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Culture of Mexico - Essay Example

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Overpopulation in China By Your Name Class Name University Name Due Date Mexico is a federal constitutional republic situated in North America. It has been a colony of Spain in the past which is why its culture is a mixture of its own and the European culture…
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Overpopulation in China By Due Mexico is a federal constitutional republic situated in North America. It has been a colony of Spain in the past which is why its culture is a mixture of its own and the European culture. Whatever is known about pre-colonial Mexico is known through the work of archaeologists. It is known that the most ancient civilization in Mexico was of the Olmecs. They built many cities and used to construct huge stone head statues. They also used to worship a jaguar god. This civilization disappeared around 400 BC but its influence can be found on the later cultures. The following civilizations include the Teotihuacan, the Zapotecs and Mixtecs of Monte Alban, the Maya of Yucatan, the Toltecs, Aztecs etc. Many of these civilizations used to perform practices like human sacrifice in order to please their gods. However, they also made important progress in mathematics, astronomy, architecture, textile weaving, art, and pottery. In 1520, Mexico came under Spain’s power. Spain considered Mexico the most important of their colonies. They taxed the land greatly and ruled it directly from Spain. The land was distributed to settlers. It was worked by the Indians who were protected by the settlers and were also converted to Christianity. As a result, there were four major castes in Mexico i.e. Espanoles (Spaniards born in Spain), criollos (Mexican-born, but with Spanish blood), mestizos (Spanish and Indian), and the indigenes, the Indians. When Napoleon conquered Spain in 1808, Mexico started to consider independence. A revolution started from 1810 which ended in Mexico’s independence in 1829. However, Mexico had to suffer great internal problems as various groups fought each other for almost a century in order to gain control over the country. Like any other culture, language is one of the most important parts of the Mexican culture. It is a Spanish speaking country and the most populous one at that. The majority of the country speaks Spanish but almost 62 Amerindian languages are also recognized by the government as national languages today. The Spanish that is spoken in the country consists of many vocabulary items that are borrowed from the original languages. Mexico has no official religion but the majority of the country is Christian. This is because of the Spanish conquest as they converted many people to Christianity during the days of slavery. Most of the population belongs to various sects of Christianity with Roman Catholics being the leading ones. There is a very small percentage of Jews and of people belonging to other religions. As far as art is concerned, Mexico is still famous for its pre-colonization art. Many modern handcrafts still have the influence of Aztec art. It can be seen in pottery, garments, baskets and rugs etc. The influence of pre-colonization art can also be seen in buildings and structures that are monumental or ceremonial. Mexican fine arts are also deeply influenced by the European traditions. After the independence, many pieces of art came that focused on political, historic, and folk themes. Manuel Alvarez Bravo is famous for his photography and has greatly influenced the Mexican art photography. Mexico is also famous for its architecture. Mesoamerican architecture in Mexico, as discussed above, is famous for its public, ceremonial and urban monumental buildings and structures. Most of these are the largest monuments in the world. The Mexican architecture shifted in styles many times as different civilizations emerged and, later, it was also conquered by Spain. Mexican Churrigueresque has been one of Mexico's most popular architectural styles which combined Amerindian and Moorish decorative influences. Mexican literature has its earliest traces in the ancient days of Mesoamerica. Netzahualcoyotl is the most well known pre-hispanic poet. The events and circumstances after the Spanish conquest inspired many themes in the Mexican literature. Similar is the case with the Mexican Revolution which had its influence on the Mexican literature and its cinema alike. Mexican cinema flourished in the period between 1935 and 1959. There are many filmmakers who hail from Mexico and are famous worldwide today. Mexico celebrates its independence from Spain on September 16. Dia de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe ("Guadalupe Day") is widely considered as the most important religious holiday for Mexico. Other festivals include Las Posadas ("The Shelters"), Noche Buena ("Holy Night"), Navidad ("Christmas") and Ano Nuevo ("New Years Day"). Another important item of Mexico’s culture is a pinata. It is made from papier-mache and given a particular shape, mostly of animals or people. It is filled with candies or toys and it opened by hitting it with a stick. Mexican cuisine is also very popular and includes tacos, enchiladas, mole sauce, atole, tamales, and pozole. Many beverages are also very famous e.g. molinillo, mescal, pulque, tequila and Mexican beer. Mexican food is known for being spicy and includes the use of chili powder, cumin, oregano, cilantro, epazote, cinnamon, and cocoa. Overall, the Mexican culture is deeply influenced by the Spanish culture. Its traces can always be found in the music and other entertainment. The famous sport of bullfighting is also famous in Mexico because of Spain. The influence of Mesoamericans and the Aztecs can also be found but it is mostly surpassed by the European influence. Mexico has seen many civilizations throughout history and every civilization has left its mark on the Mexican culture. The pre-colonization civilizations largely did not differ from each other in many respects but the European culture was something completely new. After the Mexican Revolution, Mexico has continued to keep many aspects of the Spanish culture but over the course of almost two hundred years, it has developed many things that are entirely its own. There are many aspects of the Spanish culture that the Mexicans stopped following. Therefore, it can be said that Mexico has its own culture today. References Gilbert Michael Joseph; Timothy J. Henderson (2002). The Mexico Reader: History, Culture, Politics. Duke University Press. Don M. Coerver; Suzanne B. Pasztor; Robert Buffington (2004). Mexico: An Encyclopedia of Contemporary Culture and History. ABC-CLIO Read More
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