Having perhaps one of the most unique cultures in the world, the Mexican culture blends the western influences that it got from the Spaniards and its own Mayan culture to form what has been known as a “pluricultural” nation (Krauze 33). The diverse cultures that can be found in Mexico are greatly influenced by the rich cultural mix that has come to the country. With mestizos, a term used for those of European and Amerindian ancestry, ethnic Europeans, mainly those of Spanish descent, Middle Eastern immigrants, mostly from Turkey and Lebanon, and the indigenous people (Amerindians), Mexico has developed certain customs and traditions that cannot be found elsewhere on the South American Continent (Krauze 39).
All of these races have brought in a little bit of their own cultures and infused it into the already rich cultural heritage that defines Mexico.One of the best examples of this rich cultural heritage can be seen in the vast array of music that Mexico has at present. The influence of songs such as the Macarena has reached virtually every corner of the globe (Meyer 156). The endogenous music of Mexico includes the banda, the duranguense, the norteño, the ranchera, the corridos and of course the mariachi, which has been popularized in many American movies. While the music that is associated with the Mexican culture are traditionally of general Latin genre, new and more contemporary music styles have also begun to emerge, beginning with the new Mexican Rock or Rock Nacional as it is known by the locals and other more western music such as heavy metal, pop, rap music, punk, reggae and alternative rock (Meyer 173). The rich musical heritage of Mexico is also one of the reasons why it is often referred to as the “capital of Spanish-speaking entertainment” (Meyer 173).
The prestige of Mexico is such that any Latin or Spanish singer who wants to become an international success must first seek fame in the Mexican music industry. Musical talents such as Selena and Marc Anthony first made their mark in the Mexican Music Industry before eventually crossing the borders to become international sensations (Meyer 173).Another perfect example of the rich customs and traditions of Mexico can be seen in the theater industry as in the early 1940s and the 1950s Mexican cinema had reached great heights that were comparable to the success of Hollywood during the same period (Meyer 246). Cinema constitutes an integral part of Mexican culture because of its predominantly family oriented culture that makes family outings to movies more of a tradition than an excursion (Meyer 246). Some of these films that have been produced by the Mexican Cinema industry are the Maria Candelaria in 1944, which was directed by Emilio Fernández and won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and a host of other movies such as Como agua para chocolate in 1992, Cronos in 1993, Amores Perros in 2000, and Y tu mamá también in 2001 (Meyer 248).It has often been said that one way of learning about a culture and experiencing the true culture of a nation is by experiencing the same through music and movies.
The culture and customs of Mexico can clearly be seen in the music and movies that its entertainment industry produces. The customs and culture of Mexico, however, are still relatively knew in comparison to the well established European customs and as the world continues to grow smaller and more and more people are able to interact with each other, the rich customs and culture of Mexico will only surely become richer and more diverse. Influences from all over the world will easily be assimilated by the Mexican culture, which has proven itself to be quite adaptable to the changing times.
One thing is certain though, Mexico, with its rich culture and customs will never relinquish its heritage that makes it unique but will instead mold these new influences to diversify its own customs and cultures even more.