Sandbox forum: Help me respect and honor Cultural traditions of Mexico.

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Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids Tropicals Region: Mexico
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lauriebasler
Oct 22, 2017 9:47 AM CST
My son is marrying a girl we love to pieces. She is from Mexico. Dear daughter in law to be is the only bilingual of the group so we are really driving the a fog here. I have asked my dil what our traditional responsibilities are, but she is sweet and says there is nothing. So is there something I need to do or know. I want to respect their traditions. An unintentional insult can ruin what could have been a nice relationship.

We are going to an Engagement party, given by her family. in Mexico next Thursday. Any one know what to expect. Are these dressy, or Sunday best. Jeans. (that would be awesome lol)
Do I offer to help financially. Any tips at all will be some comfort. Thank you all.
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Oct 22, 2017 11:00 AM CST
I can answer a bit about clothes.

Many of my friends and neighbors are Latino; not just from Mexico but other countries as well. One thing I know is that jeans are a no-no. Step back in your mind to the 1950s and remember that females wear dresses - not pants. Gender roles are respected at these gatherings. Woman and girls should wear their finest, fanciest clothes...oh, and the shoes should be something like strappy sandals. Nice painted toe nails. Hair clean, shiny and pulled back. Gold jewelry if you have it.

I learned this by showing up at the parties dressed in my utilitarian shoes, my 'best' pants are not good enough, my shirt...well, it's a shirt, not a fancy blouse. I get a lot of looks and they are not admiring glances. *Blush*

I found this online about some traditions. Don't know if you will find it useful.
http://slideplayer.com/slide/1...
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
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pepper23
Oct 22, 2017 3:49 PM CST
@extranjera and @katiebear will hopefully be able to help some more since they both live in Mexico currently.
Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
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extranjera
Oct 22, 2017 6:23 PM CST
Greene is right about the clothing. Lean towards more formal attire, shirts that button and slacks not jeans for men. Dresses for women or feminine blouses and pants for women. Be very aware of your shoes, good quality and the men's shined.

You will be meeting a lot of people and it will be tiring but you need to greet everyone individually handshake or more commonly a one sided air kiss. Euros go for both sides, Mexicans usually only one. What is important is that you meet everyone when you arrive and you go through the same greeting when you leave or they leave. We are more casual in the US and commonly say "nice to meet you all" with a wave when leaving. Not done down here, you need to make the rounds again saying goodbye, sneaking out of a Mexican party is insulting.

What goes on at the party I can't give you much help about as it matters more what part of Mexico you are visiting. The northern states are more casual I think, more blended with western US styles. I have more experience in the central and south of the country. Mexico is as large as the US and has the same regional differences. My advice is to be as natural as you can and be extremely polite, they know you are in a foreign setting and Mexicans are well known for their gracious hospitality.
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
Name: katie
Mulege, Mexico (Baja CAliforni (Zone 11a)
katiebear
Oct 22, 2017 6:40 PM CST
I agree with Greene. think 50's. Dresses. Lots of handshakes here. As Jonna said, be very polite. I don't know about offering to help financially. I'm kind of a hermit so probably not much help. Don't flirt with other women's husbands. they are suspicious of American women, especially if they are single. (Age doesn't matter!!)
Name: Rosie
HILLSBOROUGH, NC (Zone 7b)
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MISSINGROSIE
Oct 24, 2017 7:37 PM CST
Katie..can Tony and Anita help with suggestions ..like if a gift is presented to the family etc..and if yes..the type .. anything else?
Don't squat with yer spurs on!

People try to turn back their "odometers." Not me. I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved
Name: katie
Mulege, Mexico (Baja CAliforni (Zone 11a)
katiebear
Oct 25, 2017 9:31 AM CST
I asked Tony who could not think of anything special. He agrees about the flirting but that's kind of like saying don't get drunk , etc. "Mucho gusto" means nice to meet you and it's useful as a greeting. I think pronouncing a couple of phrases properly is a nice mark of respect.

If I am talking to a couple I am careful to address most of my attention to the wife. I'm old but single American women are suspect.

Good manners tend to be international. Where I live there tend to be handshakes where in Ca. there would be hugs.

Because the women are often more isolated they are likely to appreciate anything that includes them and does not make them feel out of place. Language is not as important as you might think. Kindness is.

katie
Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
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extranjera
Oct 25, 2017 1:55 PM CST
So, I asked Rangel what went on at a fiesta de compromiso since I've never been to one. I've been to what seems like hundreds of quinceañeras and dozens of weddings but never the fiesta de compromiso. Rangel says it is generally a dinner with the families and people close to the couple. One of the side things that is going on is often the offering to take on parts of the cost of the wedding. So, an uncle may ask what is needed and the father will say sodas and he will say OK I will buy the sodas. It goes for many items of the wedding, the decorations, the booze, etc. This is more likely with a middle class or lower family that has limited resources. So, that's happening in the background and in the foreground are toasts to the couple and for the 2 families to get to know each other. He said it might not last as late as a wedding which would probably be a good thing for you. Most Mexican parties last until the wee hours of the morning and none later than a wedding. If you get a chance, take a nap in the afternoon. Dinner is served much later here than in the north, 8pm could be the stated time which means it would be more like 9pm. No one arrives at anything on time, if you do you may find the hosts still getting dressed. As foreigners they may be on the look out for you to follow the time exactly, that is something you can ask about.

If the wedding is going to be held in Mexico, you might offer to buy the booze for the wedding which is guaranteed to be one of the more expensive items. It depends on your financial abilities too, but it would not be insulting to ask. If they say yes, get a suggested list from them of what they will need or go to a warehouse store with the father. This is probably father to father stuff, the women will be talking flowers and dresses.
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids Tropicals Region: Mexico
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lauriebasler
Oct 25, 2017 11:28 PM CST
Katie, you made me laugh out loud. I am pretty sure no women are going to be too concerned over me. However, it is a valid point I will be very respectful of My other son and wife will be with us. She is a complete doll, and more importantly, fun. I will be looking for ways to help her keep from being too friendly..

oh yes, that is perfect Rosie. Thank you so much.

Mexicali is 100 miles from Tijuana. It's two hrs from San Diego. It's in the north of Baha California, Mexico. We are aware to be careful where we go. We are with son's future family, so I imagine our time will be mostly organized with family things. I have gifts for the kids, and am still looking for some thing to bring for the Parents as well.
Thank you all
Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids Tropicals Region: Mexico
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lauriebasler
Oct 25, 2017 11:40 PM CST
Jonna, I honestly cannot tell you what a comfort your input is. I will address every single item you researched for me. I have boys, but I am a woman, so the inequality of the brides parents footing the bill is out of date in my opinion. I would rather help, than have someone go into debt. I will be sure to be bold and talk about these things, with the help of a few family members I know speak both languages. Thank you so much, honestly. Nothing is as important as this to both my husband and myself, so to be so unaware has been a source of concern. I will come on back and let you know how it all goes.
Have a great weekend. Back on NOv. 1st. And thank you all.
Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids Tropicals Region: Mexico
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lauriebasler
Oct 26, 2017 12:01 AM CST
Katie, I love how you put this. I know I won't flirt, in fact we seldom drink any more. If the family keep offering us drinks, and we just drink them, I know that there are two things that can happen. We could have a very little reaction to a few drinks, or we will find ourselves totally blotto, with monster hangovers the next dayl NO thank you.

I have passports, no jewelry and not much money on us. A couple things to wear for Bride to be to approve, new fancy slippers for the Mamma, a nice cigar for the pappa. Gifts for my kids. Packed, toes polished, (oh god I should have paid someone else to do it. I wonder what I will forget. Tips to graciously arrive and leave with full attention.
I plan to be gracious and agreeable no matter how many drinks we are offered, while I pour it down a drain somewhere out of sight. I have an adorable daughter in law married to my younger son, cute enough to concern any woman. She is not great at cutting herself off. I will keep an eye on her. I will get in touch with you all when I get home. So excited.

Thank you. With new shoes (thank you, Jonna) how can we go wrong. thank you all.
[Last edited by lauriebasler - Oct 26, 2017 11:54 AM (+)]
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Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
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extranjera
Oct 26, 2017 9:40 AM CST
Buena Suerte Laurie, you will have a wonderful time. Enjoy!
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
My dogs love me; some people don't.
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greene
Oct 26, 2017 12:09 PM CST
Enjoy the day! Hurray!
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids Tropicals Region: Mexico
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lauriebasler
Nov 6, 2017 2:30 AM CST
Home, and missing Mexico. Thank you all for the help and letting me share my excitement.

We had the most amazing time. Elsa (bride to be) was our conscierge, our driver, our alarm clock. I worried she was over doing, until I realized she loves being in charge and since we were on her turf we loved it too.

Her family was just wonderful. The engagement party was really the Brides Mamma's solution for having her only daughter of 31 getting married in Seattle instead of where Mamma wants her to, and near her very large circle of family and friends. My heart aches for her for that.

I wish we could share words, because they are such nice nice people. We were there 2 days and shared 3 meals, and many hours. It was just a wonderful experience.

In spite of all your efforts to guide me and keep me from humiliating myself or others, this happened.
At the outdoor hall where the party was, I needed to locate the ladies room. My other DIL, a gringo, like me pointed to a door, and said "it's right there, I just went." I said "no honey, a man just came out of there", and there is no sign on it. She said the sign had fallen off, and "oh Mom, in Mexico they often use the same room, there is a lock on the door, it is for everyone.....she looked at my husband and gave a little eye roll. Ok, I guess that is the bathroom then? The door was centrally located by the bar, right where everyone kind of hung out, watching the dancing and the music.
What a Fun night, meeting so many of sons soon to be relatives , getting hugs and cheek kisses with people speaking spanish, some crying, some laughing, all making me feel warm and happy for the kids, and having no idea what we were talking about.
SO...My third trip to the ladies/mens room, I lock the door, and am humming some mexican song I just heard, when there is a huge loud knock. I jumped, and was glad I did not have to scream "just a minute" in spanish, because I don't know how to, and I would have been red in the face to open a door while the toilet loudly flushed. I answered to a man, frantically pointing pointing, and pointing to a different hall, across the room, nodding yes, pointing at me and the other hallway, yes yes yes, , and then pointing at the door to my bathroom shaking his head, saying no no no NO Senioritas. NO. My hands went over my cheeks, Oh my god, I have peed in the wrong room all night, oh no. Is this a really bad thing or a funny thing, well to me it was a hilarious thing because I started to laugh so hard tears were rolling down my cheeks. I closed the door, still laughing, while the man drug me by the hand to the bar, where I absolutely accepted the shot of tequila he offered. I held it up toward him, brushing off a tear, and very proudly said, "Gracias." Every server and Relative within earshot burst out laughing. OH lord. I hope I made my son proud. In spite of that the hugging and festivities commenced until the wee hours.
It was a great trip.
[Last edited by lauriebasler - Nov 6, 2017 2:38 AM (+)]
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Name: Anna Z.
Monroe, WI
Charter ATP Member Greenhouse Cat Lover Raises cows Region: Wisconsin
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AnnaZ
Nov 6, 2017 8:44 AM CST
Oh, that is too funny.
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
My dogs love me; some people don't.
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greene
Nov 6, 2017 2:47 PM CST
Best party ever!! Lovey dubby
Thanks for sharing. I loved every minute and laughed along with you. Thumbs up :grouphug:

If you would like to begin to learn a bit of the language, there is a free program called Duo Lingo. https://www.duolingo.com/
You sign on and tell the program which language you want to learn. Then each day you receive a very simple lesson; only takes about 5 minutes a day. I have been using the program for quite a while now and it sure makes it easier for me to chat with my Latino neighbors.

Keep in mind that there are regional differences for certain words; one example is the word for brown. Some use 'marrón', some use 'café' and some use 'moreno'...and there are more choices depending on the shade of brown, or the thing that is brown, whether hair, leather, paint, a dog, etc. I go with café most of the time. Easier to remember. Rolling on the floor laughing

Thank you for sharing the day! Hurray!
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Critters Allowed Region: Arizona Xeriscape Greenhouse Annuals
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plantmanager
Nov 6, 2017 5:30 PM CST
I signed up with them. Looks good!
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Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Plays in the sandbox Dog Lover Cat Lover
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extranjera
Nov 7, 2017 3:24 PM CST
It sounds like a wonderful party, I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I think the bathroom story will be a great one in the years to come.

Congratulations for taking that first multicultural step so well.

Greene, I tend to use cafe too for things, moreno for people (and a certain political party named that for obvious reasons).
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids Tropicals Region: Mexico
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lauriebasler
Dec 1, 2017 10:46 AM CST
Thank you, it was a blast. @extranjera, you saved me with your tips. Thanks.

@greene, great idea, as of now I am on lesson 3. It's a perfect
site for me. I have a sentence already! See.

Le mujar bebe margaritas.

And since this is my first day as a woman without a job, the timing is perfect too. Thank you, greene.

Since you are all so wise and I am so paralyzed with anxiety.... any one working in a job that you started after 60. Any advice?

I went googling for inspiration. Just to validate the culture I am afraid is out there I read a number one thing to do is Dye my hair...um, I am hoping it doesn't come to that. I would look like bette davis in Sweet baby jane. Oh, I know I did the right thing, but.....holy hanna I best prepare myself for some rejection. Not at all my strength.

It's time to hit the to do list.
1. Shower, put jammies in laundry,
2. Put on clean nighty and robe so I am dressed for the day
3. do nothing at all. Hurray! Hurray!

Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
My dogs love me; some people don't.
Deer Bookworm Keeper of Poultry Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Georgia
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greene
Dec 1, 2017 1:40 PM CST
lauriebasler said:

Le mujar bebe margaritas.

Since you are all so wise and I am so paralyzed with anxiety.... any one working in a job that you started after 60. Any advice?



My favorite sentence in Spanish is "I speak Spanish a little bit and very badly"; it always gets a smile and breaks the ice.

Yes, the woman should be drinking margaritas!! But watch your spelling...Your sentence reads: "I will drink you baby margaritas"! Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
Try this one:
Las mujeres beben margaritas. Then all of us women can enjoy the margaritas!

Can't say about a job after age 60...but at age 55 I applied for a job as a prison guard, was hired, went to basic training for a month with all the younger people, and...when it came to target practice...I got a higher score than most of the others (big smile on my face!). The only ones who could shoot better than me were the former military people.

There is a job out there with your name on it. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find that job. Thumbs up

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"

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