Love is an emotion that transcends cultural boundaries, and its expression can take various forms in different traditions. One of the fascinating aspects of love is the use of symbols to represent it. These symbols vary across cultures and hold different meanings. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most prominent symbols of love in various cultures.
In many parts of the world, including Morocco and the wider Maghreb region, the heart symbol is the most recognizable symbol of love. The heart symbol originated from ancient Greece, where it was believed to represent the center of emotions, including love.
Red roses are another symbol commonly associated with love and passion, particularly in Western European culture. They are often given as gifts on special occasions such as Valentine’s Day or anniversaries. The red color of the rose symbolizes the intensity of love, while the thorns represent the challenges that come with it.
In Morocco, the symbol of love is somewhat surprising. Rather than the heart or rose, the liver is the organ that symbolizes love and romance. In both Darija and Tamazight, a loved one is sometimes referred to as “my liver” (“Thssa Ino” in Tamazight, or “Lkbida diali” in Darija/Arabic).
The use of liver as a symbol of love is intriguing, as it is a vital organ in the human body and not usually associated with romantic feelings. However, in Moroccan culture, it is used in different expressions to convey a range of emotions, including fear, disdain, and, of course, affection or attachment. As a symbol of love, it is often associated with motherly love or family attachment. In some areas, it is exclusively used as a symbol of familial love and not for friends or romantic partners.
The reasons why liver is used to represent love in Moroccan culture are unclear. One possible explanation is that a healthy liver is a sign of well-being, and therefore, it may be associated with feelings of love and care. Additionally, the tender and smooth texture of liver may be linked to tenderness and affection.
It is also worth noting that liver is a popular food in Morocco and is cooked in a variety of ways. It is often regarded as a special food and prepared only to distinguished guests in some places.
It is also possible, that the association of liver to love and affection is an ancient tradition of north Africa that is still alive. Yet its exact meanings and origins are lost.