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Mexico commonly known as the United –Mexican state has a population of about 117 million making her the 11th most populated nation in the globe and occupies 758450 square miles (Miller, 2015). Mexico City is the capital of the Mexico. The Mexican peso is the currency being used within the state with a federal republic system of government. English and Spanish are the primary languages used by the Mexicans. Mexico is a unique nation as compared to other North American countries. Mexico has a unique culture and traditions regarding the family life. The beliefs, systems, and expectations of societal and individual conducts are cherished by many Mexicans.
According to Langellier et al. (2015), Spanish is used as the official language and is spoken by over 95% of the Mexican population. Other languages include Mayan and Nahuatl. Mexico gained independence from Spain after a protracted war with the united states. After the war, Mexico increased stability and modernization begun to emerge through several cultures. There are three significant cultures in Mexico. These include Spanish who are mainly the Spaniards who migrated to Mexico, Mestizo (Amerindian-Spanish) culture accounts for 62% and serves as a blend of Spaniards and Native-America Indians of Mexico. The Indian (Amerindian people) culture which is the Native-American of Mexico accounts for 21% (Langellier et al., 2015). All these cultures practice different beliefs, traditions, and activities. In Mexico, the physical features, food, language, their dialects, and food significantly vary depending on the zones or areas. Mexico’s culture is vibrant, colorful and wealthy. The culture is influenced by the nation’s ancient civilizations.
Mexico is unique and probably one of the fascinating cultures across the world. Customs and traditions of Mexicans are diverse and varied. Mexicans are proud of their heritages, and each location has its celebrations and cultural practices. Several of Mexico’s ancient traditions of their colonies and ancestors have been continuously preserved thus making Mexico a fascinating destination to discover. According to Miller (2015), there are many original teams within Mexico. These include Mayas, Tzeltales, Nahuas, and Tzotziles. These teams have significantly influenced the Mexican culture and activities regarding rituals, language, medicine, and cuisine. There are various ways in which Mexico’s culture is demonstrated.
The common symbols that are used to reinforce and express the national culture of Mexico belong to different domains such as popular culture, religion, and state. The Mexican state is the essential point of convergence for the national unity with the flag being the symbol of national unity. Moreover, the Virgin of Guadalupe is the most significant icon of the Mexicans’ national culture.
Architecture and urbanisms
The Mexican cities and towns have been designed from the central square outwards(local). According to Counihan and Van Esterik (2012), Zocal is characterized by bandstands, fountain, and benches as a vital place where citizens meet for political rallies, demonstrations, leisure activities, prayers, and civic rituals. The Mexican architecture was greatly influenced by the French and Spanish traditions. However, indigenous crafts and local traditions mediated the European influences. For instance, in the 20th century, Mexican architectures developed an appropriate style for buildings. The public buildings built in the late century had a tremendous monumental atmosphere. The houses are inward looking with their front sides consisting of the barred windows and plastered walls. The design reflects the critical desire to safeguard the family from the external world. Currently, wealthy Mexicans are mosaics of the walled residences. Nonetheless, many poor Mexicans reside in small houses. The Mexicans like painting their homes and building in different vivid colors.
Economy and food
The Mexican cuisines vary significantly between the regions. Mexicans possess a sophisticated and extensive culture with a variety of regional and international dishes. According to Serrano-Cruz et al. (2018), three significant products constitute the majority of Mexican dishes. These include corns which are consumed in all forms. For instance, corn is roasted or cooked. Others include chiles (hot pepper) and beans. Majority of the Mexican cuisines originate from various types of chiles.
Mexicans have a light breakfast of fruit or coffee before they leave for school or work. Comida is the most significant meal which is mainly served between 2-4pm. Comida consists of pasta, chicken, or rice. Mexicans serve dinner between 8-10pm and consists of coffee, milk, and sweet rolls. However, Díaz (2016) elaborates that Mexicans regularly eat outdoors. The Mexicans drink large quantities of different beer and soft drinks. Despite tequila being the national liquor made from a maguey cactus, Mexicans prefer cola and rum during national events, weddings, fiestas or other celebrations.
Celebrations and Holidays
There are several secular and religious events in Mexico that must be accompanied by special foods. For instance, Candlemas a universal religious fiesta is conducted on 2nd February to celebrate the blessing of Jesus and purification of Mary. Second, Mexicans consume the bread of the dead (pan de muerto) to celebrate 2nd November as the day of the dead.
During Christmas, Mexican eat the romeritos with other meals such as olives and dried fish. Consequently, in September the Mexicans commemorate their independence from Spain by preparing special foods and drinks such as green parsley and chile en nogada (sophisticated dish). Olmsted (2015) asserts that during September, houses, private and public buildings and shops are decorated with vivid colors of a Mexican flag.
Carnival is celebrated in several societies throughout the country to mark the significant periods before Lent. Holy week (Semana Santa) is used to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Consequently, Mexicans celebrate their military victory in united states through beer promotion. According to Serrano-Cruz et al. (2018), Fiestas and celebrations are important in Mexico. They are celebrated in the small villages, and every society has a chosen patron saint. The saint is honored with the processions and celebrations per year.
There is a free-market economy in Mexico. The economy is a mixture of traditional and modern industries and agriculture. Nonetheless, the private sector dominates the economy because of their significant investments in enterprises. Restructuring of Mexico’s economy is promoted by international and national interest teams in response to the financial and economic crisis of the 20th century. The major industries include consumer durables, clothing, textiles, motor vehicles, beverages, and food. In his study Miller (2015) outlines that most new industries are organized into labor-intensive plants (maquiladoras). Mexico is home to several ancient ruins that are continuously observed by the citizens. For instance, Mexico has the most massive pyramids across the globe that promote their culture inherited from their colonies.
Music and dance significantly feature in Mexico’s culture. For example, Mariachi music is familiar and loved by Mexicans. Moreover, folk dancing is familiar with Mexican hat dance (MHD) being an iconic and the nation’s national dance. The dance mainly celebrates courtships.
Mexico has an unequal distribution of resources and wealth compared to other Latin American nations. The introduction of several neoliberal economic strategies has severely sharpened inequalities in the government. Marginalization and poverty are significantly widespread with the smallest settlements becoming the most underprivileged.
There occurs a significant class difference in Mexico. Wealthy Mexicans reside in neighborhoods that are sealed off and armed by private guards while the poor live in apartments. Moreover, the rich dress elegantly. As a result, Mexican lifestyles rely on class levels. Therefore, Mexico is substantially divided by class based on the source of income and employment. The rich do not associate with the poor due to their reputation. Mexican communities and enterprises are vertically structured and highly stratified.
Marriage and Family
Family is an essential feature in Mexican society. Mexican family units are large and involve many tasks and stronger connections. Children treat parents with the highest degree of respect. Family life is given the priority and is headed by the father. The Mexicans are legalized to determine their marriage partners. However, some rules and regulations constrain the choices. For instance, members of the same ethnicity and class are not allowed to marry. Individuals marry after several years of engagement, and monogamy is the only type of marriage recognized in Mexico. However, Merrell (2018) argues that the policy has changed and men are allowed to engage in polygamy.
Nuclear family serves as the typical household entity, and every child is entitled to the equal share by law. According to Machismo culture, women are the primary caretakers of homes and children while men go to work. Men are always praised while women are anticipated to submit to their husbands. Male members maintain and offer security to their families. Adultery is treated as a social norm for male members of the family.
In Mexico’s culture, children are privileged and distinguished as compared to American culture where they are independent with minimal parentage. According to Merrell (2018), Mexicans value heartfelt greetings as a substantial part of their culture. Mexicans consider it essential to say “hello” to everyone at home, workplace, or in a meeting. Similarly, it is valuable to say goodbye. While men use hug or handshake for greetings, women provide a quick kiss on the check as customary. The Mexicans emphasize hierarchical relationships. Individuals respect authorities and look for their seniors for effective decision making and guidance.
Mexicans have different dressing codes and styles depending on the occasion or place. Uniforms are strictly observed in various institutions such as schools and colleges. Other the types of clothing include the Puebla dress, quechquemitl, and huipiles mainly for women. Men wear sarapes, guayaberas, and sombreros. Olmsted (2015) outlines that the traditional Mexican clothing styles for women include the sleeveless tunic. The clay pottery, wool shawls, colorful baskets, and angular designs are the major Mexican folk arts. For example, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo are familiar artists whose paintings continue to attract many people across the globe thus increasing cultural interactions. Consequently, children are offered dress codes similar to their parents during celebrations. Mexicans engage in many sporting activities due to cultural diversity. For instance, Mayan sport has the most participants since winners are always rewarded with the most prodigious feats.
Religion and Beliefs
There are several religions in Mexicans with many followers. Roman Catholic (RC) is the main religion practiced by 85% of the population, 10% by Protestants and 5% by other religions (de la Torre, Hernández & Zúñiga, 2017). After independence, the Mexicans accepted Catholic practices and beliefs. The ordinary practitioners are the Catholic priest who performs daily masses and conduct rituals.
Most essential routines are marked or determined by the Catholic calendars. For instance, Easter holiday celebrations were determined by the annual Catholic schedules. Other Christian denominations include Mormons, Anglicans, Baptists, SDA (Seventh Day-Adventist) and Jehovah’s witness. Subsequently, there occur other smaller societies of Buddhists, Jews, and Muslims with diverse beliefs and cultures. Miller (2015) outline that despite being one of the most important civilizations, the Mexican culture is characterized by stereotypes teams such as gangsters, job stealers, uneducated, drug dealers, and criminals. Therefore, the government must establish policies and mechanisms to prevent these stereotypes from eroding the culture
In conclusion, Mexico culture is diverse and varied. The nation celebrates different events since it gained independence from Spain such as 16th September the independence day, 2nd November, the day of the dead. Some of the essential dishes include tequila and dried fish. Due to its unique culture, many individuals are increasingly visiting Mexico. Therefore, it is necessary for the government to continue promoting peoples’ culture.
Counihan, C., & Van Esterik, P. (Eds.). (2012). Food and culture: A reader. Routledge.
de la Torre, R., Hernández, A., & Zúñiga, C. G. (2017). Religious diversity and its challenges for secularism in Mexico. International Journal of Latin American Religions, 1(2), 180-199.
Díaz, P. S. (2016). La fiesta del pueblo: Reflections on migration, rituals and identities in a Mexican migrant community.
Langellier, B. A., Brookmeyer, R., Wang, M. C., & Glik, D. (2015). Language use affects food behaviours and food values among Mexican-origin adults in the USA. Public health nutrition, 18(2), 264-274.
Merrell, F. (2018). The Mexicans: A sense of culture. Routledge.
Miller, R. R. (2015). Mexico: A history. University of Oklahoma Press.
Olmsted, B. T. (2015). Mexican fiestas in central Michigan: celebrations and identity formation, 1920–1930. Michigan Historical Review, 41(2), 33-57.
Serrano-Cruz, M. R., Espinoza-Ortega, A., Sepúlveda, W. S., Vizcarra-Bordi, I., & Thomé-Ortiz, H. (2018). Factors associated with the consumption of traditional foods in central Mexico. British Food Journal, 120(11), 2695-2709.
Index 1: Mexico’s Pyramid
Index 1.2-Mexicans celebrating the Day of the dead
Mexico City, Mexico – December 12, 2016: Celebration of the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe with a mass ceremony in her honor on square of Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe credit
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