Mexican Culture DeAndrea Woods

Mexico is the sixth largest country in the Americas and the thirteenth largest independent nation in the world. Mexico has an estimated population of 120 million.
THERE ARE A GREAT NUMBER OF LANGUAGES IN MEXICO. WHILE SPANISH IS THE NUMBER ONE PRIMARY LANGUAGE. THE MAYAN LANGUAGES AND NAHUATL ARE THE NEXT MOST SPOKEN LANGUAGES. SPANISH IS THE NATIONAL SPOKEN LANGUAGE FOR MAJORITY OF MEXICANS.
I went to a Mexican restaurant with my friend's dad and his mom to eat what they call real Mexican food. It was chipotle or the typical Mexican restaurants you see pretty much every couple blocks all over San Diego. At first, I felt a bit awkward being around his mom cause I never spent much time with them together out of the 12 years I've known him. This was a definitely a different experiences for me. I asked my friend's dad Manny Diaz if this is norm growing up in a Mexican family. He said it's what we grow up on and pretty much eat almost daily given it's not always that. He said there are many other things I have yet to try. The place is Taco El Gordo in Chula Vista.
As you can see, it's very different coming from my culture (creole food) and going to dive into the real deal of Mexican food. There is a bit satisfying taste between cajun food and Mexican food. Corn or wheat tortillas, along with beans, rice, tomatoes, chili peppers and chorizo, a type of pork sausage are the daily satisfaction to majority Mexicans. Coming from Mexico, Manny never left his culture behind as he tends to make his own recipes here at home with his family.
What I thought was interested when Manny started to go into detail about the differences between schooling from Mexican to American culture was fascinating. Well let's start off to say that they were required to wear school uniforms as opposed to how American society could wear what they wanted. Manny dove in to say that the student cohort were chosen by the state departments. The number system for grading was different being 10 to 5; 10 being the best grade, 6 is barely passing, and a 5 is a failure. That is completely different from the American society from A,B,C,D, and F system.
Manny told me something about how Mexicans use nonverbal communication. Chapter 2 of the textbook talks about the aspects of nonverbal communication. He informed men shake hands with each other, and if eye contact is met, it shows sign of aggressiveness. Direct contact is not valued between males in Mexico like it is in the United States. Women makes direct eye contact with a male, it is considered flirting. Americans are okay with physical contact as to the Mexican culture isn't. Hugs aren't really that much appreciated unless gestured first. "Each cultural group has its own set of rules for personal space and that respecting these cultural differences is critical to smooth communication." (Martin and Nakayama, 46)
Being able to submerged myself into a different culture has been an amazing experience. It has been life changing hearing about another individual upbringing outside of U.S. system. I was able to eat great authentic Mexican food for days at a time while learning Spanish in between. Allowing Manny to share his younger childhood and his roots on who it allowed him to be today was incredible. "Culture is at once shared and a learned pattern of beliefs and perceptions that are widely accessible." (Martin and Nakayama, 93)

Reference:

Martin, Judith N., and Thomas K Nakayama. Intercultural Communication in Contexts. New York: McGraw Hill, 2010. Web.

Interviewer: Manny Diaz

Credits:

Created with images by DWilliams - "school geography world globe"

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