Have you ever taken a look around and actually thought about the many different cultures that surround you on a daily basis? Many cultures make up the United States which is why we are called the Melting Pot. “The definition of a melting pot is a place where different people or different cultures all come together and begin to merge and mix”, making a whole new culture (yourdictionary.com). Even though we “share a border of nearly 2,000 miles” with Mexico there are many differences between the two cultures (acapulcos.com). Culture is more than just food, religion, and skin color, although those are differences there are others, family, music, birthday/ parties, and holidays. Compared to American culture, Mexican/Hispanic culture sticks to its history and traditions.
Yes, everyone knows that from culture to culture the food is different; who does not love to eat food? Mexican food is known all around the world and is full of color and lots of spices. Other than just talking about the food itself, meals and sitting around the table is very important to the Mexican culture. This is a time for the family to communicate and stay connected. Coming together at dinner is a tradition for the family and is a special time.
Religion is a very vital aspect of a culture; the Mexican culture does not have a specific religion. “Roman Catholicism has been the main religion of the country, around 90% of Mexicans follow the traditions of Roman Catholicism” (historyplex.com). Many Mexicans worship the Virgin of Guadalupe or the Virgin Mary, who reflects the importance of the Catholic culture.
The family is very important to the Mexican culture, family comes first before everything else. A family is more than just mom, dad, brother, and sisters. It is not uncommon to see a Mexican family living together all under one roof including family members from different generations. The men do the hard work and work for money while the women stay at home and take care of the home, chores, and children. The children are normally raised with lots of parental care from different generations and are taught to always put family first. In the Mexican culture family is everything and they are all very close.
Music is another important aspect of the Mexican culture and always plays a big part in the parties and celebrations. Mexican songs are normally about love, the history of the country, and passion. A Mariachi band is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Mexico and music. “Mariachi originated from the French term “marriage” which means marriage, as this music is often played at weddings” (haciendatresrios.com). “The band usually consists of violins, trumpets, a classical guitar, and a vihuela, which is a five-string guitar” (haciendatresrios.com). The band consists of five musicians and while performing they all wear a charro suit with a sombrero. Most music is played with a variety of “sounds that are produced by instruments such as flutes, drums, rumba shakers, and seashells” (historyplex.com).
In the Mexican culture parties are a big deal, there is always something to celebrate. One birthday “tradition is the “la mordida” “the birthday girl or boy’s face is shoved into the cake for them to take the first bite, while everyone shouts “Mordida! Mordida”” (matadornetwork.com). On your birthday a “Spanish adaptation of “Happy Birthday” called Las Mananitas is sang to you” (matadornetwork.com). The tradition of having a piñata came from the Mexican culture, no birthday is celebrated without a piñata.
Most piñatas are decorated to look like an animal and are made out of paper mache. Normally they are very bright in colors and are filled with candy and small toys. Another tradition for a 15-year-old girls birthday the La Quinceanera. The celebration is similar to the sweet 16 that most Americans celebrate. The Quinceanera celebrates the “journey from childhood to maturity” (quinceanera-boutique.com). At the Quinceanera, it is a tradition for the girl to wear a ball gown, fancy jewelry, and makeup. Birthdays are a Mexican tradition just like here in the United States.
Like every culture, everyone celebrates different holidays. Some of the holidays that the Mexican culture celebrates are Day of the Dead, Las Posadas, and Carnaval. The Day of the Dead is a three-day celebration to celebrate or honor deceased loved ones. The celebration focuses on gathering with loved ones and remembering those who have passed away. Las Posadas is during Christmas time from December 16th- December 24th. “Las Posadas is nine consecutive days of candlelight processions and lively parties” (casablancamexican.com). Las Posadas is the tradition of the Holy Family searching for a safe place or shelter to stay in before giving birth to Jesus. “Carnaval is an official Mexican holiday that kicks off a five-day celebration of the libido before the Catholic lent” (casablancamexican.com). “Carnaval is celebrated with parades, floats, costumes, music, and dancing in the streets” (casablancamexican.com). Every culture celebrates different holidays for certain reasons, but for the Mexican culture celebrating holidays is something meaningful and another reason to gather with family.
Culture is made of so much more than just food and religion, it makes a person and who they are while using many other influences in one’s life. Culture overall is made up of a particular group of people, food, religion, family, music, birthday/parties, and holidays. For the Mexican culture, everything is based around and about family, friends, history, and tradition. Even though there are many differences between the American and Mexican cultures there are some similarities. Every culture is different in many ways and more people should take the time to learn about other cultures that surround them on a daily basis.