Lately, I’ve been encouraging students in my conversation classes to take a stab at telling their favorite Moroccan jokes in English.
To my surprise, the most popular jokes are all about the people who live in the city of Berkane! They are called Berkany Jokes or Brekna jokes.
The jokes are all at the expense of the Berkane people, in my childhood there were lots of people in the small town I lived in that used to tell jokes about Polish people in the same way. It’s not fair, but it’s part of the culture apparently.
The funny thing is that Berkane looks like a perfectly lovely place. It is considered the orange capital of Morocco and is situated near the Algerian border and the Mediterranean Ocean.
To be fair, I’ve never met a Berkane person, and no one can tell me why they are the butt of so many jokes in Morocco. That’s my disclaimer, because of course, I’m about to tell a Berkany Joke related by one of my students.
The Berkany People find a nuclear bomb in their city and are understandably upset and so they call the government. The government comes and confirms that it is indeed a nuclear bomb but that the people need not worry because the government will take it out into the sea and blow it up.
The City fathers confer and after a short time they protest to the government.
“The bomb was found in our city and it should be blown up in our city!”
Gladly, this hasn’t happened. Hopefully, someday I will have the chance to travel to Berkane and give an actual report of what the city is like.