Mexican Culture

History

The word Mexico originates from Mexica which is pronounced as "Me-shee-ka". It is the name for the original group that established in central Mexico in the beginning of fourteenth century and is known as the Aztecs. One can notice that the cultural subdivision is made within the country. The general ones recognized as northern, central, and south or south-eastern Mexico. Till middle of the 20th century, the north region was thinly populated.

A small indigenous population started to reside in the region and their culture is known as a frontier culture. The central and western regions of Mexico were densely populated and the area is known as the cradle of the country. Indians with rich culture were accumulated in the region during pre-Columbian times. The southern part of the country has a tropical or subtropical environment and rain forests are also situated in that area. It is portrayed by a strong original heritage and the region is the poorest portion of the country, according to figures.

Mexico has witnessed rapid change throughout 20th century. The lifestyle of Mexico has been similar to that of neighboring Europe and United States. But the villagers in Mexico still follow the traditional way of living. More then 75 percent of the Mexican population live in cities. Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, and Puebla-Tlaxcala are some of the large metropolitan cities of the country. Similarly, the rural population resides in areas like Chiapas, Oaxaca, Yucatán, Aguascalientes, Michoacán, Guerrero, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas and many more.

Let’s know about the food, clothing, tradition etc. of Mexico to get a thorough knowledge on various aspects of Mexican culture.

Food

The culinary culture of Mexico is a perfect blend of regional dishes. Most of the Mexican dishes have corn, hot peppers (chilies), and beans as ingredients. Mexicans love to have corn in all its possible form such as cooked or roasted corncob (elote), wrapped and steamed dough with filling (tamal), cooked grain of corn, porridge (atole) and a round, thin “pancake."

Mexican cuisines are one of their kinds as more than one hundred different types of chilies are used during preparation of most of the items. The range starts from the large and "sweet" chili ancho to the small and exceptionally spicy chili habanero.

Normally, the Mexicans love to have a light breakfast that includes coffee and/or fruit before leaving for office. After some time people may eat a tortilla-based snack or a bread roll. The main meal of the day is served in between 2 to 4 in the afternoon. This meal includes items like rice or pasta, meat or chicken. A sophisticated meal also includes tortillas, refried beans and dessert. A Mexican dinner usually consists of sweet rolls, coffee, and milk.

During Festive Occasions Popular Mexican Cuisines are:

  • Pan de muerto (long and flat sweet bread prepared with many eggs and sugar)
  • Romeritos (a plant similar to rosemary served with sauce and potatoes)
  • Bacalao (dried codfish cooked and served in a sauce of tomatoes, olives, and onions)
  • All types of stuffed turkey
  • Chile en nogada (a stuffed chile poblano dressed with a white walnut sauce, red pomegranate, and green parsley, in a depiction of the Mexican flag)

Traditions

The religious rituals determined by the Catholic calendar are followed by people of Mexico.

Popular Mexican culture includes the rituals of death. The belief is said to date back to pre-Columbian era. These rituals are most enthusiastically articulated in the celebrations of the Days of the Dead, 1st and 2nd November. The relatives arrange another variation for the dead in their homes using food, beverages and other items. This is done to welcome the dead persons on their return to earth.
On this occasion, Mexicans visit churchyards and decorate the graves with orange flowers. They spend some time praying there. This Mexican culture has gain popularity in foreign countries.

Events

The following are some of the events celebrated by Mexicans with lot of joy and enthusiasm:

  • Independence from Spain on 16th September
  • Día de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe ("Guadalupe Day")
  • Las Posadas ("The Shelters", from 16th December to 24th December 24
  • Noche Buena ("Holy Night", on 24th December)
  • Navidad ("Christmas", on 25th December)
  • "Guadalupe Day" on 12th December

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