A passion for alcohol in Korea, Ireland and Finland - 58

Drinking is a subject that Koreans take a lot of pride in, the same as in many countries. I have noticed, from living in many different countries, that in almost all of those countries, the local population almost always take great pride in their drinking ability. The British, the Germans, the Irish, Scandinavians and the Koreans are the groups that immediately come Korean drinkingto mind from the countries I have visited. Alcohol is not particularly healthy, yet we are all proud as though it represents almost the power of a nation.

Drinking in Finland

In Finland I found that people downed vodka as though their lives depended on it and the girls drink as much as the guys. Finnish winters are long and cold and drinking is almost considered a pastime to get through the harsh winter. As a result of this you will thus not be surprised to hear that alcoholism is a big problem in Finland.

Finland incidentally, was the first country in the world to allow all females to vote (New Zealand would have been first but excluded the Maori women), and these days the Finnish women account for over 40% of women in the parliament. Finnish women can handle drink almost on a par with the men.

Ireland and Irish drinking culture

In Ireland, even the girls have beer bellies, not just the guys. Take a walk around the capital city Dublin, on a Friday or Saturday night, and you will see plenty of girls drinking Guinness by the pint. Just before getting the company bus to work in Dublin, when I worked there, a few of the guys used to go for a quick shot of whisky from an early morning pub called ‘The Boars Head’. Drinking eight or ten pints of beer on a good night was normal and I have to say, there were some good nights out in Dublin. Drinking is an integral part of the Irish culture and Guinness, one of the Irish beers, is now popular worldwide.

Korean alcohol, businesswomen and businessmen

The passion for alcohol is also noticeable in Korean culture and a source of pride to many. Visit a drinking place in Seoul on a Friday night, and you will see groups of co-workers including the women, drinking rounds of shorts. The co-workers often play drinking games and drink copious amounts of alcohol. Many businessmen and businesswomen have turned up at my morning classes still suffering from a hangover from 4 or 5 hours before. In many cases they make it clear that they didn’t want to go drinking, but they had to for the sake of their job and future promotions.


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