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The Lounge: Chat. Relax. Unwind. > Drinking culture - is there such thing?

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message 1: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16032 comments Wiki says, yes and adds to it drinking etiquette:
But maybe drinking ignorance is prevailing? What do you think?
And what's your area drinking tradition?

message 2: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin Just visit Munich during the annual Beerfest and you will see a drinking culture at work and very much alive. Another drinking culture that you probably saw a lot of, Nik, is vodka drinking in Russia. In Italy and France, they drink wine like we drink milk in Canada. In Japan, sake is king, but beer must be the most universal drink liked about everywhere. Nothing can beat a cold beer on a hot, sweaty day.

message 3: by Ian (new)

Ian Bott (iansbott) | 214 comments Assuming you use 'culture' to mean a commonly-held collection of expected behaviors, as opposed to behaviors driven by individual preferences, then I would say 'yes'.

The reason I mention this is in reference to Michel's mention of the Oktoberfest. A lot of people in one place who happen to be drinking a lot, IMO does not in itself constitute a culture. The question is, are there also expected norms and behaviors that go with it? In this case, although I've only visited the Oktoberfest the once, I would say there are, and I think beer and wine consumption in Germany (and I think most of Europe) is part of a prevalent and distinctive drinking culture. For example, it's ubiquitous. It's normal and acceptable behavior to take a drink pretty much any time of day, but it is not required, and it's very unseemly to actually get drunk.

Contrast that with the drinking culture in Britain, especially among young adults. For starters, there is the complex dance of etiquette around pub rounds, which I think is a drinking culture in itself. Then there is a clear expectation that people will drink alcohol. I tried to go 'dry' for a month a couple of times and the peer pressure against my personal choice was immense. The perception is that if you're not drinking you can't possibly be having fun. And the expected intent is most definitely to get drunk, which is seen as a matter of pride. Add things like this together and you have a very distinct drinking culture.

Where I live now (British Columbia) it's different again. Alcohol consumption is less widespread and getting drunk is not a source of pride. It's also perfectly normal, even in a pub, to stay alcohol-free without any comment. In fact, I would say that we don't have much of a drink culture here because there seem to be very few commonly-held and expected behaviors and it is much more down to individual preference. It is simply a commodity, to be consumed or not as you wish.

message 4: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin Here, in Québec, beer has always been the drink of choice at parties and gatherings, but wine is a good second, maybe because of our French connection. However, getting drunk, once considered lightly in past decades, is now looked at less charitably, in great parts because of the publicity campaign against drunk driving and the parade of news about the tragic results from drunk driving.

How severely is drunk driving treated/looked at in other countries?

message 5: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6151 comments I live in a small town in South Georgia (US). If you leave a bar here, the police are watching. There are no cab companies or Ubers here. If you test .08 percent for alcohol, there's a big fine, you lose your license for a year, and you have to do community service, plus your name is printed in the paper. This pretty much screws up your work, personal, and financial life. This hasn't happened to me but has happened to friends. I've learned vicariously. I no longer go out to bars because what's the point if you can't get a little tipsy and have a good time?

Here's the kicker. The city now sponsors what's called "Sip and Stroll." People can buy drinks from downtown vendors and walk around shopping and then go to a concert at the small amphitheater. Then they can get stopped going home and get a DUI. Like shooting fish in a barrel. If the city is going to encourage people to drink, it should provide free rides home. What the heck?

message 6: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16032 comments Michel wrote: " drinking in Russia.."

That's definitely a tradition, but rarely performed culturally. The famous proverb that 'vodka without beer is a waste of money' kinda reflects the spirit -:) And Boris Yeltsin falling of the plane on official visits or refusing to step out to the waiting hosting dignitaries exemplifies the best of it. Regretfully, from 'culture' some proceeded to an alcoholism. But the situ seems overall to improve

message 7: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16032 comments DUI is/was certainly deemed as very grave in post-USSR, so .... the bribes exacted from those caught were the highest. On a positive side - a drunk driver could have a police escort home not for his/her or third party safety, of course, but to prevent a double jeopardy, so that other police officers won't take another bribe from the same person.
Hope it doesn't happen anymore

message 8: by Holly (new)

Holly (goldikova) Drinking culture....that was high school for me. It rapidly lost its appeal after I became of age. To this day I can barely tolerate the taste of any kind of alcohol.......just....yuck.

message 9: by Michel (last edited Aug 13, 2018 05:38AM) (new)

Michel Poulin Well, I suppose that there is still some sort of drinking Japan. It is still part of the tradition and routine of Japanese salary men to go drink after work with your work companions and even supervisors to prove your loyalty to your company, and this until late at night, instead of returning home and caring for his family. That culture of the hard working salary man has actually been causing for decades a steady decline in marriages and birth rates in Japan, with Japanese women getting really tired of this and choosing more and more to make their own lives by themselves.

message 10: by Leonie (new)

Leonie (leonierogers) | 1579 comments Australia has what I'd describe as a changing drinking culture. Having said that, it depends on your location to a certain extent, and your activities.

Here are some of the latest stats:

message 11: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16032 comments Leonie wrote: "Australia has what I'd describe as a changing drinking culture. Having said that, it depends on your location to a certain extent, and your activities.

Here are some of the latest stats: https://d..."

Looks like the tendencies are positive or maybe drinkers switch to pot? -:)

message 12: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16032 comments A friend of mine living in China says that Chinese have a great respect to those who know how to drink. Some seem to bring it to the extreme -:):
Not something I'd advise trying

message 13: by Leonie (new)

Leonie (leonierogers) | 1579 comments Nik wrote: "Leonie wrote: "Australia has what I'd describe as a changing drinking culture. Having said that, it depends on your location to a certain extent, and your activities.

Here are some of the latest s..."

I'd hope people are just being more sensible about drinking. 🤣

message 14: by Holly (new)

Holly (goldikova) Nik wrote: "Leonie wrote: "Australia has what I'd describe as a changing drinking culture. Having said that, it depends on your location to a certain extent, and your activities.

Here are some of the latest s..."

Yeah Nik, that's why I can't stand alcohol; weed is just so much nicer.

message 15: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) Well hell yes, there's countless drinking cultures across the world. As for me, I am a beer enthusiast. I revel in the drinking culture of Ireland, England, Scotland, Germany and Belgium. It's not that complicated, you just enjoy good beer with good friends :)

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