Monday, December 8, 2008

Ms. Wise & Ms. Otherwise Learn About Morocco While Shopping

Two of my boys and I were at a busy store doing a little Christmas shopping. We could hear two ladies in line behind us conversing in a foreign language. Bub sidled up next to me to discreetly ask, “What language are they speaking?”

I wasn’t sure so I told him, “Why don’t you ask one of them?”

He responded with something like, “Uh, that isn’t high on my priority list of things to do.”

We were pretty intrigued, however, because the language wasn’t one that we hear a lot. I decided to be brave. “Pardon me, would you mind telling me what language you are speaking?”

She grinned, “I knew you were talking about us. We are speaking Moroccan.”

We then took the opportunity to banter back and forth about the benefits of speaking a second language when in public. She said some people think she is rude when she speaks a different language. Perhaps it is so. Personally, I like to hear other languages.

Here’s what Moroccan sounds like in case you are interested. I really have no idea what they are saying, but it is one of the few videos I could find on youtube that showed someone speaking Moroccan. I just thought it sounded kind of cool and you might want to hear what it sounds like.

I was just about ready to have my items tallied up by the cashier, so I wished the ladies a “Merry Christmas” and planned to focus on my purchases. Even as the words were coming out of my mouth, I realized that she probably didn’t celebrate Christmas since she wore the telltale headwear of a Muslim.

She kindly wished me a “Merry Christmas” in return, after which I ventured, “You probably don’t celebrate Christmas, do you.”

She cheerfully said, “No, I don’t, but if someone wishes me a Merry Christmas, I will say Merry Christmas back.”

I inquired as to whether they have a holiday that they do celebrate this time of year. She told me it was too hard to pronounce. I told her to tell me a little about it and I would go home and look it up on the internet to find out more. She told me it is a celebration commemorating the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son, after which the Lord provided a lamb to sacrifice instead. On the chosen day families gather together and slaughter a lamb for the feast and give out a few gifts.

I love learning about other cultures, so this was a great spot to have a starting point for learning something new. We had a personal experience with someone speaking Moroccan to make it more memorable and then I follow up with more interesting things for my kids to find out about. (And myself of course.)

If you want to read a little more, click here, here, or here.

Wasn’t that fun? A friendly conversation. A little learning. Very easily done. Memorable. And, I have to say I was greatly appreciative of the woman's approach to a holiday that she doesn't participate in. Wouldn't it be nice if we all could accept other people's differences with cheer and grace.


House of Joy said...

I just love your blog! Thank you for the Christmas count down. We used it tonight for our Family Home Evening and liked it so much we decided to follow it for the rest of the month.

Your conversation with the woman in the store today, touched my family.

Thank you for sharing with us.

CompleteLee Blogger said...

Thanks so much for your kind words. Glad you could use the count down!

Lindsay said...

What a great experience!