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May 25, 2010

A Moroccan Soireé: Feast, Music, Fire dance, Snake charming, Belly dancing

Warning: This is gonna be a g*dd*mn long post...WITH MORE THAN A 100 PHOTOS.

o.O So, are you still with me? Ok, let's move it!

Now back to the Moroccan Soireé, the first ever feast that I had in the middle of the palm groves/desert of Marrakech.

Moroccan Soireé (settings)
Can you imagine that it's built out of nowhere in the desert?! We also got lost in the dark during camel riding to this place!

Customs, fragrances, spices and colour! WOW!

And Mint tea in sparkling glasses!

And if you wonder how I got to this place... Read this post.

After the 2 hours wacky camel ride and also got lost in the desert of Marrakech, we finally arrived at the feast! It was like a century long camel ride through the dark dark desert! OMG. Some wild camels appeared from no where and tagged along with those we're riding on, and that was the first time that we all experience the moaning and groaning high-pitched bleats of camels!

I bet you've watched Jurassic Park before don't ya? It's similar to loud bellows and roars made by the dinosaurs. No kidding. And quite irritating. Because sometimes they nuzzle when you're slowing down!

Camel ride
My dromedary.

We were welcomed by the Moroccan ladies dressed up in their traditional costumes. My legs were shaky and I was a bit lightheaded when I finally disembarked from my Ship of the Desert onto the red magic carpet. Magical because I felt as if I was experiencing the scene in Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. With the chech tied around my head and the long djellaba which almost tripped me over (I was smart enough to bring my high heels along), I looked exactly like a Moroccan lady!

Moroccan Soireé (traditional dance 1)
The traditional dance.

Moroccan Soireé (traditional dance 3)
All night Moroccan feast and dance.

Moroccan Soireé (traditional dance 4)
These ladies in blue sang in very high pitch voice. It's about tongue twisting~ I should have taken video for this..

Moroccan Soireé (dance)
More fun.

We were the first few groups to arrive, very luckily, YES I mean LUCKY, as one of the groups actually lost in the darkness together with the dromedaries!! Told ya earlier, there was no direction, no road available in the middle of the desert. We only followed the lights shot up to the sky to guide us through. That was like 1 and a half hours long!

Moroccan Soireé (group)
Teams arriving one by one.

Moroccan Soireé (welcome drinks)
Mint tea served in very nicely colored glasses.

Moroccan Soireé (judge)
Gazebo for the judges.

Moroccan Soireé (group)
The Challengers. Only half of the group arrived. Another half? Still finding their way out in the darkness.

I was attracted by this traditional oven which was made from clay. The lady prepared all the bread served throughout the night in this cute little thingy.

Moroccan Soireé (misc)
Interesting. Traditional oven made from clay.

Moroccan Soireé (traditional oven 2)
Food preparation.

Moroccan Soireé (cooking)
Food preparation.

Moroccan Soireé (baking)
Closer look.

Moroccan Soireé (traditional oven 1)
Oh yea. That's the typical bread they served at a feast.

Table settings. With rose petals. Glasses for wine. Sharing food at the table is also an important part of Moroccan culture that can add a special element to celebrations.

Moroccan Soireé (table setting)

I was hungry enough to forget about taking pictures of the food!!! This is all I have.

Moroccan Soireé (table setting)

Later after the dinner, some of the chech had loosen and dropped. Now see how I tie the chech... I learned it in just 5 minutes when the staff in Menara Kenzi Palace helped me with it. =P Genius~

Moroccan Soireé (misc)
Princess being the designer. Hahaha...

Now, look... it's done perfectly nice! Ooo... Besides food and dance and drinks, we went for Henna tattoo. I didn't, because I couldn't find anything that I like from the sample pattern. So might as well didn't do.

Henna tattoo 1
Drawing a big scorpion?? Or a flower??

Henna tattoo 2
Masculine ooo.

While some enjoyed smoking the Shisha after dinner. We can have it here, but the difference was the environment. Priceless moment.

Smoking Shisha
High on Shisha.

Snake charming - something that I expected. No surprise but still we liked it much! Who would wanna miss this? Without snakes and scorpions at the performance, you don't feel like you're in a desert, or in North Africa.

Snake charming 1
See? Everyone was so excited.

Snake charmer 1
Come and meet Sir Hisss.

Snake charmer 2

Snake charmer 3

Snake charmer 4

Snake charmer 5

Snake charmer 6

Snake charmer 7

Snake charmer 8

Snake charmer 9

Snake charming 2
Laughing and screaming. Including myself lo...

After the snake came then the scorpion! Ooo la la... It was placed onto Evy's djellaba.

Scorpion 1
She was not scared at all.

And on the forehead of our fellow friend from U.S.A.

Scorpion 2

Traditional instrumental performance to balance up the excitement.


Performance 2

Performance 3

Then I waited... we waited... everyone waited... And became so relaxed. Almost fell asleep ler.. It was so d*mn hot, I took off my chech.

Moroccan Soireé (group)
Lazy bones...

Moroccan Soireé (waiting)
Caught in the act with a basketful of fruits.

Now the highlight of the night! FIRE DANCE~ Yea scary and hot. Yet entertaining. Would you burn your tongue? It's amazing you see! I've captured a series of the close ups of the fire dancers (some photos contributed by the official photographer of the event). It's WOW and D*MN HOT! Try go nearer and it felt exactly like BBQ-ing yourself in a camp fire.

Fire dance 1

Fire dance 2

Fire dance 3

Fire dance 4

Fire dance 5

Fire dance 6

Fire dance 7

Fire dance 8

Fire dancer 1-1

Fire dancer 1-2

Fire dancer 1-3

Fire dancer 1-4

Fire dancer 1-5

Fire dancer 1-6

Fire dancer 1-7

Fire dancer 2-1

Fire dancer 2-2

Fire dancer 2-3

Fire dancer 2-4

Fire dancer 2-5

Fire dancer 2-6

Fire dancer 2-7

Fire dancer 2-8

Fire dancer 2-9

Fire dancer 2-10

Fire dancer 2-11

Fire dancer 2-12

Fire dancer 2-13

Fire dancer 2-14

Last but not least, BELLY DANCING. Sexy belly dancers. What more need I describe. Guys and girls had fun!

Belly dancers 1

Belly dancers 2


Belly dancing 1
The professionals.

Belly dancing 2
Bollywood style.

Belly dancing 3
Latin style.

Belly dancing 4
And the syok sendiri.

So, that came to the end of our Moroccan feast, my once in a lifetime celebration in the desert (I think this mostly gonna be the first and the last in my life). Everyone was almost becoming a zombie after a day long event since the early morning to afternoon ice-breaking session in the desert.

What's more challenging... it's already 12:30am and in just 7 hours we're gonna compete each other in the World Finals presentation!

...to be continued...


phew 100 photos certainly took up some loading time.. lol.. nevertheless, im sure it was a great experience! something unique when it comes to the culture! =)

Very interesting Moroccan Feast!
I want to watch this Fire Dance too, seems very exciting!

kenwooi: I love to have culture shock sometimes... IT FEELS GOOD!

Rafael: Fire dance... damn hot. I believe we have the similar in Malaysia, at A-Famosa in Malacca.

how interesting.... must have been awesome to have experienced part of the tradition!

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