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Mexico's Customs: How Not To Offend People Here

March 30, 2021
Mexicans are lively people. From their fiestas to how they are when they see each other, you can't help but notice how excited and full of life they are. Even when they're celebrating the dead, it's full of color, music, and the like. That's how lively and energetic people from Mexico are! However, that passion is just as big when they get angry. And just like the Hulk, you won't want Mexicans to get angry! So while you're here, you might want to know their customers a bit more and make sure that you don't offend them! Here are some of what you need to do.
Mexico's Customs: How Not To Offend People Here


Make Physical Contact When Greeting

It's a stretch to say that all Mexicans are 'touchy-feely' but they do appreciate a little physical contact when greeting. Be it a special holiday or an ordinary meeting, many would want to get close to people. Simply saying 'hello' won't exactly offend them or anything, but it won't have as big an impact as shaking hands, sharing a hug, or even kissing on the cheek. However, make sure you greet people according to how you know them. For those you're meeting for the first time, extending your hand for a handshake or even bowing a little is enough. For friends, a nice hug would do. And for those you've become close with for a period of time, kissing on the cheek is welcomed!


Wait To Shake Women's Hands

On the basis of shaking hands when greeting, only do so with women if they extend their hand first. That's a special custom here in Mexico. In a highly religious country where women are more or less treasured and put on a pedestal, how you become physical with them, even something as mundane as a handshake, should always depend on how comfortable they are. More often than not, a simple 'hello' with a little bow would do with women you're not close with. For you men out there, don't initiate a handshake with women. Let them do it first!

Mexico's Customs: How Not To Offend People Here



Be Patient Of Other People

Punctuality is quite different here in Mexico. When you decide to set up a meeting, be it a social gathering or for work, expect people to hardly show up on time. In fact, here in Mexico's corporate world, showing up to a meeting thirty minutes after the set time is still considered on-time. So don't expect Mexicans to arrive on-the-dot to any event. And don't make a big deal out of their difference in punctuality either. That's just the way they are. Ironically enough, when it comes to dealing with foreign businesspeople, Mexicans expect them to be on-time!


Always Show Your Hands At The Dinner Table

When sitting at the dinner table, always make sure your hands are seen and are above the table. You can set them nicely on the table, hold your glass or utensils and whatnot, and many more. But don't, under any circumstances, place them under. When they can't see your hands, even if you're not doing anything, they'll think it's rude and that you're doing something nefarious or sketchy. You wouldn't want anyone to think that of you, would you? Of course not! So for as much as possible, no matter how you do it, keep your hands seen at the dinner table!

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Don't Leave The Dinner Table Right After Eating

While you're at it, don't leave the dinner table right after eating. That's just plain rude. Here in Mexico, a hugely family-oriented country, meeting up at the dinner table is considered special. Even if you're a stranger in the household, your presence at the dinner table means that they've welcomed you wholeheartedly. So for you to leave right after the meal may make them think that they're not as important. That the only thing you cared about is the food and nothing else. Stay awhile, talk to those beside you, take part in the conversation, and immerse yourself with the people around you!


Attempt To Speak Spanish Seriously

Whether you went to Mexico for a vacation or for work, learn a little Spanish. Mexicans will highly appreciate that! They know that their country draws a lot of tourists and that so many people around the world are getting Mexican visas without left and right, but that doesn't mean that you can just trounce around the country without bothering to even know a little of their language. That's just rude and very condescending. Furthermore, when you do attempt to speak and learn Spanish, even when you're already here, do it earnestly and respectfully. Don't go around doing a comical Spanish accent that will just annoy and offend the people here!


Never Forget To Say Goodbye

If the other customs haven't pointed it out to you already, you should know that Mexicans are very nitpicky. Even the smallest things count. That includes saying goodbye. Perhaps in other countries, especially when you're in a gathering with a lot of people, it's normal to just take off if you really have to leave. But here in Mexico, it's important that you say goodbye. At the very least, say goodbye to the person who invited you in the first place. But even so, saying goodbye when you need to leave makes a world of difference for many Mexicans!

Mexico's Customs: How Not To Offend People Here


When you go to Mexico, know that most people here are lively and passionate. And though that means you can have a lot of fun with them, it also means that you need to abide by their customs because you won't like it when they're offended and get mad at you!

If you offend anyone in Mexico, know that even if you have your own luxury home here, it still be an unpleasant stay!




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