Author Says Americans Ignorant of Mexico's Cultural Heritage
When Americans think of great cultural achievements they generally think of Europe; when they think of the exotic and perhaps the erotic they think of the Orient—missing the fact that Mexico, their next door neighbor, also gave birth to some of the world’s greatest historical achievements and today has one of the world’s most unusual and fascinating cultures, says author Boyé Lafayette De Mente.
In a new book, THE MEXICAN MIND – Understanding & Appreciating Mexican Culture, Arizona resident De Mente uses key “code words” in the Mexican language to identify and explain what he describes as the contradictions and paradoxes of Mexico: “the fateful role of the Catholic Church, the Spanish/Moorish-macho-cult of Mexican males, the conflicting treatment of females, the savage brutality of criminals and rogue cops, the gentle humility of poor farmers, the warmth, kindness and compassion of the average city dwellers and the extreme sensuality of the Mexican lifestyle.”
In the book De Mente recounts the roles of the small band of Spanish fortune hunters who conquered the Aztec empire in 1521 and the Catholic priests who joined them in an alliance he describes as barbaric and cruel that resulted in the destruction of the sophisticated culture and great cities of the Aztecs.
“Within hours of their arrival on the coast of Mexico the Spanish invaders began a campaign of miscegenation with Indian girls and women to create a new race of mix-bloods to serve them—a policy approved by the king of Spain as well as the Catholic Church—that was to have a profound influence on the subsequent history of Mexico and is still playing out today,” De Mente says.
“Within one generation after the conquest of Mexico the Spanish administrators, the growing Spanish population and the Catholic bishops and priests were treating the surviving Indians as slaves and the growing number of mixed-bloods as outcasts and lepers,” he adds.
“Within 100 years the mixed-blooded offspring of the Spanish ruling class and sexually active priests outnumbered the Spanish population; and the number of pure-blooded Indians had fallen from 24 million to a little over one million.
“The mistreatment of the surviving Indians and mixed-bloods was to continue for nearly 300 years, during which distorted and exaggerated elements of the Spanish and Catholic cultures gradually seeped into the mindset and behavior of the Spanish-Indian mixtures, creating the unique culture with good and bad features that one finds in Mexico today.”
De Mente notes that despite the harsh treatment inflicted upon the mixed-bloods and Indians over the generations they developed an astounding commitment to the arts and to dancing, music and singing that continues to distinguish them and make Mexico a fascinating country.
Cultural insights in the book provide valuable guidelines for businesspeople, law enforcement agencies, students, teachers and travelers.
The book also explains why Mexicans are so attached to the culture despite its shortcomings and why so many foreigners find it so seductive and satisfying they prefer to live there. It is available from Amazon.com in both digital and printed formats.
Boyé Lafayette De Mente is the author of 70-plus books on the business practices, arts, culture and language of China, Japan, Korea and Mexico; on the degradation of American culture, and on the destructive nature of male dominance in particular. His current bestselling books include SPEAK JAPANESE TODAY! – a Little Language Goes a Long Way! and AMERICA'S FAMOUS HOPI INDIANS! - Their Spiritual Way of Life & Incredible Prophecies! To see a full list and synopses of his books go to: BoyeDeMente.com and Amazon.com
De Mente is a graduate of Jōchi University in Tokyo and Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona. He wrote the first books ever on the Japanese way of doing business: Japanese Etiquette & Ethics in Business  and How to Do Business with the Japanese .