Here I wanted to express my subjective opinion about the people by whom I´ve been surrounded for the last 2 years. My intention is to try to understand Mexicans and not to offend anybody. I would be happy to hear about your experiences. To be honest it was the first country of 5 that I`ve lived in where I felt a sense of culture shock. To say that Mexico is different is an understatement. For me it is like another planet. Here I explain why:
Firstly, we, foreigners, need to dig a bit deeper if we want to understand the reason for certain reactions, behaviours and habits of Mexicans. Learning the history of the country, at least superficially, can help us to understand a lot about its people. The history and culture of Mexico are fascinating. When we uncover a bit about the indigenous people we see that it is a completely different world and Mexico is riddled with its influence at every level.
The indigenous people appear to live in a different dimension, they are very close to nature and their whole life is centred around their knowledge of nature and they live in harmony with the world. They listen to the birds and speak to the mountains. They possess a connection that we in our contemporary life have unfortunately lost. New psychological research results explain the importance of the community to people, that people live happier when they feel they belong to a group. It is our basic need as social creatures. The indigenous people live in communities, the family is very important to them and they do many activities together. They follow rituals, they use magic and they see the world from a different perspective. They have advanced knowledge and experience in sustainable agriculture. They know that you can’t exploit the soil indefinitely. Everything should be in balance, their rule is – if you take you give in return. In their culture they have always practiced companion planting to create a microsystem where all parts coexist in harmony. Our agricultural practices are just beginning to recognise the importance of such relationships and principles. Medicine is their area of strength because they have tremendous experience of treating people with herbs which began hundreds of years before Christ. Long story short, I believe that their knowledge is very valuable and whilst not wholly applicable in current society can offer many worthwhile lessons. This is not surprising given that they don’t come from a world of megapolises, 9 to 5 office jobs, food from the can and individualism. Historically their world has been focused on nature, farming, working and living in communities and practicing spirituality.
On top of understanding the indigenous people it is equally important to learn about the Spanish conquest to see how deeply it has and continues to affect Mexican people. It seems as if it happened only some 50 years ago instead of 500. The Spanish would say – stop blaming us for what happened 500 years ago, the contemporary generation had nothing to do with it – and it is true. I just think that knowing more about the history of the country can help us shed light on Mexico’s mysterious soul.
To be continued on Tuesday 4th of April