- Cultural heritage from pre-Hispanic civilizations
- Spanish influence in Colonial times
- Jewish community of European origin
- Dutch immigrants
- Immigrants from China in the 20th century
Mexico is truly what one can call a multicultural society. Composed of many different ethnic backgrounds and roots, Mexico’s past and present include rich contributions from them all, and this diversity is what makes Mexico what it is today. When talking about ethnic and cultural background, the first thing that probably springs to mind are Mexico’s very own indigenous peoples. These civilizations that inhabited the region, such as the Toltec, Olmeca, Zapotec, Maya, Aztec, Huichol and Purapecha to name a few, form a considerable part of Mexico’s traditional culture and history.
Nevertheless, it may be surprising to some to learn that there are actually many other peoples living on Mexican soil that arrived through immigration. And its not just the Spanish, who obviously make up a part of this group. Many Spaniards came over to Mexico during the Conquest of America and the influence they have imparted upon Mexico is plain to see.
One of the groups that settled in Mexico early on and which is still a large community in Mexico nowadays is of Jewish roots. Going right back to colonial times many of them came over from Spain, where they were referred to as “conversos”, and had supposedly converted to Christianity. Judaism in Mexico took hold and many were able to thrive here, with the tolerance of the Mexicans.
During colonial times, many blacks and mulattos were brought into Mexico to work in slavery. At one point, over 150, 000 blacks lived in Mexico and despite their long history in this country, their presence, their culture and slave history is not commonly known.
Dutch heritage is also to be found here, as after the Mexican Revolution, many Mennonites moved to Mexico to live and work on farms. At the turn of the 20th century, it was the Chinese that arrived in Mexico in considerable numbers.
Thus it is plain to see that Mexico’s ethnic and social composition is far more intricate than what most people think.