Mexican Culture


Anadalay Martinez , Op/Ed Editor

Values & Customs

Mexicans admire family and strongly believe that family should always be united creating a sense of connection with each relative. I think that comes to the fact that Mexican families are large in numbers. Mexicans think that family always comes first, above anything and everything else. Most importantly, parents are treated with the utmost respect. Mexicans, especially Mexican moms, love to be a good host when inviting relatives or friends over. They try to make their guests as comfortable as possible. Being a bad host can give you a bad reputation among your relatives and acquaintances. Unfortunately, traditional gender roles are still a big part of the Mexican culture. I believe this comes from the fact that there is still a lot of sexism present in Mexico to this day. For example, the woman is expected to be a housewife, which includes taking care of her children and completing house chores (mopping, washing dishes, cooking, etc) all by herself without the help of her husband. The husband is expected to have a job and provide for his family(pay house bills, put food on the table, etc). If you’re a part of the Mexican culture, are there anymore extremely important values I failed to mention? Would you happen to know other frequent customs?

Holidays & Traditions

The most recognized Mexican tradition would be a quinceanera. A quinceanera essentially is a big birthday party thrown for a girl who is turning 15 years old, which signifies the end of her childhood and the beginning of her womanhood. The majority of the birthday parties occur in ballrooms and the birthday girl always wears an elaborate dress. Before the party begins, the birthday girl attends mass service to receive a blessing. The girl of honor has maids of honor and chamberlains that are next to her the majority of the party. They usually recite dances that are performed on her big day. Family, close and distant are invited as well as friends from the parent’s side and the birthday girls’. A good quinceañera party has to have good music, which includes “Banda”  and an amazing “Sonidero”. It also has to have authentic Mexican food and the dance floor has to be full most of the time. Another well-known Mexican holiday would be “El Dia De Los Muertos”  which translates to the Day of the Dead in English. To keep it short and simple, the Day of the Dead is often confused with being Halloween but for Mexicans, which may be due to the fact that the holiday takes place on the first and second day of November. The Day of the Dead is actually a religious celebration honoring and remembering all of our loved ones who are no longer with us. It’s believed that forgetting a past loved one over time causes their soul to disappear in the afterlife. Mexicans usually make ofrendas(altars) in their homes for this celebration about death in a positive light. There are other Mexican holidays, many religious since the majority of Mexicans are Catholics. Mexico’s Independence Day is also nationally celebrated differently compared to the U.S. If you ever find yourself in Mexico City on September 15 do pay a visit to El Centro de Mexico. Have you ever celebrated any of the holidays mentioned above, if so did you enjoy it?

Authentic Food

Let’s start off by addressing the elephant in the room, Burritos and hard-shelled tacos are not authentic Mexican dishes, although you probably already knew that. Tortillas and beans are usually associated with Mexican culture, which totally makes sense due to the fact that almost every Mexican dish is accompanied or made by tortillas. For example, the most popular food known to be from Mexico is tacos. Tacos, like several other dishes, originate from a specific region in Mexico.  Tacos originated from Mexico City and tacos from the capitol are the best ones to find in all of Mexico and basically anywhere else.  Mole Poblano is another very authentic Mexican dish coming from Southern Mexico, more specifically, Puebla. Mole can be eaten with chicken or any other meat and is then dipped in a dark-colored sauce usually accompanied with tortilla or rice. Enchiladas are constantly mentioned in American T.V shows and an enchilada can be made from Mole. There are many enchiladas, green, red, and mole. Mole enchiladas are basically cut up chicken breasts or any meat wrapped in a tortilla drenched in Mole sauce. You can add sour cream, cheese, lettuce, or anything of your preference after that. Green enchiladas are also any meat wrapped in a tortilla drenched in green sauce, which is made up of green chiles and tomatillo. There are so many other delicious and mouth-watering Mexican dishes out there that you should try if you ever visit Mexico. Are there any other authentic Mexican dishes that you have tried, if so how was it?