Mexico Culture and Traditions
Customs and traditions
The Catholic saint figure Our wife of Guadalupe is the strongest symbol of Mexico’s national culture. She is a Mexican, dark-skinned version of the Virgin Mary and represents the mixture of European and indigenous peoples – the creator of the “mestizo”, the typical Mexican.
In addition to class affiliation, Mexicans’ identity is often strongly linked to the state, province, or city where they live. For the indigenous people, ethnic identity sometimes precedes the Mexican. But Mexicans are often very nationalistic. In public schools, the week begins with the children honoring the flag and singing the national anthem.
- Countryaah: Overview of the capital city of Mexico, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
Know and label
According to Abbreviationfinder, Mexicans tend to be closer to the person they are talking to than a Swede is used to. It is not uncommon for them to take on the person they are talking to during a call. Backing is perceived as stiff or rude.
The most common is that Mexican men take care of each other when they meet, Meet a man and a woman or two women they each give each other a kiss. Meeting close friends, on the other hand, is the most common hug or tender touch of the elbow. Meet people from different social status, it is people with higher rank who choose the way of greeting. The one of lower status also uses the speech usted (ni), while the person of higher status probably says tú (you). Mexicans are happy to be addressed with their professional titles.
Mexicans often start conversations with politeness phrases and a bit of small talk before approaching what they really want to talk about. Even when the core issue is up for conversation, one sometimes avoids being clear, which easily causes a crash if the interlocutor is a target-oriented Scandinavian. Like most Latin Americans, Mexicans are more helpful and good-looking than honest. “Maybe” therefore often means “no” and something that is alleged to happen mañana (tomorrow) can actually happen sometime in an undetermined future.
You often call people’s attention by saying “psst”, which is not rude in Mexico.
La murdera is a term used about bribery. In Mexico, it is generally accepted to pay a little extra under the table to pass a road check or get a necessary document.
The view of time, as in the rest of Latin America, is fluid. Punctuality is therefore not very highly valued in everyday life, and if you are invited to dinner at someone’s home, you should show up around half an hour late. Getting a dot at the appointed time can be perceived as rude. Meetings are often set up with a short advance.
It is good practice to bring a simple gift when you are invited home to someone, such as flowers or candy. On the other hand, avoid giving away marigolds as well as white or red flowers. Also, gifts of imported silver should be avoided, as the Mexican silver is world famous.
Mexico’s food culture is varied and the regional specialties many. However, some ingredients are found in most dishes: corn, chili pepper, beans and rice. One of the most common dishes is tortilla, a flat bread made on cornmeal. A tortilla is usually filled with meat or beans and cheese and is then called taco or quesadilla. Often you eat guacamole avocado ear.
In urban environments, western clothing is most common. Those who belong to the wealthy part of the population often dress very elegantly and wear expensive jewelry. The dress codes are strict, especially in school and in working life. Sandals are something few rich people use, since since the days of colonialism it has been associated with rural, poverty and indigenous peoples. In the countryside, more traditional attire, often with roots in indigenous people’s forms and patterns, is common. Regardless of style, Mexicans prefer to use strong colors.
Traditions and national holidays
According to Countryaah, the major holidays are governed by the Catholic calendar, although not everyone has been granted national holidays. Easter is one of the most important. On Good Friday, people play the crucifixion of Jesus in many parts of the country – a spectacle that often has a large audience.
On December 12, the nation’s patron saint Our Lady of Guadalupe is celebrated. Enormous masses of practicing Catholics then make a pilgrimage to her sacred place in Mexico City.
On May 5, Cinco de Mayo, Mexico’s victory over French invaders is celebrated near the city of Puebla in 1862. Parades for the nation’s sovereignty are held throughout the country.
An even more important day is Independence Day, September 16, when it celebrates that the independence struggle began in 1810. Public Mexico organizes military parades. The tradition is also among the most popular. Private houses and public buildings are adorned with the colors of the Mexican flag throughout September. You also eat a dish where red, white and green symbolize the flag.
The Revolution Day on November 20 is a state-sponsored ritual that commemorates Francisco Madero’s planned uprising against dictator Porfiro Díaz in 1910, which became the beginning of the Mexican Revolution. The celebration evokes moderate popular commitment.
The religious celebration of Día de la Candelaria, which celebrates the Virgin Mary’s purification and Jesus blessing, is celebrated on February 2.
One of the most popular traditions is Dia de los Muertos – The Day of the Dead. It is celebrated on November 2 to pay tribute to the deceased loved ones. You then eat a special bread – pan de muerto – which is long, flat and sweet. Many Mexicans also make small altars for the dead in their homes. Often, you put burnt yellow flowers on dead relatives’ graves, and many eat meals and spend the night in the cemetery.
Christmas is celebrated in both religious and secular form. In addition to the religious significance, the celebration is similar to the Western one, with Santa, Christmas tree and family gathered to eat well and give each other gifts. The Christmas food consists of, among other things, romeritos, a dish with potatoes, shrimp and a herb reminiscent of rosemary.