Mexico is country of many faces. It has a mix of ancient and modern, a mix that many countries wish they could replicate but cant. The reason they cant is that they simply don’t have the colorful and full history that Mexico has.
If you want to see the real Mexico, you need to travel outside of the cities, into the villages and small towns. While the cultural aspect of Mexico has changed quite dramatically over the years, there are still pockets of the country that hold firm with their beliefs in tradition and culture.
The most widely spoken language in Mexico today is Spanish, which actually makes it a larger Spanish-speaking population than Spain itself. However, this is not the official language of Mexico because there isn’t one. Around 6% of the Mexican population speak a language other than Spanish but English is also fairly widely spoken as well.
Virtually the whole of Mexico practices one religion – Roman Catholic. Around 6% are Protestant and there are a number of Christian denominations as well as small numbers of Muslims, Buddhists and Jews.
Mexicans hold a number of things in high value, especially family and business structure and hierarchy. Families tend to be quite large, particularly away from the Cities and Mexican people tend to be highly conscious of family responsibility.
They are very traditional people and very welcoming, tending to throw large parties at home. Many women still work only in the home, although more and more are moving to outside jobs now although Mexico is still very much dominated by males.
Fashions tend to be different wherever you go and, in the Cities, international fashion and trends are prevalent. However, out of the Cities, their clothing is more traditional, with the women tending towards skirts, tunics and shawls.
Other traditional pieces of clothing, synonymous with Mexico, are things like the Sombrero and the Charro suits usually worn by Mariachi bands although you generally only see these at festivals or on sale for tourists.
Mexican art and literature
Traditional pottery, embroidered cotton and wool shawls are typically traditional folk art items. As well as these you will see baskets and rugs. Folk music, in particular, the Mariachi style, is highly traditional and comprises a number of instruments, including the violin, guitar and trumpet.
Holidays and celebrations
Mexicans are very traditional when it comes to celebrating and they have a number of large festivals that take place over the course of the year. Perhaps the most popular is The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, celebrated on Dec. 12, as she is the Patron Saint of Mexico.
The Day of the Dead, a two day festival is held to honor the dead and celebrate their lives. Independence Day falls on September 16th and marks the victory of Mexico over the French in 1862, although this one seems to be celebrated more in the US than in Mexico now.
If you travel through Mexico, you will be faced with many different cultures and traditions and, at times, it may be difficult to keep up. One thing is guaranteed though, you will not be disappointed.