Help! Meeting the in laws!

Hi everyone,
I am writing to ask for some advice. I will be meeting my future in laws in June and I don’t want to mess up by doing something stupid. Can anyone help me with some advice on how to greet older people properly and respectfully? My fiancee is not being very helpful, and I want this to be a “perfect” visit. I am an American and I don’t speak any Arabic and the only thing I know in Berber is “kanbghik” and that’s not going to get me far!
So any ideas? Are there any respectful gestures I should know about? Or better yet, anything “Westernized” that I might do to insult them?
Please help!

lolll even kanbghik is not berber :smiley: … which means u dont know anything :smiley:
but dont worry u dont have to speak their language to respect them :wink:
actually ur man must help u coz we dont know how is his family … they r an open minded family ?? or a traditional one …
if u can discover this we’ll be able to help u more :wink:

[quote=Madridista]they r an open minded family ?? or a traditional one …
if u can discover this we’ll be able to help u more ;)[/quote]
is that supposed to mean that a family can’t be traditional and open-minded at the same time? I think it’s possible :wink:

good luck Jen, I have no advice to offer, I’m not Moroccan :slight_smile: but i wish u the best.

Hello Jennifer :slight_smile:

hmm… of course, moroccan guys could help you and give some advices but it doesn’t mean you will do everything right :wink:

Be yourself :wink: I think it’s better than to do something you have never used to… And you ll be always thinking Ohh… Am I doing this right or no… what should I do now… and then…

And they know that you are american … So I hope they ll accept you the way you are.

I m not moroccan so it’s just my opinion.
I have never faced any difficulties with moroccans, and I wish you the same :wink:

lol Mad, you made me laugh. Be easy on the girl. If she doesn’t know, show her, not make fun of her.

Jennifer, please excuse mad, he is still a trainee. (joke)

So your inlaws are Berber. That wouldn’t make much difference anyway. Keep in mind that they will not expect you to know everything, they know you’re American, and that you are not familiar with the culture. You will learn from seeing how they do things :). For example how to greet them, we don’t hug, we kiss cheeks… well not exactly, it just goes in the air. With men, it can be a hand shake, or nothing at all. Your fiancee will probably be kissing his father’s and mothers hands and heads, you don’t necessarily have to do the same.

Don’t worry, it’ll be alright :).

yeah jennifer sorry :stuck_out_tongue: i was joking … about kissing old ppls hands :smiley: u can do it too :stuck_out_tongue: u’ll impress them hhhhhhh

Thanks for all the tips. They have relieved a bit of my stress. I will watch and learn…all the while hoping I am being a good guest. Thanks again for all your help!

schretel, don’t worry … my both sisters in law don’t speak moroccan, they find a way to communicate with mom though … the attempt of the communication always ends with mom saying ila fhamt derdri 3liya l9arfa roflol you may hear that in berber lol … well … before you learn their language, you need to learn a lil bit about their culture first, that will help a lot. you may need to be lil bit formal with your fiancè in front of his parents … don’t worry … things gonna be all righty … bestest of luck :slight_smile:

what do u mean by formal :S ???

what i understood is that u gotta be a bit colder towards him than you would normally be when it’s just u and him. if you’d normally pull faces at him, hug, hit and punch him at other times, you abandon all that in the presence of his parents :smiley: of course it doesn’t mean that u address him with sir or something, but just be more mature.

[color=#8857a8]Jennifer as an American living with (gasp!) my fiance and his family they’re guiding you correctly. My fiance’s sisters, brother and mother and I resort to hand gestures or the few words I’ve learned in Arabic, Darija or Amazigh. They even throw in French to make it interesting :blink: :mdr:[/color]

[color=#8857a8]Be more “separate” with your fiance when you’re with his family. Publicly displaying affection is not often acceptable. Holding hands is about as far as you should even attempt unless you’re shown otherwise. Sometimes the men and women sit separately on couches or even in separate rooms. Don’t be nervous and just be yourself. I’m sure they’re making preparations for your arrival. My fiance’s brothers learned some English to make me feel more welcome. :)[/color]

[color=#8857a8]Another thing, I’m a smoker. It’s very much frowned upon and not done in mixed company. I have taken a smoke in public but only away from people where I can’t be directly seen. I know I should quit for many reasons including my choice of faith but I haven’t yet. InshaAllah soon.[/color]

[color=#8857a8]We do the face/hand/air kissing a lot. I’ve noticed that men and women will often draw their hand to their heart or kiss their finger after a greeting also. Just ask if you don’t know and don’t worry. Moroccans are very accepting, welcoming and loving people. In the 3 months I’ve been here I’ve only been scolded once and that was at a gathering when my fiance’s brother died. I’d done something I shouldn’t have so the scolding was well warranted.[/color]

[color=#8857a8]Men will often take your hand and say their greeting drawing their hand back to their heart or kissing their fingers. Some will air kiss your cheek. That actually makes me uncomfortable so I’m happy it’s only been one or two males I’ve met who’ve done that. Women will kiss kiss/ kiss kiss on air/cheeks and greetings are said while kissing.[/color]

[color=#8857a8]As for not speaking the language don’t worry about it. Make an effort to learn some words/phrases and you’ll be good to go. I’m old and been very ill so it’s taking me a lot longer to learn. [/color]

[color=#8857a8]and as is said

[color=#8857a8]If I may ask, what city will you be coming to?[/color]

i agreeeeeeeee to the ma’am above :slight_smile: well said!

i agree with the last question :smiley: … what city ??? :smiley: thats gonna help us a lot givin advices