The social lubricant. The relaxant. And all-reliable joy in a cup.
Alcohol is many things to many people. In celebration of this most multifaceted of liquids, here’s a list of the different uses of alcohol across the world.
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1) China – Toasting to masculinity
There is nothing quite like the sound of a yum seng toast. After the long “yum” cheer, the crowd crescendo with a “seng”.
According to Dr Hoon Chang Yau, an assistant professor of Asian Studies at the Singapore Management University, the yum seng could have begun as a symbolic assertion of a man’s masculinity.
“The wedding night is traditionally a rite-of-passage after which a man can start taking the responsibility of continuing the family lineage. It is also seen as the night when a boy becomes a man, and makes the transition into adulthood.”
Now you know why the groom always sounds the loudest at wedding. He’s sending a signal!
Toast to the good times with some bubbly here!
2) Korea – Showing respect
Koreans love their alcohol. So much so that saying ‘no’ to a drink can be seen as a sign of disrespect. Remember the hierarchy.
When a senior person is pouring drinks, one shouldn’t drink until his own cup has been filled.
This pouring of liquor by a senior, in turn, is a compliment for workers.
Impress your boss with some of this amber nectar.
3) Russia – Celebrating a successful business venture
In Russia, drinking vodka is an essential part of building rapport not only among friends, but among business contacts. Not bringing vodka to celebrate a deal can be a real bummer.
Make sure you’re ready, though. Keeping up with the Russians when drinking vodka is a tough order.
Cheers to a successful business deal like the Russians with some of our vodka!
4) Bolivia – Protecting yourself
Before Bolivian miners make their way through the tunnels of the Cerro Rico mountain, they make offerings to the deity El Tito.
Locals believe that by offering alcohol to him, you will be protected from danger.
Feeling some nerves, have some liquid courage!
5) Nigeria – Making your wedding legit
We have already seen the importance of alcohol with the yum seng toast. In Nigeria, this is taken one step further.
A bride and groom is not considered to be married until they have drunk traditional palm wine.
Ease into some romantic times with some of our wine!