I'm curios about the good things you heard about MEAN stack. Seeing your question is about backend development, it would be good to separate Node from MEAN stack and Python from Django.
My experience is that a framework like Django (Python equivalent of Ruby on Rails which I've used) is better suited for projects where your target database is RDBMS, because of its excellent ORM features.
I use Node for more unstructured database projects, where I need flexibility in both querying and storing data.
So I'd say start with barebones Node, so you appreciate and have a better understanding of the magic Django implements behind the scenes when you move to it.
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