Mexico

"Mexico flag." Flag. World Geography: Understanding a Changing World. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 23 Oct. 2014.

Language

Mexico is the most populous Spanish-speaking nation in the world. Spanish is spoken in over 95% of the country. Despite the fact that most of the nation speaks Spanish, the language is not declared the nations official language. In fact, the country's laws do not recognize any one language as an official language but do recognize and promote linguistic diversity. Mexico does speak standard Spanish, but the culture has "shaken it up" a bit by expanding and borrowing words from other languages. It is estimated that there are at least 51 distinct indigenous languages being spoken in modern Mexico. Some other widely-spoken languages in Mexico are Nahuatl, Yucatec Mayan, Zapotec, and Mixtec.

Bardi, Maria. "Mexico: People." World Geography: Understanding a Changing World. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 23 Oct. 2014.

Emily. Mexican Food, Tacos. Digital image. Theberry.com. N.p., 17 May 2012. Web. 23 Oct. 2014.

Food

Mexican cuisine is one of the most distinctive in the world. Corn is one of the most sacred foods of Mexico, brought by the pre-Columbians and is still eaten a lot to this day in Mexico. The ubiquitous tortilla is also served with almost every meal. Some of the meals you would find in Mexico might feature huachinanga veracruzana, red snapper sauteed with fresh vegetables and chilies, which contrasts greatly with pork in a tomatillo or green tomato sauce. Mexico is also known for its great varieties of moles or complex sauces

"Mexico: Food and Holidays." World Geography: Understanding a Changing World. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 27 Oct. 2014.

Traditions

The tradition of family in Mexico is expansive and can include people who are not blood-related but who are close to family members, as it is the case with godparents. Other traditions such as the quinceaƱera reinforce the importance of relations within the family. The quinceaƱera is a celebration of a girl's 15th birthday, symbolizing a young girl becoming a woman. Also, social networking plays a significant role in Mexican society. Having a solid network is essential not only within one's professional life but also as a means to social mobility. Overall, Mexican society is very concerned with formality and politeness. It is normal to use titles of respect when talking to people with whom there is no close relationship. The usage of first names is usually reserved for very close acquaintances. It is considered a golden rule of Mexican society never to insult a person's pride or honor. It is also considered impolite to discuss one's personal financial situation or problems unless among close friends.

Bardi, Maria. "Mexico: Traditions & Etiquette." World Geography: Understanding a Changing World. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 27 Oct. 2014.

"Mexican dancers." Photos/Illustrations. Corel. World Geography: Understanding a Changing World.

ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 3 Nov. 2014.


Holidays

Independence Day/Cinco de Mayo
Each year on September 16, Mexicans celebrate the anniversary of their country's independence from Spain in 1821. The most important part of the festivities is the Grito de Delores, which takes place on September 15 at 11:00 p.m. in cities all over the country. Cinco de Mayo, May 5, is another important patriotic holiday in Mexico. It commemorates the Battle of Puebla, in which Gen. Ignacio Zaragoza and his troops were victorious over the French forces of Napoleon III in 1862. 

"Days of the Dead." Photos/Illustrations. AFP/Getty Images. World Geography: Understanding a Changing World.

ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 3 Nov. 2014.

Days of the Dead (Dias de los Muertos)
The Days of the Dead festivities begin on October 31, when food and toys are left at clay altars in the home for the spirits of children who have died. On the second day, All Saints Day, special spicy meals are prepared for older deceased relatives. The spirits of the dead are believed to return on the final day to be with their relatives.

"Our Lady of Guadalupe Day." Photos/Illustrations. Corel. World Geography: Understanding a Changing World.

ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 3 Nov. 2014.

Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe
On December 12, four days before the Christmas season "officially" begins in Mexico, Mexicans come together to celebrate the Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, honoring the country's patron saint. The event commemorates the miraculous appearance of the Virgin Mary to an indigenous Mexican Christian convert, Juan Diego, on December 9, 1531.

"Mexico: Food and Holidays." World Geography: Understanding a Changing World.

ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 3 Nov. 2014.

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