Customs and traditions
The Catholic saint figure Our wife of
Guadalupe is the strongest symbol of Mexico's national
culture. She is a Mexican, dark-skinned version of the
Virgin Mary and represents the mixture of European and
indigenous peoples - the creator of the "mestizo", the
In addition to class affiliation, Mexicans' identity
is often strongly linked to the state, province, or city
where they live. For the indigenous people, ethnic
identity sometimes precedes the Mexican. But Mexicans
are often very nationalistic. In public schools, the
week begins with the children honoring the flag and
singing the national anthem.
Overview of the capital city of Mexico, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
Know and label
Mexicans tend to be closer to the person they are
talking to than a Swede is used to. It is not uncommon
for them to take on the person they are talking to
during a call. Backing is perceived as stiff or rude.
The most common is that Mexican men take care of each
other when they meet, Meet a man and a woman or two
women they each give each other a kiss. Meeting close
friends, on the other hand, is the most common hug or
tender touch of the elbow. Meet people from different
social status, it is people with higher rank who choose
the way of greeting. The one of lower status also uses
the speech usted (ni), while the person of
higher status probably says tú (you). Mexicans
are happy to be addressed with their professional
Mexicans often start conversations with politeness
phrases and a bit of small talk before approaching what
they really want to talk about. Even when the core issue
is up for conversation, one sometimes avoids being
clear, which easily causes a crash if the interlocutor
is a target-oriented Scandinavian. Like most Latin
Americans, Mexicans are more helpful and good-looking
than honest. "Maybe" therefore often means "no" and
something that is alleged to happen mañana
(tomorrow) can actually happen sometime in an
You often call people's attention by saying "psst",
which is not rude in Mexico.
La murdera is a term used about bribery. In
Mexico, it is generally accepted to pay a little extra
under the table to pass a road check or get a necessary
The view of time, as in the rest of Latin America, is
fluid. Punctuality is therefore not very highly valued
in everyday life, and if you are invited to dinner at
someone's home, you should show up around half an hour
late. Getting a dot at the appointed time can be
perceived as rude. Meetings are often set up with a
It is good practice to bring a simple gift when you
are invited home to someone, such as flowers or candy.
On the other hand, avoid giving away marigolds as well
as white or red flowers. Also, gifts of imported silver
should be avoided, as the Mexican silver is world
Mexico's food culture is varied and the regional
specialties many. However, some ingredients are found in
most dishes: corn, chili pepper, beans and rice. One of
the most common dishes is tortilla, a flat bread made on
cornmeal. A tortilla is usually filled with meat or
beans and cheese and is then called taco or quesadilla.
Often you eat guacamole avocado ear.
In urban environments, western clothing is most
common. Those who belong to the wealthy part of the
population often dress very elegantly and wear expensive
jewelry. The dress codes are strict, especially in
school and in working life. Sandals are something few
rich people use, since since the days of colonialism it
has been associated with rural, poverty and indigenous
peoples. In the countryside, more traditional attire,
often with roots in indigenous people's forms and
patterns, is common. Regardless of style, Mexicans
prefer to use strong colors.
Traditions and national holidays
The major holidays are governed by the Catholic
calendar, although not everyone has been granted
national holidays. Easter is one of the most important.
On Good Friday, people play the crucifixion of Jesus in
many parts of the country - a spectacle that often has a
On December 12, the nation's patron saint Our Lady of
Guadalupe is celebrated. Enormous masses of practicing
Catholics then make a pilgrimage to her sacred place in
On May 5, Cinco de Mayo, Mexico's victory over French
invaders is celebrated near the city of Puebla in 1862.
Parades for the nation's sovereignty are held throughout
An even more important day is Independence Day,
September 16, when it celebrates that the independence
struggle began in 1810. Public Mexico organizes military
parades. The tradition is also among the most popular.
Private houses and public buildings are adorned with the
colors of the Mexican flag throughout September. You
also eat a dish where red, white and green symbolize the
The Revolution Day on November 20 is a
state-sponsored ritual that commemorates Francisco
Madero's planned uprising against dictator Porfiro Díaz
in 1910, which became the beginning of the Mexican
Revolution. The celebration evokes moderate popular
The religious celebration of Día de la Candelaria,
which celebrates the Virgin Mary's purification and
Jesus blessing, is celebrated on February 2.
One of the most popular traditions is Dia de los
Muertos - The Day of the Dead. It is celebrated on
November 2 to pay tribute to the deceased loved ones.
You then eat a special bread - pan de muerto -
which is long, flat and sweet. Many Mexicans also make
small altars for the dead in their homes. Often, you put
burnt yellow flowers on dead relatives' graves, and many
eat meals and spend the night in the cemetery.
Christmas is celebrated in both religious and secular
form. In addition to the religious significance, the
celebration is similar to the Western one, with Santa,
Christmas tree and family gathered to eat well and give
each other gifts. The Christmas food consists of, among
other things, romeritos, a dish with potatoes,
shrimp and a herb reminiscent of rosemary.