremony for them. With the presence of Lalla all the brothers were happy. Lalla took over the care of the brothers. The slave became neglected, but she made Lalla promise her that they would always share everything equally.

One day Lalla tried to wake the slave to share a bean with her. Since the slave pretended to be asleep, Lalla put the half bean away, but it was lost when she tried to find it for the slave later. The slave was very angry and took revenge later by putting the fire out. Lalla had to go to a neighbor to ask for fire. She went to the ghoul next door, but he insisted on cutting her for the fire. She allowed him to do it and she dripped blood home. The next day he followed the blood to her and forced her to allow him to suck her blood from her finger or he would eat her. He did this every day.

The brothers began to notice the changes in their food and in Lalla. They did not understand why she did not seem happy when they showered her with gold, silver and jewels. The youngest brother stayed home to find out what was happening. He saw the neighbor come and drink her blood. He waited for his brothers and they decided they would all stay home the next day. They captured the neighbor, and set to kill him and then turned on Lalla for allowing him to visit. She wept and told them the whole story and they threw the slave into the pit with the neighbor and set them on fire. 

Awhile later a salesman who is referred to in the story as a Jew came selling his wares. Lalla came out and chose some and then gave him a large bag of silver and gold. She asked if he every knew a certain tribe and he said he did and she sent a message to her mother through him.

A few months later, he was with that tribe and her birth mother was purchasing things from him. She paid with a few balls of wool. He made a comment about how she did not pay like Lalla and the mother asked for more details since she was her mother. He told her how she was like a queen to the ghouls. The mother ran to  find a gift to send to Lalla and she wrapped a ring in a cloth and asked the salesman to give it to her next time he saw her.

In two months the salesman returned to the land of ghouls and saw Lalla. She bought some of his wares and he gave her the gift her mother sent telling her she suggested she put the ring under her tongue. She said she would and after the salesman left, she did. She became in a deathlike state and the ghouls came home that evening and found her frozen in the spot. They were so sad. They built her an attoush (a sofa like thing) and put it on a camel. The camel was told to go everywhere and stop for no one unless she heard her code name which was Naala or a shoe. The camel rode everywhere and eventually wandered into a kingdom of a rich and famous sultan. His guards told him about the camel with gold and silver on it and he wanted to catch it. The camel outsmarted the guards, but an old woman promised to get it and then lost her shoe and the camel stopped when she heard the woman yell about her shoe. 

When the sultan saw Lalla, he fell in love with her. He had his physicians examine her. When they found the ring under her tongue, they removed it and she slowly came back to life. The sultan married her. She however never forgot her seven ghoul brothers. When the camel had healed after all the walking, Lalla made plans to return. She waited until her husband would be gone for the day and she left, but the guards saw her and the sultan told them to follow her. The camel however once again outsmarted them. Lalla returned to her griefstruck brothers and they were all happy again.

Now part of what I like about this story is that the heroine does not stay with the sultan and goes back to where she was happiest.

Exploring Morocco -- Global Learning for Kids

Map Source

This month Global Learning for Kids is exploring Morocco. We have had a little exposure to Morocco in the past with the Moroccan Snow White and Maps Activity Book, but Hazel does not remember much about it. We also have eaten couscous previously, but she didn't really remember it since it has been awhile. We started as we always do with some books from the library.

Earth Day Resources for 2020

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

It is a strange time and hard to believe Earth Day is next week. With all the stay at home orders around the world we are hearing about amazing things happening to our Earth like the Venice canals being clear (although not necessarily because the water is cleaner see here) and the skies above cities being clearer including in New Delhi, India, people are seeing the rare blue skies. The air in Los Angeles, California is even said to be clear. (Source) As scary as Covid-19 is it seems the Earth is enjoying a break from the craziness our society has been causing. But we know this break will end and we can choose to go back to the craziness or do something to help our Earth and keep our planet going for generations to come. Today I am going to share three books about people, places and ways to do just that. The first two are picture books. We will start with Solar Story: How One Community Lives Alongside the World's Biggest Solar Plant by Allan Drummond.

Kids & Cooking

Disclosure: I was sent these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

This year Hazel has really wanted to start cooking on her own. She has been helping me in the kitchen for a long time, but really wants to be able to cook on her own now. I'm always interested in checking out new books that help encourage her with her cooking because it is an important life skill. The first book we are sharing today is a book where she took it and tried a recipe on her own and it was a huge success. (Unfortunately I did not take any photos of her creation. Sorry!!) The book is Say Cheese! by Ricki Carroll and Sarah Carroll. 

Fun Facts about the Tooth Fairy & Lost Tooth Traditions from Around the World

Did you know that August 22nd (and February 28) is National Tooth Fairy Day? In honor of this fun holiday I am sharing some fun facts about the mysterious Tooth Fairy. No one knows what the Tooth Fairy looks like, but often the Tooth Fairy is betrayed as a female with wings.

Sharing Saturday 16-5

It is time for Sharing Saturday!! This is a link party to share all of your child-oriented crafts, activities and lessons as well as your parenting and/or teaching posts. On Sunday night we also host Crafty Weekends for all your crafts (done by any age), patterns, and craft product reviews! It is the perfect place to share your creative side!! Thank you to everyone who shared at last week's party!! There were many amazing ideas shared. I had so much fun checking them all out. Our features are just a sampling of them so if you haven't checked them all out, you should! The features this week are Valentine's Day, Educational and Arts & Winter. 

Home and Maps Activity Book Reviews for Multicultural Monday

Disclosure: Candlewick Press gave me copies of these books free of charge to review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

For Multicultural Monday I am sharing two fun books that you may not realize right away they are multicultural. The first is an activity book to accompany the book called Maps by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski. The book we are reviewing is Maps Activity Book also by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski.

Easter Around the World--France, Spain and Portugal

Today we are going to continue exploring Easter Around the World. Today's stops will be Spain, Portugal and France. Now my first knowledge of Easter in Spain came when my grandparents toured Spain and Morocco at Easter time. They brought back for me a doll which was filled with candy. The doll I had in our doll collection, however it always made me feel uncomfortable, because if you do not know about the Easter celebrations in Spain, it looked like a member of the Ku Klux Klan. It did not help that the doll was wearing a red robe with a white headdress (so red where the picture above is white and white where it is blue or similar to the ones below without the black capes).

<Leon seven words procession big
Source: By Alessio Damato (Own work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Now these marchers are called penitents. They represent feeling sorry for any bad acts. They often carry the cross or Jesus on the cross and find it a heavy burden to carry for their sins. In Spain, Holy Week is called Semana Santa. People drape black clothes from balconies and statues of Mary are dressed in black lace. As they are mourning the death of Jesus. There are parades like the one above and people dress up in clothes that were worn in Jesus' time. On Good Friday men take part in Los Tamborados. It is a ceremony where they beat drums to mourn the death of Jesus. Even when the drummer gets tired he does not stop. No candles are lit in the church on Good Friday or Holy Saturday. On Easter a special candle is lit in the churches to symbolize Christ's victory over death. Easter eggs and the Easter Bunny are not a big thing in Spain. For children too young to receive the First Communion, the dessert on Good Friday is mona. Mona is a large bun decorated with colorful eggs. Once a child receives their First Communion, they have more serious things to think of and no longer get the special mona.
Source: By Fun25 (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Good Friday Funeral Procession 2012 (13)
Source: By Joseolgon (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0],
via Wikimedia Commons
Portugal has a very similar celebration as Spain. On Good Friday crowds gather in town wearing the white hoods as a sign to God they are sorry for their sins. They pray and carry torches. In some parades children carry floats that tell a story from the Bible. In the evening there are Easter fireworks to show light comes out of darkness. The new hope and new life are born. In Braga, there have a funeral procession for the Lord.

Good Friday Funeral Procession 2012 (18)
Source: By Joseolgon (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
France Source
In parts of France there are similar Good Friday parades. In Sartène, a man in red robes and hood covering his face, called the Red Penitent, carries a cross through the streets (see picture above). He is followed by men in black robes chanting a hymn. This goes on until midnight. In Corsica the penitent repeats the suffering of Christ by carrying a heavy cross. Otherwise Easter or Pâques in French is very similar to Easter in the United States. Children who go to their first confession on Holy Saturday may bring eggs as a gift to the priest. La Semaine Sainte or Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday where people bring branches to church. The decorated branches can be from palm trees or many other types. Palm Sunday is also called Pâques Fleuries or Easter in bloom. In France the children are told that on the evening of Holy Thursday the church bells fly away to Rome. No bells are rung until Easter morning when the bells fly back. The bells drop chocolate bunnies, bells, and eggs for the children to find when they fly back. The chocolate is from the Pope who the bells visited. In some parts of France children look for little chariots of goodies. The Easter Bunny also makes an appearance by hiding little nests that the children make and leave out Saturday night. The children have a great time looking for all the treasures. A game children play in France is to throw raw eggs in the air. The first person to drop one loses the game. 

That is our look at Easter in Spain, Portugal and France. I find the similarity of the hooded outfits so interesting. All of my information for this post came from the books shown above and from Euroclub Schools - Easter in France which has some great information about the holiday from a child's perspective. If you live in one of these countries and want to correct or add something about your celebration, please let me know!

For more Multicultural and Easter Posts check out: