The Cultural and Social Significance of Sports and Folk Games in Morocco
Mawlay Al Zahid Alawi
Morocco's cultural depth and diversity are reflected in the country's plethora of traditional folk sports. Horsemanship is highly sought-after among all Moroccan tribes, but other sports with varying origins also attract people from the tribes. While the apparent advantages of playing these games include increased fitness and bodybuilding, they also serve an ulterior motive by instilling positive character traits and skills in future generations.
Insufficient attention has been paid to folk games that have been played in Morocco since ancient times, but they have been collected and documented in the writings of foreign nations. This was done as part of a larger colonial cultural programme that sought to familiarise itself with Moroccan culture and practices in order to better control and influence the country. Moroccans, on the other hand, used these games as a way to engage with the coloniser and refute his claims throughout the colonial era.
The purpose of this research is to learn more about the cultural and sports traditions of Morocco, particularly in a region known for its originality, and to investigate how the coloniser used these traditions to accomplish his colonial ambitions. How did Moroccans use these games as a cultural weapon in their fight against colonial agendas?
Traditional sports in Morocco reflect and celebrate the country's long history of resistance to colonialism, racism, and backwardness. Therefore, they ought to continue to exist independently of any ethnic background or regional fanaticism and be engaged in the service of ambitious ideals and missions such as freeing minds, reshaping bodies, and teaching moral qualities. Every athlete needs these qualities so that they can remain balanced and human in the face of the ups and downs of competition.
It is also essential that we revitalise traditional folk games, preserve them, develop their tools and methods of practice, redesign and organise them, and give them the attention they deserve as rich and influential educational tools that play an important role in the development of children's personalities and the achievement of their intellectual, social, psychological, and physical balance.
We should recognise the educational value of these sports and games by incorporating them into the official curricula of educational institutions and including them in projects for the preservation of cultural heritage that represents Moroccan society in particular and Arab and Islamic society in general.