Hispanic_Groups - Mexican Americans the largest ethnic...

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Mexican Americans, the largest ethnic group in the United States , traditionally speak South American Spanish. The language is very similar to European (Castellano) Spanish, the sentence structuring and verb conjugation being identical. There are differences in pronunciation and accent, and some different nouns are used, but a Mexican American would have no trouble being understood in Madrid. However, in the South Western States, there is widespread use of the so-called “Chicano” English Some people dismiss this as Spanglish or just distorted English, but according to linguistics expert Carmen Fought, “ Chicano English is a distinctive U.S. English dialect.” Politically, they appear to have a wide spread of views. Certainly during the Franco regime in Spain, many Spanish Americans were very vocal in their condemnation of right wing politics. More recently, however, for a majority their favourite description of themselves is ‘liberal’’. Most Mexican Americans adhere (at least nominally) to the Roman Catholic faith, although strict adherence seems to be less popular than before. Nevertheless, family rites of passage such as births, baptisms and marriages still attract strong support and are widely celebrated. The cast majority of first generation Mexican- Americans ( a large number of whom are illegal immigrants) are employed in ‘blue collar’ occupations, many on very low wages. The illegals are especially open to exploitation, since they dare not complain about working conditions and rates of pay. Mexican Americans earn a median salary of only two thirds of the national median. Socially and culturally, the Mexican Americans still have fairly strong ties to the social and cultural systems from whence they came. Family solidarity is still highly prized, although these appear to become more tenuous as younger people have to leave home for other areas for work. Culturally, they maintain their music, dance and cuisine very well.
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