Pros and Cons of Mexican Culture

Discussion in 'Living in Cancun' started by drewp, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. drewp

    drewp Guest

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    I've really only seem the "typical" Mexican culture while I'm vacationing so I'm interested what it's like living in Mexico in terms of cultural differences.

    My Spanish teacher in high school was from Mexico and I remember him telling stories about 3 day parties and food being a HUGE part of the Mexican culture. He also told about high crime rates and family "pride" being a strength and a weakness. What are your thoughts about the Mexican culture and how it fits in with your own way of living?
     
  2. V

    V I can choose my own title Registered Member

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    Can you beat that?

    Sorry, I've already got an offer of $5....
     
  3. Gringation

    Gringation Guru Registered Member

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    The point you made about 3-day parties is very true. The venue for my upcoming wedding (to a Mexican) gives you 6 hours of party time. Extra hours are pretty expensive. Even so, we have to add on at least one or two hours because 1 a.m. is too early, apparently haha. It's gonna be a party :)

    Family is also huge here. Mexicans tend to live with their parents until they're married.

    What has been hardest for me is the "time is fluid" concept. For gettogethers in the States, you ask people to show up at 2 p.m. and they show up at 2 p.m. Here, you ask people to get there at 2 p.m. and nobody is expected to show up until about 3 or 4. (Always ask people to get there earlier than you really want them to.) They also may tell you they're going, then never show up. Even so, it's never a big deal what time people show up because the get-together will inevitably last well into the night, anyways.

    And women have to wear earrings. (When I don't , my Mexican friends always ask me where my earrings are) Even babies wear earrings.

    It gets to me that Mexicans often comment on appearance. ("You've gained weight", "You look sick", "You have huge bags under your eyes", "You look pregnant", "Why didn't you do your hair today?", and my favorite... "You look annoyed. Are you on your period?")

    And ANYTHING will get you sick, according to my Mexican friends/in-laws. Walking around barefoot, not taking a lukewarm shower when it rains, not covering up your water pitcher, sleeping with wet hair, placing your purse on the floor...
     
  4. mormis

    mormis I can choose my own title Registered Member

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    Hahahahahah Gringation you are awesome!

    Drew, i can tell you how things are for me (i'm mexican) since i get to see the cultural differences with my american friends...

    We do have long parties, but thats only because we look for places to continue the party, my cousin's wedding was 2 weeks ago somewhere close to Mexico City and it started at 1PM on friday and ended at 8 PM on sunday, after the "reception" (which is quite different than the american ones) we went to someone's rented house, some slep, some didnt, the booze kept on flowing, then we had a bbq, then we went to a bar at night, again some slept, some didnt and on sunday we had another bbq around noon and after that everyone got ready to go back home... yeah some Mexicans are troopers lol

    About what Gringation said of living with your parents, its true, i tried to go against it when i moved to cancun and they felt like i was doing something really really wrong, they thought that they had been bad parents and i was leaving their house because i didnt want to be around them... which definitely isnt the case

    Bottom line: Mexican culture is really different, but i bet you're gonna love it (most of it at least)
     
  5. drewp

    drewp Guest

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    Great info! I do love learning about other cultures!
     
  6. TomT

    TomT Enthusiast Registered Member

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    Wish I could take credit for it, but someone here on this board said "manana" doesn't mean "tomorrow," it just means "not today." I think that's perfect. At least here on Isla Mujeres, manana seems to be a state of mind. Manana arrives after the hangover, which can be a daily occurrence.

    Most locals on Isla don't sleep in beds; they still sleep in hammocks; I still have not learned how to properly put my hammock away...my housecleaner keeps trying to show me how to braid it so it doesn't tangle. Every house here has hammock hooks in the walls. Many families sleep in one room, in hammocks.

    Family is the center of life here. Religion is too, but family comes first.

    Gay isn't a big thing at all here, at least not on Isla. From my understanding, there are some mighty fierce drag queens here. Maybe it's because of the naval base...I don't know. I unfortunately missed the Miss Gay Isla contest this year.

    Dogs are equivalent to trash. Spay/neuter is not how the culture handles overpopulation: poisoning and/or electrocuting is. I'm amazed at how differently we look at pets.
     
  7. RiverGirl

    RiverGirl Guest

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    One of the things I like best about Mexican culture is that people greet each other so warmly. When I go to the US and see my gringo friends there I always want to hug them when I see them, in fact I often tell them that I am Mexican now and so I HAVE to hug them.

    One of the things I hate most about the culture here is how easily people will mislead you. There isn't a lot of emphasis in the culture here on just saying things in a straight and honest way. People here will bend over backwards to NOT tell you something you don't want to hear, even if that means they have to lie to you. I much prefer bad news that's honest to good news that's bull.
     
  8. Steve

    Steve Administrator Owner

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    "It's better to say sorry, than ask permission" about somes it up for me.

    Takes a bit of getting used to, but something Jannet is great at.
     
  9. Life_N_Cancun

    Life_N_Cancun Guest

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    Its hard to comment on this without going too negative... lately its been a lot easier to point out the negatives than the positives.

    Some negatives that irritate me...
    *It seems to be physically impossible for most Mexicans (males at least) to take responsibility for something or admit they are wrong.
    *While many claim to be religious, morals (at least by my ideals) seem non-existent. I think this is why Catholicism is so big.. you can do virtually anything and so long as you "confess" before you die you're all good...
    *Corruption is expected and accepted here.. anyone who has any power is expected to abuse it for their own gain, those who don't are unusual.
    *No one, I repeat, NO ONE, can be trusted when money is involved.


    Some positives.. (hard to come up with at the moment.... not been the best day.)
    *Even with all of the negatives, people do seem to be less stressed overall.
    *Generally people seem less judgmental and more accepting than in the US, truly hateful and/or racist people don't seem very common.
    *Families do tend to stick together more which is mostly a good thing.

    -help me out here someone... I know there's more...

    Of' course there are plenty of other positive things about living here but I don't think they fall under the cultural umbrella.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 27, 2010
  10. V

    V I can choose my own title Registered Member

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    Life, I thought, even though it may have been a bad day for you, that you managed to hit a balance, and I agree with all your points, based on growing up with Mexican people, in Texas, and living here for a year.

    Regarding "morals", the areas in which I've noticed a difference are limited to, "honesty in all matters", and perhaps "faithfulness to one's spouse", where the attitude seems a bit more European.

    I agree with this statement, exactly as it's written, but would add the seemingly contradictory observation that, at no time nor in any circumstance has any government official asked me for a bribe, nor even hinted broadly that one would be useful or kind, if offered. I've had dealings with government officials at various levels including local, state and national, getting permissions of varying kinds and entering into contracts for the provision of my services: nor has it, at any time, been suggested that they might think I should be rewarding them with gifts, or a share of the income from the activities they've approved.

    I take bribes out of the equation, and they stay, out of the equation. I don't ask for any special treatment, not even to speed the processes up: not asking for any favors, I need do no more than say, "thank you", now and then.

    (Referring to RGs comment, Americans tend to be straightforward, but still aren't the equal of Germans, who can make Americans seem downright indirect!)

    Many Mexicans will not pay a bill until forced to: since I must bill people for my services, I'm doing a lot of that, but they respond with humor when I do, and pay up.

    Another phenomenon which I was unfamiliar with, growing up in the states, is the degree to which university students are coddled, cajoled and pushed to get themselves through to a degree: what I was used to was you swam or sank at university- but it was your own business- and the professors didn't much care one way or the other. This is the first time I've ever really had to exercise control in the classroom to get the students to work, but they do respond, apparently being used to that approach. Both maturity levels, and curiosity about the world beyond Cancun seem less than what I'd expect of university students.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
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