Sometimes in a merry national holiday, you may observe a reflection of some historical facts that occurred several centuries ago. Mexico, one of the most unusual Catholic countries, is capable of striking exotic values inherited from the Indian, the Spaniards, and even Americans.
Mexican culture essay example
Historically, Mexico was inhabited by several free tribes of Indians, whose influence is still felt. Today, there are only 6 million Mayan descendants. In communities, you can see examples of ancient religious cults, sacrifices, music, dance, or writing. All Mayan habits are closely related to astronomical cycles, so, even modern scientists are amazed at the accuracy of their calculations. In the X century, there is another strong tribe of the Aztecs built the city-state of Tenochtitlan and luxurious palace where ritual ceremonies were performed.
The dual origin of the Mexico culture can be seen in all its implementations. In food culture, the importance of maize is retained. Farming has long been complemented by rural handicrafts. Potters, stone carvers, weavers and jewelers, whose works were lost during the expansion, achieved amazing craftsmanship.
A lot of artisans sell or trade their goods in local bazaars. There is a local specialization when separate villages are famous for various crafts. The products of Coyotepeka potters from black with a metallic shim of clay, animalistic figurines in Guadalajara, and iridescent green glaze on vessels from Tampa are widely known.
In the Mexican food, culture is used mainly corn. Most frequently, they bake tortillas with meat filling and spicy chili seasoning. In coastal areas, class people are largely fed by the sea. Except of fish, various crustaceans, shrimps, and lobster are used as resources.
Paired essence of the origin of modern Mexican culture is reflected in clothing. Men associate with low-class wear cotton garments. On the feet, we may see a variety of strap sandals, one of the few purely Indian elements of a garment. To protect from the scorching sun, the head is covered with wicker straw hats of various shapes with a wide brim – sombreros.
Speaking about women we should mention that they wear dresses of light fabric and colors. They try to avoid dark shades. In Yucatan, high-class people dress in a snow-white skirt and sleeveless blouse with rich, brightest embroidery. The greatest variety is distinguished by the vestments of Indian women, striking with contrasting combinations of colors and associated with low class.
The currency of Mexico is money with an eventful history. This is not surprising, because at one time the peso was considered the largest silver coin in the world. At the same time, the Mexican dollar was used, which participated in the circulation in the silver form. The only disadvantage of its direct usage serves the extortionate rate, according to which the cost of goods or services is recounted by employees of hotels, restaurants, shops or markets.
Interesting Facts about Mexican Culture
In Mexico the number of church holidays is large. It is the day of the local holy father, celebrated in a large village. In addition to food, music, and dance, costume parties or pantomimes, originating from the European Middle Ages, are arranged.
Christmas starts here two weeks before an official date. In each town, ritual processions are held, at the head of which are Joseph and the Virgin Mary, accompanied by children. People who meet them join the crowd and move in the direction of the temple where the solemn mass becomes the result of the evening. On December 24, a family gathers at the table to taste Christmas “atoll” and “tamale”, as well as to make out the presents under the Christmas tree, despite the absence in the Mexico culture of Santa or his deputy.
Perhaps the most amazing celebration where religious and philosophical views of the ancient Mexican culture intertwined is The Day of the Dead. It reflects the lightness inherent to death. After a mournful meal at the cemetery, adults begin to have fun, while the children eat up sugar skulls and chocolate coffins. Since childhood, a familiar image of laughing departure personifies the omnipotent time that brings destruction and renewal to the world.
According to Mexican beliefs, the individual’s soul falls to the gods. On this day, you need to visit the graves of loved ones, inviting them to the house, bake special coffee bread and cookies in the form of skulls. One of the most curious facts is the Feast of the Oppressed Husbands, during which all husbands, dissatisfied with their second half, can indulge in the joys of life without fear of subsequent punishment.
Among the celebrations, not related to the church, it is worth mentioning corrida inherited from Spain. Here you may trace the Mexican culture vs. American culture.
On September 15, Mexicans celebrate their liberation two hundred years ago. When Napoleon conquered Spain, Mexico automatically became the property of France. Residents, outraged by such a humiliating status, fought for their independence for eleven years. Now, gathering annually with flags in the squares and shouting the battle cry of the free rebels “Viva!” the Mexicans pay tribute to their ancestors and listen to the ringing of the bell that once announced the beginning of the uprising. That is fact what makes Mexican culture unique.
The Mexico culture is quite musical, as exemplified by roving folk orchestras “mariachi”. Sometimes pipes are added to them. The composition of such an orchestra has from 3 to 12 musicians who play at fairs and weddings. Mexican dances are peculiar, although they are based on Spanish motifs of the XVI-XVII centuries. The most common dance, “Kharabe Tapatio” is danced by couples with a complex, changing a rhythmic pattern.
Among the genres of Mexican song culture, bullfights, a kind of folk ballad, have become the most popular. This song genre developed on the basis of the Spanish romance of the 15th and 16th centuries, but it acquired a deeply peculiar style and theme. It is built from quatrains with a precise rhyme, performed with a guitar with the repetition of the most melodic phrases of each verse. The classic of the genre was a rather extensive corps of the Revolution, formed in the 1920s.
Thus, in Mexican culture and traditions, Spanish customs, values, and celebrations enrich the life with differing Indian beliefs. The interaction of two such various worlds over the centuries has not only influenced conservative popular foundation, but also encompassed the sphere of professional literature, visual arts, education program, and philosophy.