I was born and spent the first nine years of my life in the Medina of Meknes. When I wasn’t at school, I was playing with our neighbours, taking the خبز to the فران or walking to the Lahboul zoo to feed some 🦆.
By three, I was able to guide my mom (who wasn’t from Meknes) through the maze of the Medina, showing her shortcuts she didn’t know existed. At four I sang Moroccan عيطة songs along with French lullabies. I learned in osmosis, everything and everyone around me was teaching me something about who I am from the Mint seller by the berry 🌳, Alaoui the Zellige Artisan, Hassan Moul Lhanout🥖, the 👮♂️ who kept me safe while my sister come fetch me from school drop offs etc. Learning darija in its depth and nuances was a collective affair. This level of exposure has led me to have a very special relation to my mother tongue. Darija brings me comfort🥰 It is a cotton candy 🍭to my mouth and a soft blanket to my soul. Words resonate deeply with my ♥️ and mind when they are in the tongue I was nursed in.
When my son was born, I was confident I can teach him Darija the way I learned it. I spoke to him continuously and sang for him in Darija but I never understood why he didn’t acquire it at the level I am hoping. It took me sometime to realise that the problem was not my teaching but the osmosis. Language learning needs a community. I needed the mint seller, the zellige maker and the policeman. He needed his learning tribe and I needed mine. The 💡of Kika&Gulu came as I realised that that this problem wasn’t mine alone. Through conversations with friends and Moroccan parents around the 🌏, I realised that something is missing. A quick google search made me realise the severity of the problem. There is limited content for teaching Darija to children😳At Kika&Gulu we want to help you have the tools, materials and supporting community to teach Darija to your children, without falling in the nostalgia of re-creating our own childhoods. Every family’s story is different and at Kika&Gulu we hope to offer you the necessary tools & support to teach Darija in a personalised and fun way. We look forward to getting started!
بزاف ديال الحب