Our Mexican culture is very traditional. For as long as I remember I’ve been following our traditions. From the way we greet others to the way we react to an event of travel. These were things that must have been enforced as a child or maybe just picked up on habit because they were never taught to me.
My family has always been very traditional. Our Mexican traditions range from religion to acts of greetings. I never realized how many of these Mexican traditions we practice daily. Now as an adult I find myself doing many of the things my parents and grandparents did as I grew up and still continue to do today. The “look”, as my dad calls it, or simple hand gestures were sufficient to know what needed to be said or done next. No words were ever expressed. There are many Mexican traditions I picked up and continued to do now.
Now as a mother, I do as my parents did with my children. I often wonder if it is all done of habit or if they are simply rituals. I decided to ask my parents why we do certain things. My father mentioned that he learned from his parents so he can only assume the same was with his parents and so forth. I use to think everyone did many of the things we did. Though the many habits I’ve learned from my family don’t seem out of the ordinary, it’s the way we do them and when that have set us apart. After all, these aren’t just habits to us they are traditions.
Here are a few of the traditional things my family does that go without saying.
Mexican traditions I was never taught 1 of 6
Scroll through the images to learn more about the traditions that were never taught but I definitely picked up on.
Greetings 2 of 6
When we meet in my family we greet each other with a hug and kiss on the cheek. We do this with many of the people we come in contact. I always share with my Latina Bloggers--"I'm a hugger" They usually respond me too! I saw my family do this time after time. I grew up with everyone approaching to hug and kiss my cheek.
Religion for safe travels 3 of 6
I remember traveling to Mexico every weekend. The two hour road trip was usually eventful. We'd see car accidents or be stuck in traffic for other reasons. I picked up on my dad's ritual and tradition of doing the sign on the cross before we entered the highway. I soon realized he'd mumble a quick prayer followed by the sign of the cross when we passed accidents too. I now do the same. I almost feel OCD if I forget and catch myself praying harder for safe travels. The same is done when I board a flight every time. I even do the sign of the cross over the kids.
Respect our elders 4 of 6
Our elders are our rocks. At least that's how our culture treats them. While I get every one respects their elders in their own way our family takes it a step further. I have seen our family get up when someone older comes in the room to offer their seat. I've seen food be served to those older first. We don't speak above or back to our elders. This is something my family has always done. I get shocked still when I hear other talk back to their elders or not get up to offer their chair or seat. It's not something we must do but it's been done in my family for generations that anything other than those acts is foreign to me.
Use titles for releatives 5 of 6
When my husband told me we didn't have to use aunt or uncle in his family I was shocked! Using titles has ALWAYS been done in our family. My kids now practice the same with my side of the family. My parents have always presented relatives from our extended family with Tia or Tio. Not using titles is a sign of disrespect.
Giving thanks after meals 6 of 6
My grandfather and my father are the ones I remember hearing it from the most. After eating they'd say a prayer in Spanish along the lines of "Thank the Lord for giving something to eat"
I don't say it aloud but I do keep on the tradition. Now that the kids are picking up more Spanish I think it's the perfect time to be verbal about giving thanks and perhaps they too will pick it up.
Did you pick up on any traditions or rituals from your family that were never really taught to you?
Read more of Ruby’s writing at Growing Up Blackxican