Mexican Essay: Example and Tips
Examples of topics for Mexican essay
- History of Mexico
- Customs and traditions of Mexico
- Culture of Mexico: traditions and contemporaneity – template
Template of Mexican essay. Culture of Mexico: traditions and contemporaneity
Having inherited language from their Spanish ancestors, modern Mexicans in the field of material and spiritual culture absorbed many features of various Indian peoples. But not only absorbed, but also transformed them, developing these forms, and created a Mexican culture, distinct both from the culture of the Indian peoples, and from the Spanish culture.
The complex, dual origin of Mexican culture is traced in all its manifestations. Thus, in Mexican agriculture, the value of corn is preserved – a traditional purely Indian agricultural crop, on the cultivation of which the Mexican economy was founded even in the pre-Columbian period. Another traditional, extremely important in the diet of the population is the beans. But wheat, for example, which is sown in the north of the country, has already been imported by the Spaniards.
Main body of Mexican essay
Agriculture in Mexico developed mainly on an Indian basis, and cattle breeding is a Spanish contribution to local material culture (before the arrival of Europeans, the Indian tribes of Mexico bred only dogs and turkeys). Agriculture has long been supplemented in Mexico by rural handicraft industries in pre-Hispanic times. The village potters, stone carvers, weavers and jewelers sought amazing craftsmanship. But during the colonial period, many traditional crafts were lost or decayed. For example, the sophisticated skills of those who made wonderful feather mosaics were lost, but new types of crafts brought by Spanish craftsmen, such as the manufacture of various lacquer crafts, glassware and so on, appeared.
As in the old days, many artisans sell or exchange their goods at local bazaars. In recent decades, thanks to the development of tourism, there has been a sharp increase in demand for handicrafts, among which there are truly artistic works. There is a local specialization in certain kinds of crafts: individual villages are famous for one or another production. Widely known products of the potters of Coyotepek (Oaxaca) from the black clay with metallic ebbing: round traditional economic utensils of the traditional pre-Columbian form, which is still produced without the use of a potter’s wheel, chandeliers and bells in the form of sirens and angels are undoubtedly the later Catholic influence. Clay figurines depicting animals and birds that are made in Guadalajara (Jalisco), continue the tradition of the masters of ancient culture of America, and the iridescent green glaze on the vessels from Atzappa (Oaxaca) and Michoacana is perceived from the Spanish artisans. Traditional Indian female weaving was supplemented by work on weaving looms with foot controls: on them men weave colorful “Sarapes” – an indispensable attribute of a national costume, etc.
Mexican jewelry made of silver is famous. In their production, the modern technical methods with the dubbing technique of jewelry works were fancifully intertwined. The shape and symbolism of these ornaments also represent an intertwining of two traditions – Indian and Spanish.
Mexican national cuisine
In the national Mexican cuisine, mainly corn is used. Dry grains are soaked overnight in water with an admixture of lime or ash. Then grind on “metat”. It turns into a moist mass, which is sometimes simply diluted with water and drunk – this is the so-called “atole.” But most often it is baked into flat cakes – tortillas. People eat them in different ways, sometimes turn into a tube and put inside the meat filling. The seasoning is also cheese and different sauces, in which the main role is played by pepper – “chili”. In addition to corn, beans and rice play an important role in feeding the population.
In the coastal areas, people are largely fed by the sea. In addition to fish, various crustaceans, shrimps, lobsters, and others go into food. A characteristic feature of Mexican cuisine is the abundance of very spicy seasonings.
A popular national drink in Mexico is “pulque” – fermented agave juice. It is sometimes distilled into vodka, more precisely into tequila. Ancient folk drink – chocolate, however, was prepared differently than it is now. This drink spread all over the world.
Mexican national costume
The dual nature of the origin of modern Mexicans has also affected the element of national culture, such as clothing, especially on the women’s costume of various regions of the country. Men in rural areas almost all over the country wear a white shirt and the same trousers made of cotton fabric, the overalls were closer to the border with the United States with the usual work clothes. A special cape with a head opening, the so-called “Sarape”, is often thrown over the shoulders. On his feet – a variety of belt sandals, one of the few purely Indian elements of clothing.
For protection from the scorching sun, the head is covered with woven straw hats of different shapes, but always with wide fields – sombrero (from the Spanish word la sombra – “shadow”). The pastoralists of the north of the country wear dark tight-fitting trousers and closed shoes. Both the shirt and pants in the men’s suit are the result of European influence. A similar or close to it male suit, mainly under the influence of the Catholic Church, was brought to almost all the Indian peoples of Mexico. The exception is the Tarahumara near Uicholi in the northwest, part of the Mishtecs and Tzotzil in the south of the country.
A distinctive feature of the male costume of many Indian peoples of Mexico are multi-colored woven or embroidered bags-pockets on a long strap with unusually diverse and specific for each people ornaments.
Women’s national clothes are diverse and colorful. Mexican peasant women wear a light cotton blouse and a long dark skirt. In the north of Mexico, women often walk in a semi-long dress at the waist with a frill on the hem and chest. An indispensable accessory of women’s apparel is a shawl – “riboso”; it, if necessary, covers her head, is tied according to the Indian custom behind her back or a heavy load. Women love different ornaments. In Yucatan, Mexican women dress differently: a snow-white skirt and a long sleeveless blouse are richly embroidered with the brightest embroidery on the hem and on the chest. This colorful suit arose under the influence of the Nazaric Indian dresses. Amazingly beautiful lush, decorated with lace and embroidery festive costume of women in Veracruz. But the most varied apparel of Indian women is almost entirely decorated with embroidery, it affects the contrasting combinations of colors. The legs of Indian women are often barefoot.
In folk entertainment, their twofold origin is also clearly traced. As in every Catholic country, Mexico has a very large number of church holidays. First of all, this is the day of the holy local patron, celebrated in each more or less large village. Preparing for the holiday in advance, they invite guests from the neighborhood; in addition to church service, food, music and dances, costumes and pantomimes that originate from the times of the European Middle Ages are often arranged. If the holiday is arranged in the Indian community, one can see the fulfillment of the ancient ritual Indian dances at the church festival.
But perhaps the most amazing holiday, in which the unified religious and philosophical views of the ancient Mexicans and their descendants is entwined, is the day of obedience, or “The Day of the Dead” is the most Mexican of all Mexican holidays. It expressed a peculiar, only Mexican inherent easy attitude towards death. This day turned into a joyful holiday, when, after a mournful meal at the cemetery, adults begin to have fun, and children, as Eisenstein wrote, “overeat skulls made of sugar and chocolate in the form of coffins and entertain themselves with toys in the form of skeletons.” Since childhood, the image of laughing death that is familiar to every Mexican personifies the almighty time that eternally brings destruction and renewal to the world, an image that reveals the very essence of popular feeling and embodied the ancient Aztec concept of the unity of life and death.
There are also national holidays, such as the Day of Proclamation of Independence, which is celebrated with typical Mexican fun, noisy and colorful spectacles, processions, fireworks.
Of popular entertainment, not related to religion and the church, we should mention bullfight inherited from Spain. The first bullfight was organized in 1529, that is, ten years after the start of the conquest of Mexico. Now it has become a national tradition. In the north of the country, in the pastoral areas, so-called rodeos are arranged, when brave men show their dexterity in dealing with bulls: they fall down their tail to the ground, jump up on them, and so on.
Conclusion of Mexican essay
In the oral poetic and musical folk art, the two main streams, Spanish and Indian, also merged and melted together. The song folklore is rich and diverse, and one of its most interesting forms is ballads – the “corrido” of political content.
Mexicans in general are very musical people, and an example of this is the everyday phenomenon in the musical life of the country – stray folk orchestras – “mariachi”. They consist mainly of stringed instruments – violins, guitars, now they are often added to the pipes. The composition of this orchestra – from 3 to 12 musicians. They travel through towns and villages, play at holidays, weddings.
With the music of guitars folk dances of Mexicans are performed, in the south of the country one of the most favorite instruments – a large xylophone – “marimba” joins them. Mexican dances are very original, although they are based on Spanish folk dances of the 16th-17th centuries and the influence of Indian dance folklore on them is comparatively small. The most common dance is “harabé tapatio”. It is danced in pairs, and it is characterized by a complex, often changing rhythmic pattern. Some places in the remote corners of the country still preserve the ancient traditional ritual dances of the Indians.
In Mexican culture, Spanish traditions complement the whole world of deeply different Indian cultures. The interaction of two so different cultural worlds over the centuries not only affected the traditional folk culture, but later, as the Hispanic Mexican ethnic community was formed, the sphere of professional literature, visual arts, philosophy and so on inevitably enveloped the sphere of professional literature.