In Mexico, the family is at the centre of the social structure. Outside of the major cosmopolitan cities, families are still generally large. The extended family is as important as the nuclear family since it provides a sense of stability. Mexicans consider it their duty and responsibility to help family members. For example, they will help find employment or finance a house or other large purchase.
Most Mexican families are extremely traditional, with the father as the head, the authority figure and the decision-maker. Mothers are greatly revered, but their role may be seen as secondary to that of their husband.
Mexicans regard relationships and friendships as the most important thing in life next to religion and they are not afraid to show their emotions. A large Mexican family always seems to find room for one more and a visitor who becomes friends with a Mexican will invariably be made part of the family.
Mexicans are very aware of how each individual fits into each hierarchy, be it, family, friends or business.
It would be disrespectful to break the chain of hierarchy.
Meeting & Greeting
• When greeting in social situations, women pat each other on the right forearm or shoulder, rather than shake hands.
• Men shake hands until they know someone well, at which time they progress to the more traditional hug and back slapping.
• Wait until invited before using a Mexican's first name.
Gift Giving Etiquette
• If invited to a Mexican's house, bring a gift such as flowers or sweets.
• Gift wrapping does not follow any particular protocol.
• Do not give marigolds as they symbolize death.
• Do not give red flowers as they have a negative connotation.
• White flowers are a good gift as they are considered uplifting.
• Gifts are opened immediately.
• If you receive a gift, open it and react enthusiastically.
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