Mexican Music and Cuisine - Music and Different Cuisines of Mexican Culture: How They Change When They Come to America

Mexican Music and Cuisine - Music and Different Cuisines of Mexican Culture: How They Change When They Come to America

Mexican culture has had a great impact on the United States since the early 1900s and continues to affect the lives of many Americans today. The Mexican culture and peoples not only provide wonderful cuisine and lively music, they also provide America with their dedication to working hard and their motivation to “harvest crops in the valleys of the Southwest as well as in other parts of the country, thereby making these valleys among the richest in the world” (Impact). Not only has the style of Mexican food impacted the United States, but the music of Mexico as well. I will discuss the different types of popular music of Mexico and the different cuisines of Mexican culture and how they change when they come to America.

Traditional Mexican music includes a variety of different instruments, singing styles, and sizes of bands and instrumental sections. A big part of Mexican traditions and celebrations is their expression through music. It is probably the number one way that they show their appreciation for their country because it is played at almost every festival, holiday celebration, and even local parties. Most Mexican music is influenced by other cultures and takes certain styles from ancient Aztec and Mayan ceremony styles and incorporates them into a new style of their own. The most popular and most well known Mexican music style is the Mariachi. It is described as the “heart” of Mexican music and their national music. The Mariachi was first widely known as a style of dance rather than music and before it became widely known throughout Mexico, the bands would mainly travel from place to place singing about love and popular topics. It is mainly made up of string instruments such as guitars, violins, a harp, and a “guitarrón.” The most popular Mariachi songs that have been widely known in the United States are “La Cucaracha” and the Mexican Hat Dance.

A style that has impacted America more than the Mariachi is possibly the Nortena Style. It is mainly a style of music consisting of ballads and a great blend of different styles from around the world such as the waltz and the polka. The main two instruments in this style are the guitar and accordion. The Nortena Style is perhaps the most relatable style of Mexican music because the themes are often about people’s experiences such as “illegal immigration, politics, drugs, and of course the theme of love” (Traditional).

Perhaps the most popular form of Mexican culture in the eyes of an American is the wonderful food that they have brought to the United States. It is full of rich flavor and a variety of spices, meats, and cheeses. But to learn that what we eat here in America is far from real Mexican food was astonishing! We have taken typical Mexican meals and added many twists including adding a lot of cheese to almost every dish which is very rare in Mexico. The food that we have become familiar with is called “Tex-Mex” and is very different from traditional Mexican food. Foods such as “salsa, tortilla chips, corn chips, chimichangas, quesadillas, burritos, and nachos” are all Mexican based dishes but in actuality, they are American dishes (Mexican Food). Unlike in Mexico, when we go out to a Mexican restaurant in the US, we are greeted with very large portions with lots of different sauces and fried foods which are very uncommon in Mexico. Overall, America has taken traditional Mexican food and added many twist because of the influence in Southwestern cuisine and American cuisine.

Personally, I enjoy Mexican food very much but I would like to have a taste of what “real” Mexican food is from the country itself. I’ve learned that the food we have here in America is very different from the cuisine in Mexico and that traditional Mexican restaurants are hard to come by. Mexican music is very influential in the US in carrying on Mexican culture and traditions and I’ve learned that Mexican music has also been influenced by other countries in their unique styles. I was unaware of the Eastern and European influence on the music of Mexico and perhaps that is why the music is so catchy-it is somewhat familiar yet different because Mexico adds its own flavor and style to it!

Works Cited

Lidya and Maria. Impact of Mexican Culture on America. Oracle Think Quest: Education Foundation, 2000. Web. November 10, 2010.
Putaduna, Rita. Traditional Mexican Music. Intelligent Life on the Web, 2010. Web. November 10, 2010.
Essman, Elliot. Mexican Food in the United States. Life in the USA, 2010. Web. November 10, 2010