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Take a good look at my face…

30 August 2008

Every once in a while, I’ll see on a tourism message board, or hear from someone, a worried query about “fitting in” when they are in Mexico.  Other than polishing your shoes and ironing your clothes, it’s simple:  SMILE.

(my translation)

MÉXICO (UNIV).-Mexican smile through life, death, good and the bad, but they get angry and cry with the same intensity.The majority try to hide their feelings, pehaps to avoid the reactions of rude people.

A Consulta Mitofsky poll on expressing feelings found 90 percent of respondants smile regularly.

70 percent admit they yell with the same intensity of feeling; 60 percent when irritated. 27 percent of adults admit they shed tears, 5.9 percent of Mexicans do so frequently. However, 18 percent claim they never shed a tear, and 54 percent do so rarely.

The Consulta Mitofsky study found little corrolation between age or socioeconomic status when it comes to tears, though the study found people in the southeast (Campeche, Yucatán, Tabasco and Chiapas) cry more frequently than those from the Bajio (Guanajuanto): 31 percent in the southeast and only 25 percent in the Bajio admit to crying.

Younger adults – those under 30 — “for understandable reasons” , are more likely to smile frequently (61 percent) than those over fifty (43 percent) 8.6 percent of people who smile frequently do so because they’re happy.

People do more than just smile when they’re happy. Mitofsky also asked about dancing. Half of all men will “shake a leg, as will 46.4 percent of women. While there is some correlation to economic status – the higher the status, the more likely a person is to dance – only in the southeast is there a significant percentage (22 percent) who never dance.

A thousand people over 18 were interviewed face to face between 24 and 29 July.  The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.

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