Welcome to Mexico
- Capital: Mexico City
- Currency: Peso
- Population: 103,263,388 habitants
- Official Language: Spanish
- Country Size: 1,964,375 km2
- Climate/Weather: different kinds. The average temperature is 25° to 30° C.
- Official Government Website: http://www.visitmexico.com/ and http://www.presidencia.gob.mx/
- World Heritage Cities (protected by UNESCO):
- Mexico City
Mexican people, as most Latin countries tend to be considered warm people. One kiss on the cheek is the usual greeting between women and between persons of opposite sex. Men don’t kiss other men except sometimes for their fathers or grandfathers.
When meeting a person for the first time some Mexicans greet with a kiss and some others prefer just shaking hands. But when they greet someone they already know kiss and even hug is usual.
Mexicans use first names to call almost everyone. Last names are only used to refer to authorities such as bosses. Among friends, nicknames are most common.
In Mexico weather allows people to dress with light clothing almost all year round. Youngsters, especially women take advantage of the good weather to wear skirts or sleeveless tops. But the usual dress is casual jeans and t-shirts for both sexes. For formal occasions men dress up in suits and women in dresses, skirts or suits.
Nudity is not as common as in other countries. The only place where people get naked is in baths; generally in sports clubs and even there some people prefer to use dressing rooms. Nudity is only allowed between people of the same sex.
Mexicans eat almost everything. There are no mandatory food restrictions. There is only a five week period before Easter when some people don’t eat meat but this is a personal choice.
Most Mexicans eat three meals a day: breakfast early in the morning, lunch between 2 and 4 pm and dinner around 8 or 9 pm. Eating brunch around 11 or 12 is not rare. Lunch is the main meal and Mexicans are used to eat a lot of rice, beans and tortillas (corn flat thin bread) with it. Tacos are probably the most famous Mexican dish world wide but it is often misrepresented. We call taco to a rolled tortilla with something inside: from avocado to some grilled insects. But the most common tacos are filled with red grilled meat and a bit of hot “salsa” (chili sauce). Hard-shelled tacos or Taco-bell style tacos doesn’t exist in Mexico.
Lunch is a great time for Mexicans to socialize and talk. Usually it is considered impolite to let a person eat alone so lunch gatherings are common. Making noise with the food or chewing with open mouth is considered impolite as well.
We are used to eat with spoons, forks and table knives, but we are curious and ready to try chopsticks.
Mexico has no cultural restrictions regarding the use of alcohol. Both men and women are allowed to drink. In Mexico when you turn 18 you become legally able to buy alcoholic drinks. The responsible use of alcohol is common in special events among both, teenagers and adults. Some families serve children a sweet soft drink called rompope in special meals. Beer is the most consumed drink but tequila is the national drink and “paloma” (tequila with grapefruit soda and ice) is the usual beverage prepared with it.
Alcohol goes with parties and gatherings, and parties and gatherings go with Mexicans but drinking is a personal choice. Most Mexicans will offer a drink to everybody and will insist in serving drinks because this is considered a sign of courtesy but it is all right to say no, Mexicans won’t be offended.
In general, Mexicans are talkative persons. Usually they stand close in front of each other and reach for eye contact. They use face and hand gestures that can include physical contact.
Disagreements are commonly expressed and saying “I don’t agree” or “I think you are wrong” is not intended to show disrespect but just a personal opinion.
Excitement can be expressed with loud voices or even screaming but this is only to show how surprised, amused, or happy we are.
Making jokes is common among Mexicans. Sarcasm and jokes are used even in serious conversations. We like to laugh about almost everything but this doesn’t mean that we don’t take things seriously. The only thing we are pretty serious about is our National Flag and our National Anthem.
A very Mexican type of jokes is double-sense comments. This is when a person says something innocent but referring to an other not so innocent thing. It’s up to the listener to catch the joke if they are smart and quick enough!
Mexicans make jokes and take jokes from friends just to have a good laugh and enjoy themselves.
Most Mexicans enjoy dancing -alone, with a partner or even holding hands, and very close to each other. For many Mexicans, dancing is a way of communication and sometimes is the best way to flirt. In the parties, music is a very important element. Latin rhythms are popular even if not everyone is a good dancer and salsa may be the most common one in parties and gatherings or for a night out at some dancing club.
We have several traditional folkloric dances according to our country’s regional styles of music. The most famous is the “jarabe tapatío” that comes from the central-west part of Mexico.
Mothers, religion, our patriotic symbols, the elderly and authorities are the most respected things in Mexico. In Spanish there is an especial way to address the people that is in a position of authority or to whom we want to show respect. Mexicans use this form of language when talking with important people.
We have an important tradition regarding the honours we present to our flag in civic ceremonies. We love and respect our flag and monumental flags can be seen in a lot of places throughout our country.
Mexicans show affection almost everywhere. Hugging and kissing is acceptable in public as well as holding hands. Couples and girl friends do this all the time. Men don’t kiss or hold hands with other men but they hug and slap each others back and arms to show affection. Parents and their children also show affection through hugs, kisses and caresses.
In Spanish there is a word to express affection (“te quiero”) and a different word to express love (“te amo”). We use the first one all the time with our parents and friends a reserve the second one for special people such as couples..
In Mexico, like in most Latin countries it is excused to be a little bit late. Usually gatherings are set 15 or 30 minutes before preventing latecomers. If a person arrives 5 minutes after the hour set for a reunion it is not considered to be late.
In formal events or meetings most Mexicans are punctual or at least they try to be.
Usually, there is no rigorous religious influence in daily lives. Not many Mexican young people are religious; however, some youngsters participate actively in religious activities such as community envelopment, seminaries, spiritual weekends, and studying books about religion.
Most of Mexicans (87%) are Roman Catholic and follow the catholic religious calendar. Festivities such as Holly Week or Christmas are considered general holidays for every Mexican.
In Mexico, when it comes to relationships and sexuality, most of the times each person is free to make their own choices. People from big cities tend to be more liberal about these topics than people from different states, regions and provinces, so not all Mexicans think the same about relationships and sexuality.
There is a tolerant attitude about gay and lesbians but there’s still a lot of prejudice regarding this issue, especially among men. Most of the time gay or lesbians don’t talk openly about it. Some will rather let you notice their sexual preference by their behavior, as a prevention of an uncomfortable situation. And they expect you to respect them. Still, most of them will avoid public display of affection.
- Mayas, an ancient culture in our country, were the first discoverers of the concept of “zero” in mathematics.
- Mexico is considered a mega diverse country. Inside our territory you can find the 10% of the world’s total number of species of animals and plants. We are the first place in reptile diversity and second in mammal diversity. We also have 900 endemic species of vertebrates.
- The richest person in the world in 2007 was a Mexican business man named Carlos Slim, who’s estimated wealth overpassed Bill Gates’.
- Corn, chocolate, and tomatoes come originally from Mexico.
- An archeological site called Chichen-Itza was chosen one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.
- Mexico City is world’s most populous city with 20 million people living in it.