Mexican Culture and Customs

Tradition and culture are central part of life in Mexican society. Mexicans have an incredible zeal for life. They are very vivacious individuals and usually warm people. They welcome guests or tourists with great hospitality and make you part of the Mexican way of life, until you respect and adhere to local customs and traditions.

In Mexico, exchange of appropriate greetings is considered necessary and is important in their cultural circles. Handshakes are standard way of greeting each other. It is deemed almost absolute necessity for hand shake and exchange of greetings even to ask questions or directions to strangers. When you are meeting a group of people, you are expected to greet everyone in the group individually. Exchanging greetings with all at once is views as rude and being lazy on your part.
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Mexicans just love Spanish. If you put some efforts to speak in Spanish, even if you are very bad at it, they will forgive you and in fact appreciate your efforts. Even a simple “Buenes dias” earns you lot of respect from the local residents and they will accept you with open arms.

People living in urban areas can speak English effortlessly. You may find language barrier or communication problems only in certain rural areas. It is important to be grammatically correct when conversing with locals.  Use of idioms or colloquial terms is seen as being impolite. Speaking slowly or in disjointed sentences is viewed by locals as an insult to them. If you need to end the conversations abruptly, never make and excuse that you need to be somewhere else. This is considered as bad manners and locals may not take it properly.

There are few more communication tips that one has to remember always. Mexicans are really not very good on personal space.  Don’t get surprised while conversing with locals, if they stand closer to you than usual distance.

Between 2 PM and 5 PM, it is siesta time. Any meeting or gathering you schedule around this time will never get you much attendance. In Mexico, refusing an invitation is taken to be very rude, so locals may still accept your invitation but there is no guarantee they will arrive.
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Flirting comes natural to Mexican men. It is not at all surprising to get an odd teasing comment or hear men whistle at you, if you happen to be a woman who travels alone. These need to be taken as compliments instead of confronting them as confrontations will lead nowhere.

Some Mexicans may see it as a dishonorable for a woman if she is traveling without a male escort. Though some of you may find it as an outdated customs and views, you should not forget that you are a guest in Mexico. Being guest it is expected of you to understand and respect their traditions, beliefs and customs. It is safe for tourists to stick to known bars and hotels.

One final thing for tourists to take care is not to pass any comments whatsoever on family and religion. These two are integral part of Mexicans culture and they take any comments on religion or family very seriously.

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