Stuff Mexicans Like #5: Manners

18 May
  
Having and using good manners is perhaps the number one value in Mexican society. This manners business ranks higher in importance in Mexican society than logic, honesty, kindness, bravery, intelligence, or hard work. If I lie, cheat, and steal, but always say “buen provecho” when I see someone eating;“qué te vaya bien” when someone leaves; and “con permiso” when joining and/or leaving a group of people, I am on my way toward Mexican cultural fluency. This instantly puts me in good with Mexicans and assures my quick acceptance.
 
Maleducado is one of the worst things things one can be in México lindo. Being grosero is one of the seven dealy sins. Note that maleducado (poorly educated) has little to do with formal studies or education level and everything to do with your manners or lack thereof. I can be extremely bieneducado/a (well-educated) with a third grade education level. If modales (manners) is #2 on list of important assets, conocimiento (knowledge) is #43. Using the right phrase at the right time with the right people is imperative to your acceptance into Mexican culture/society. If it sounds dripping sweet with honey when your neighbor or dentist invite you in for a visit, consider yourself fortunate. This is the highest complement one can receive. Return the favor! Make “para servirle” part of your regular Spanish vocabulary if you haven’t already. “Estás en tu casa” should be your standard response when your Mexican guest asks if you mind loaning them your bathroom or regalandole a glass of aguita. To start slowly, just start using diminuitives as frequently as possible. ¿No quieres salir por un cafecito? Me regalas un vaso de aguita? ¡Provechito! Etc.
 
Pinches Gringos Groseros
A final warning: it is easy to offend by accident or omission as a non-Mexican. Women should greet other women with a kiss on the left cheek and a hand shake/head nod for men. Men should greet women with a kiss on the left cheek only if the woman intitiates it or she is a good friend of yours. This is also true when you are leaving a group of people. It is customary to kiss every single person in the room or casa before you leave and to say “con permiso” as you walk out in case you missed anyone. Your response to someone’s “Con permiso” (with permission)should be, “propio” (you have your own permission). Be careful with your assertive, direct ways as an English-speaking foreigner in a Spanish-speaking country! This is grosero in the worst kind of way! Think oblique; always kind; sweet; and semi passive-aggressive. This is your new attitude as an extranjero, pero bien educado! 
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2 Responses to “Stuff Mexicans Like #5: Manners”

  1. Fred August 18, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

    Mexicans place a great deal on their “M&Ms”, MANNERS and MORALS!!!

  2. Erwin May 23, 2016 at 10:22 am #

    I am a Mexican from Guadalajara, Jalisco, and this aspect for me as a Mexican I find it fake and superficial. I am not considered by most Mexicans typical Mexican in mentality as I am very direct and assertive in how I speak. For most Mexicans, they find me too aggressive, but I prefer being like that as it is honest rather than “good manners” but being a corrupt, hypoctrite idiot, not to mention the Mexican way I find it too submissive for my tastes, and I am far from submissive as I have a strong personality.

    Mexicans should wake up and start realizing those “manners” are incompetent ways to measure people. They should measure people on how ethical and honest one is, not by these stupidities.

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