Mexico’s Colorful Culture
Mexico boasts one of the most colorful cultures you will find anywhere in the world. It is as diverse to each of its regions as the tropical rainforests and as vibrant and colorful as the lively mariachis music. The ancient Mayans constructed their cities on, and around, sites which house remnants of civilizations dating back to the pre-Colombian language times and the cuisine, culture and beliefs of every civilization which has passed through since has left its mark and is still in existence in some form somewhere in Mexico.
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Various groups of indigenous people, who all have their own customs, dialects and traditions, share a common connection back to their ancient ancestors. This makes the history of Mexico quite unique in the fact that far from being dead and gone it is still ongoing and evolving. The past and present don’t just overlap in Mexico; they have blended seamlessly together to create a whole new layer of culture.
Prime examples of areas which retain their pre-Colombian influences are the Yucatan Peninsula and the states of Chiapas and Quintana Roo. By taking a tour or cruise around this area on your Mexican holiday, you will be given an insight into the distinctive Mayan culture. There are still several areas which exclusively speak the ancient Mayan language, and across the whole of Mexico there is an estimated 1 million speakers.
Those who visit Oaxaca will find a culture that is altogether more Aztec and this region has the biggest indigenous population in Mexico. There are over 1.5 million speakers of the traditional Aztec language Nhuatl and Oaxaca is renowned for its crafts. Oaxaquenan people are also famed for their wonderful weaving where they use only natural dyes to depict Aztec images.
If you fancy stepping back into the mists of time, you should visit La Venta, Tenochtitlan, Palenque and Chichen Itza where there is an abundance of ruins and relics harking back to ancient times. These pay homage to the powerful civilizations who have risen and fallen across Mexico during the pre-Hispanic eras.
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There is a heavy influence in the culture in Mexico from the cowboy, or vaquero, tradition. Back in colonial times there was a massive industry through cattle ranching and the image of the vaquero is still a considered as a treasure piece of culture in Mexico today. Ranchera, the traditional Mexican music, originated with the vaqueros and the music lends itself to many dances such as the merengue and the salsa.
This is just a sample of the culture that awaits you on a Mexican holiday. It is also worth noting that Mexico boasts more UNESCO World Heritage sites that any other of the many countries which make up the Americas.