Drinking culture and etiquette in Korea
Koreans consider drinking to be a part of their culture and a way to show respect to each other .Did i say “respect” , Yess!!!! . Though i myself am not a heavy drinker ,working in a corporate industry or attending a university with a group of Korean friends, you cannot just avoid it at times . The first share of the glass is the most important and most Koreans would prefer you going for at least the first one to be considered involved and active in the group .Most people in the group who love drinking also have a habit of quickly refilling all the empty glasses , so the trick to no or controlled drinking is to leave your glasses unfinished .The first drink they always go for is Soju , an alcohol drink in a green glass bottle and served to you in a tiny glass.Though i would dedicate a complete separate blog to it , but not just mentioning the name was too unethical i felt when mentioning the Korean drinking culture .Maybe some folks are alcoholics and others are just voluntary drunks. Maybe some folks drink due to body chemistry and others due to their lazy characters. Maybe some have drinking problems, while others have problems enough to drink. If you are any one of the kinds who love drinking crazily and seeing the un-invented fifth dimension , you just can’t be causal about it anymore . They have this hundred rules book while you are drinking with them.Remember ???? i mentioned “respect” in the first line…. But keep your worries away and if you want to participate in drinking culture like a pro , here is what you need to know and follow -:
1. You should always accept and offer the drink with two hands .
2. Youngest will serve everyone first starting from the eldest .
3. Then you will be served .
4. Now younger cannot drink facing older
5. So you need to see left or right while drinking
6. if on your left or right you have someone older and you are the poor me sitting in the center : Yeah you need to take an about turn and drink
7. But what if you have someone at another table while you are looking left right or about turn : Phew you need to hide your mouth while drinking
8. The younger person can only strike the glass at a level lower than the elder people …
Yeah this was all … short n sweet …. The above might force you to act like a closet drinker , but believe me once you follow it two or three times or attend a few alcoholic parties it wouldn’t look that difficult to u ,plus as an information , this is one place where most Koreans would really open up with you and you can start healthy personal and business relations . When you want a different culture to accept you , you need to accept it too and leave all your pride and prejudices behind.Am sure most of you will agree with me on that . Lastly , replace your “Cheers!!!!” with “keon-bae” , yeah you got it right , thatz the Korean way of doing it .