The appearance can vary within any ethnic or racial group, including Mexicans. Mexico has a complex history of cultural exchange, migration, and intermingling of different populations, contributing to its diverse population. Some Mexicans may exhibit physical features commonly associated with East Asian ancestry, such as almond-shaped eyes or straight hair.
Throughout history, waves of migration have occurred between Asia and the Americas. In the case of Mexico, the migration of Asians, particularly from China and the Philippines, has shaped the population’s genetic diversity. Many Mexicans would say they have an indigenous appearance, which is true. A lot of people here in Mexico look Asian as well. So for sure, if they go to Asia, they will be asked the same question, and probably Mexicans living in Asia are asked this question as well.
Many people in Mexico have an incredible ethnic variety, from indigenous to white. Mexican can understand the inheritance the Spaniards left a hundred years ago. But why do some of their location stick around? Everything started when the first settlers arrived in the Americas. They were people from Asia that had since the Bering Strait many thousands of years ago. That’s why the more indigenous the person is, the more remarkable.
Why do Mexicans look Asian?
The Asian features are not only in Mexico but all around the American continent. It could be the first reason some were born in a tiny city town in Mexico, and it’s clear that the Spanish features are minimal. But this isn’t the first reason. There could be more reasons that research was taught to me at school.
People have asked me if I’m Vietnamese, but they have also asked if I am from the Philippines. The Philippines and Mexicans look alike. Some studies show that around one-third of the people living in Guerrero, the Pacific coastal state of Mexico, have 10% Asian ancient ancestry.
This number is significantly high. They were related to people from the Philippines and some from Indonesia. It is because Spain had conquered the Philippines and Mexico and found one of the most important commercial routes: Manila, Acapulco, Veracruz, and finally, Cadiz.
So it was very functional for around two and a half centuries. The Spanish ruled Filipino people as enslaved people or prisoners to help them with the straits—the same way with Mexicans or Hispanics. So the Spanish took some Mexicans to the Philippines with the same purpose. That’s why you’ve probably heard that Mexicans and Filipinos get along very well. They have similar cultures and religions, and even Spanish was one of the official languages until 1987 before continuing.
For Mexican war
When the Mexican War of Independence started, Mexican rebels were sent to the Philippines as a punishment to serve sentences. But it seems this wasn’t a good plan. It’s because some stories say that the Mexican rebels in the Philippines also encourage this country to be independent. There were many Filipino people here, but unfortunately, most of them lost their identity as they were all recorded as Chinos, which in English means Chinese.
Mexican have a very common nickname, which is Chino Chinese. It could be either because a person has curly hair or looks Asian. Believe it or not, this is on the races here in Mexico.
I found exciting information about Japanese people settling in the center of Mexico. Three or four decades before Pearl Harbor, many Japanese people lived in the United States, and around 6000 people in Mexico. Japan was a thriving empire reliable government.
So the Japanese people are living in the United States as a threat. When the Second war was declared, the United States put the Japanese people in internment camps. The United States also sent some Japanese to Mexico. Roosevelt’s government asked Mexico to keep the Japanese people away from the northern border. So the Mexican government put them in the country’s center to be easily monitored. The United States government also requested more Latin American countries put Japanese people in internment camps.
So if you wondered why there is a large community of Japanese people in Peru and Brazil, Mexico was following our northern neighbor’s requirements. That meant the Japanese people living here were suspects or spies. I didn’t know they needed to report every movement to the government.
Then the Mexican Congress modified some laws, such as the penal code, and they created the crime of espionage. So children of Japanese immigrants that couldn’t prove that they were born here in Mexico were considered enemies. After this, the situation got a little bit worse because this soon became persecution of those with Asian features.
So the children of Japanese people born here in Mexico didn’t even know about their roots because their parents wanted them to keep safe. This was very traumatic for Japanese people at the time living here, and slowly they lost their customs, religion, and language, and even some of them changed their last names. They were silent for decades about what happened without letting the children and grandchildren know about this.
At the end of the 19th century, there was a large migration of Chinese people to the United States to work in the construction of railways. At the end of this construction, the United States issued a law because they no longer needed them. It coincided with the development of Mexicali in the state of Baja, California. Density required labor as a Mexican then wasn’t enough to do the job. For this reason, from 1910 to 1920, the entry of Asian people was facilitated. As you can see, there are loads of factors that make us Mexican look Asian.
If you’re a Mexican, let me know what you think. If you have any Asian ancestry, tell me your story. I haven’t taken an audience yet. As I said, it wasn’t necessary for me until very recently, so I hope to take it soon, and I’ll let you know what happened. You can quickly tell when you walk around the streets in Mexico. Mexico mixes Spanish, African, Asian, and indigenous cultures. All this mix gave them their own identity.
Conway, Christopher, ed. The U.S.-Mexican War: A Binational Reader (2010)
Coulter, Richard. Volunteers: The Mexican War Journals of Private Richard Coulter and Sargeant Thomas Barclay, ed. Allan Peskin. Kent: Kent State University Press 1991.
“B03001 HISPANIC OR LATINO ORIGIN BY SPECIFIC ORIGIN – United States – 2021 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates”. U.S. Census Bureau.
“Ethnic Origin, both sexes, age (total), Canada, 2016 Census – 25% Sample data”.
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