Mexico is a country in North America, bordering on the north with the United States. People here certainly lived exactly four thousand years ago. It was in this place that the Aztec empire appeared, mercilessly destroyed by the Spaniards in the 16th century. Only in 1823 Mexico after a long war of independence became a republic.
Today it is a densely populated country, which has an interesting history, cultural and culinary traditions. Some tourists are happy to go to Mexico, dreaming to luxuriate on its beaches, while others are afraid of high crime and drug lords.
But it is quite obvious that most of the people know little about this amazing country, its culture, traditions and people living in it. That is why the main myths about Mexico should be debunked.
The name of the country is Mexico.
In fact, this country is divided into 31 states and one federal district. Each state has its own laws and police, quite analogous to the United States of America. They do not hide the fact that the state structure was borrowed from a neighbor. And the official name of the country is the Mexican United States. One of the former presidents of the country wanted to change it to Mexico to avoid suspicion of plagiarism. But this venture was not crowned with success, and why renounce what is so obvious?
The capital of the country is the city of Mexico City.
This statement seems obvious to anyone who is familiar with geography. But this is only partly true. In fact, the capital is the Federal District. The large metropolitan area of Mexico extends beyond this administrative education. Thus, only residents of the Federal District can claim that they live in the capital. But in Mexico, this right is not owned by everyone.
Mexican food can be tasted in fast foods around the world.
Mexican food is loved in many countries, but only usually it’s still about tex-Mex or tehano. This is the name of the mixture of American and Mexican cuisine. It is these products that are served in most of the world’s food stores. In Mexico, they do not eat burrito in the style of the Chipotle network, and even with rice. There is a demand not spicy and hot food, but sour. This is promoted by limes growing in abundance. Dishes with spices are served under the guise of Mexican in other countries. And to try really Mexican cuisine, you should not go to fast-food establishments, where the emphasis is on mass, not authenticity. Find authentic samples of cooking can be in some restaurants in the south of America or in the street kitchen. In other cases, most often it will be about imitating, albeit qualitative, national dishes.
All Mexicans are dark-skinned.
When people look at photos of Mexicans, they are surprised. It turns out that not all residents of this country look “Mexican”. There was a stereotype, according to which locals should have swarthy skin and black hair. They see direct heirs of the Indians. However, there are many white people in the country, just like in Europe. Particularly different is Mexico City, where there is a large Jewish community, there are other cities with a European heritage and the corresponding population. Indigenous Mexicans can be found rarely, and even then – in remote areas of the country. The country in general is one of the most diverse race in Latin America.
In Mexico, everyone speaks pure Spanish.
In Mexico, there is a language version of the Spanish language, which is a whole group of dialects and dialects. And there is a difference with pure Spanish. For example, in Europe the word “torta” means “cake”, and in America – a sandwich. “Sope” is not soup, but a dish, its concept resembling pizza. Mexican Spanish is native to 125 million people, not only in this country, but also in the United States, it is used even by the media. The peculiarity of this language is the clearness of the pronunciation of consonants, which corresponds to the version of the Spanish that existed in the 16th-17th centuries.
Mexico is an unsafe country.
In fact, this country is much safer than most people think. There are places quieter and calmer than in American or European cities. Of course, here there are crimes, sometimes mass murders, but more often than not these clashes concern the drug mafia, and not ordinary citizens. The country can not be called safe, but the threat is exaggerated by the mass media. Today, in Mexico, nothing threatens tourists in major cities, on beaches or tourist destinations. Violence can erupt anywhere, but usually the authorities hold the main places under control. And in places of fights drug mafia tourists simply do not start up. Mexico is a third world country.
The term “third world country” was invented during the Cold War as a geopolitical division of countries. The capitalist countries represented the first world, the socialist countries – the second, and the third world – the uncommitted and undeveloped countries. But those times are long past, and the term has lost its meaning. Today, Mexico is a large developing country, whose GDP is the twelfth in the world. It is the leader of Latin America, here is developed metallurgy, mechanical engineering, chemical industry, agriculture. There are many modern hotels and exclusive restaurants. But the gap between the poor and the rich is huge. Someone has a driver and a maid, and others do not know what means to live on. By the way, the richest man in the world in 2010-2013, Carlos Slim is a Mexican. Could he have earned his capital in an underdeveloped economy?
In Mexico it’s always hot.
The country is very large in its area, so the weather here is not the same. The climate in Mexico is mostly tropical and subtropical. However, in some areas, even snow falls. The fact is that in Mexico, large areas are high above sea level, on the highlands. At an altitude above 2500 meters, the temperature drops to 2 degrees in winter, and does not rise above 15 in summer. But in the flat coastal area the average annual temperature is really high.
For women in Mexico, the usual attitude.
And although there are a lot of stereotypes that Mexican women should be surely packed with housewives, in fact they have quite real privileges. In Mexico, pink buses run specially for women, and a special section is allocated to them on the subway. Perhaps for some it seems like a mere trifle, but one can remember Turkey. There, women are constantly humiliated in transport, nobody cares about this issue, and the government does not even consider the issue of creating separate sections. And the Mexicans themselves are considered very gallant, they will always open the doors for women, they will come to the meeting earlier and pay for everything. In 2013, a study was conducted in Mexico, according to which women suddenly declared that they prefer to go to the subway in a common car, instead of isolated sections. Just other people will give them a place, while among the fellow travelers this will not happen. But do not idealize the situation. Pink buses are only in Mexico City, and some caballeros will still try to pinch the lady for a soft spot.
Cancun and Baja California are typically Mexican resorts.
Tourists usually know about the two main Mexican destinations. For foreigners it is Cancun, and for Americans it is Baja California. Nevertheless, these places are not at all traditional for Mexico itself. Tourists in the “hotel zone” will find an extremely Americanized area. Everyone speaks English, but things are expensive. And outside the large resorts prices fall sharply. The Mexicans themselves choose other places for recreation: Acapulco, Guadalajara, Playa del Carmen, Guadalajara and many others.
The national holiday of independence is May 5.
September 27, 1821, Mexico declared its independence, and the beginning of the war for it was September 16, 1810. It is on this day that the main national holiday is celebrated.And on May 5, the Battle of Puebla took place. Then the Mexicans defeated the French, defending their independence. The day of the battle was the feast of Cinco de mayo, or the Fifth of May. It is the official holidays in Puebla, immigrants in the United States is exactly this date and consider the Independence Day of Mexico, not knowing anything about September 16. There are some companies in other parts of the country that celebrate the holiday, it’s just more local. For residents of America, this holiday has much more meaning than for the Mexicans. The fact is that at that time the army was stopped, which went to the aid of the slave-holding south. The holiday itself is a local analogue of St. Patrick’s Day. Mexicans celebrate it with music, dancing and a feast. But still it’s not Independence Day.
Mexico is part of Central America.
People usually misjudge the geographic location of the country. Some consider it to be part of Latin, and hence of South America. Others consider it to be in Central America. In fact, Mexico is part of North America, like Canada and the United States.
Cacti grow everywhere in Mexico.
This is far from the case. Can you imagine a cactus growing in the middle of a road in Mexico City? In fact, in large cities, these plants are generally difficult to find. They are many in the north of the country and in deserts.
The best food is prepared in restaurants. In this regard, Mexican cuisine is similar to Asian. The best tacos here will not be prepared in an elite restaurant, but in a regular street kiosk.
Mexicans are casually dressed.
In this country a fairly strict dress code, so sometimes even bus drivers wear suits. People in Mexico pay attention to clothes, so local people try to always look good.
In Mexico they do not know about tampons.
This means of hygiene is really little known. Many women have never heard of him, and others are afraid to use it. There are several types of tampons that are available in the supermarket, but they are of terrible quality. “Advanced” Mexicans prefer American products. Basically such ignorance concerns poorly educated citizens who do not speak English, do not use the Internet, do not travel and live in their pueblistos. Unfortunately, there are many such citizens in the country.
Police are severe to drivers.
In Mexico, most drivers go after taking a portion of the hot drinks. But the police treat this very loyal. She just stops the car and asks the driver: “Did you drink?”. And if he answers negatively, then he is often released.
The best Mexican beer is the Crown.
This brand of Mexican beer is quite popular in the world. However, in the country itself, such a drink is not particularly quoted. He is not even number one here. The situation is similar to Australia, where they do not value Fosters and Holland, where Heineken is not in fashion.
Mexican children do not get presents for Christmas.
Not only do children get traditional Christmas presents, so their holiday is also double. Just the New Year celebrations will be rattled off, as the Day of the Three Kings sets in. He is celebrated on January 6 in Spain and throughout Latin America. And the children get presents again, for this they have to put their shoes out the door.
In Mexico it’s easy to buy a bright bird.
You can really get an unusual feathered pet. It’s only in larger markets that colored birds are more often offered. Are there blue, red and green ducklings and chickens in nature? But in the Mexican markets this is real.
Mexicans are slim and fit.
In this country they like to eat, which determines the existence of a social problem. More than 70% of Mexicans suffer from overweight. This makes the country the second in the world in terms of this indicator.
Mexico falls to 25 centimeters per year.
It turns out that the city is on an unstable aquifer. It is from there that Mexico also picks up drinking water. It is believed that over the past 100 years the city has already sank 9 meters.Today, the 20-million megapolis continues to accelerate the consumption of liquid, which keeps Mexico City “afloat.” Soil descends so quickly that scientists are already making predictions about when the Mexican capital will cease to exist altogether.
There is not enough police in Mexico.
The myth about the outbreak of crime makes us think that there is no police in the country either. Meanwhile, in many cities law enforcement officers stand literally on every street corner, in full arms. And the reason is not that everything around is bad – it’s just so accepted. The police will always help tourists, they are sympathetic and friendly.
In Mexico, it’s not safe on the roads.
There are legends about how robbers stop buses and rob on the roads. But people who lived in Mexico argue that if there are risks in local buses, it’s not from bandits, but from air conditioners. In addition, in a first-class bus, moreover, and on a toll road, there is absolutely nothing to fear. Where it is more dangerous in Guatemala or Honduras.
In Mexico, it’s dangerous to eat on the street.
The streets of Mexico sell tacos, chips, corn, sandwiches and quesadiles. And those who are not afraid of the feeling of hunger eat such food, there is nothing to fear. Those who are squeamish by nature, there is confirmation of all fears. If there are fears to pick up a virus with food, then before going to this country, you need to get vaccinated against typhoid.
All Mexican food is spicy.
The dishes here are not as sharp as they are usually considered. Usually a few sauces are laid out on the table, the most famous of which is salsa. And the person himself decides what acuity he needs. But it’s also wrong to say that in principle there are no sharp dishes. In Mexico there are even desserts with pepper, not to mention soups and second courses.
In Mexico, tourists need to constantly be afraid of snakes and insects.
The most common threat in the rooms – mosquitoes, but they are saved by proven means. In hotels there is no other danger. But in houses there are sometimes scorpions. In the dry season, they literally attack human dwellings. True, such arachnids are not poisonous. But the snakes and spiders, which are accepted to be afraid in exotic countries for us, here a little.
In Mexico, you can take pictures of these Indians.
In fact, the Indians are not very friendly and do not like to be photographed at all. Once these people believed that photography takes a person’s soul, since then the attitude to such a process is ambiguous. So it’s better to take the consent beforehand so as not to run into aggression.
The main alcoholic beverage of Mexico is tequila.
Traditional for this country alcoholic drink is not tequila, and mescal. If the first is made from blue agave, then the second one is made from any cacti. At the bottom of the bottle with mescal a caterpillar floats frequently. Some consider this an advertising trick, but someone sees this as a tribute to some tradition. It is also said that the presence in the alcohol caterpillar guarantees the quality of the drink and its strength. This means that it is at least 40 degrees, otherwise the insect would simply decompose. And to eat mezcal not accepted salt, and dried caterpillars.
Mexico is a small sparsely populated country.
This state is the 15th largest on the planet, on whose square Spain, Britain, France, Italy and Germany would fit. And 114 million people live there, which is the 11th indicator in the world.
Mexico is a backward country in terms of technology.
Some tourists, when they come here, are wondering if there is electricity here, and whether television works. Since the beginning of the last century, Mexico has not been technologically backward. There are electric cars, computers, nuclear power, and schools and hospitals have little in common with European ones.
Mexicans are massively illegally emigrating to the United States.
It is believed that hundreds of thousands of Mexicans move to the United States each year. There are stories about trenches, dashes secretly from a patrol or just a trip on a truck. However, in reality everything is far from being the case.Today, going to the north is about the same as in the distant 1970. And the ratio of Mexicans entering and leaving the United States is approximately equal. This can be explained by the recession of the US economy, but it can also reflect changes in Mexico itself. If in the 70’s, women had an average of seven children, today this number has dropped to two.
Mexico is a corrupt country.
For the country, corruption, especially in the government, is an important problem. The country seems like a kind of Wild West, where there are constant shootings, and officials are living with bribes. In fact, the level of corruption is similar to Brazil, Argentina and even Italy. But tourists are not afraid to make romantic trips to Rome or Venice because of this. This is a local problem that practically does not affect travelers. Attempts by some politicians to fight corruption led to outbreaks of violence, but those who are not involved in this process have nothing to fear.
The history of Mexico is inextricably linked with the Aztecs.
When the Spaniards arrived in these places, they found here a powerful Aztec empire. Now there is a myth that these Indians were on the territory of Mexico always before the arrival of Europeans. However, it would be a mistake to ignore dozens of other ethnic groups, with its long and rich history. The empire itself emerged from the union of several tribes. The Aztecs called themselves a meşika (which gave the name to the country), and also tenochka or tlatelolka, depending on the native city. Indians quickly conquered neighboring city-states. The empire appeared in 1427, just 100 years before its conquest by the Spaniards. It is worth noting two more important civilizations in these places. The city of Tiotiakan in 100 AD. had a population of 125 thousand people, being the largest in both Americas. Its ancient pyramids were for some reason abandoned in the VIII century, who built them and why – is unknown. There are also traces of the ancient Mayan civilization in Mexico, no less mysterious. This people lived in the southern part of Mexico, he knew about the stars and natural cycles.