Hot/cold cultures

We went to a seminar the other night about the difference between hot and cold cultures. It was very entertaining and very interesting!

If you would like to see the whole seminar just click this link. You can see the backs of Rosalie and me (yellow t-shirt) on th right.

Our cold culture attitudes are all about ‘me’, whereas hot cultures are all about family. We notice this a lot. If a Mexican has to choose between being late for an appointment or picking up the kids, the kids will always come first.

In the north it’s all rush and go, go, go. Money is everything. Time is money.  We are always complaining about something. Mexicans are happy if they make enough to last them the day. If not they are still happy. Not all Mexicans of course. There are a number of real entrepreneurs here.

We often thought that Mexicans lied to us but we now know that that it’s not exactly true. They just don’t want to disappoint us. For instance when we asked if WiFi was provided with our rent we were told “yes, of course.” If we had asked when it would be provided we may have gotten a different answer.

Their families are huge. When a baby is born it has god parents. When it is baptized it has more god parents; or sometimes the same ones. When girls reach 15 she has a quinceañera. This is considered the point that they reach womanhood. We have noticed  this is also the time that a lot of them get pregnant.

A huge party is thrown equivalent to a wedding and is very expensive. To cover the cost they add on more god parents. For the dress, for the shoes, for the beer etc. All these god parents contribute and become part of the family. So now we know why there are some many people at the local parties.

Another thing we noticed is that most Mexicans are less material than we are. Some northern people will go and spend $300 on a carving knife. A Mexican will get one from the market that is just as sharp (we have a couple) and does the exact same job for 80 pesos. We’ve seen the local shopkeepers use them and trust me they are sharp.

Many things that Northeners covert are available here, they have no fancy name attached but work just as well. There is less of ‘Keeping up with the Jonses’. They are just grateful for what they have.

We noticed in the restaurant the other day that one of the tables was new and hadn’t been covered with a table cloth yet. It seemed to be made out of rough sawn palm planks. I made the comment that it does the exact same job as a $2,000 dinning room table in Canada. In fact this one was ‘hand made in Mexico’ so would probably fetch a good price from some idiot back home.

To be continued.

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