Traveling 101: Drinking Traditions You Should Know About
What are the drinking traditions around the world that you should know about?
Customs and traditions are present in every nation in the world. The locals of a certain place sometimes follow them unknowingly since they have been ingrained in their psyche from the get-go. Hence, they don’t have to exert extra effort to do them.
For instance, Filipinos don’t really think twice about observing proper etiquette while drinking liquor in the Philippines. They just know in their minds what they must do without really thinking about it. The same can be said for other drinking traditions in other countries.
A problem arises, however, when a traveler visits a place he has never been to before. Anyone would assume that this person does not know the customs he needs to observe to avoid possibly offending other people. Of course, there is a way to avoid this altogether. Tourists must be well-informed of the customs being practiced at their chosen destination. After all, there is a saying that goes “when in Rome, do as the Romans do.”
To help you out, here are some drinking traditions for you to learn in case you want to travel to these places:
Never Pour Your Own Drink (Japan and South Korea)
When it comes to drinking, especially with liquor being the center of attention, it’s seen as customary and common sense for one to pour their own drink should they want to. For the Japanese, however, that is definitely not the case.
Japan, the land of the rising sun, is known for its many traditions and customs, all of which are followed with a strict sense of conviction and honor. Drinking in Japan encourages the strengthening of bonds and good will, which is why when you drink in Japan, it’s absolutely important for you not to pour your own drink. Let your friends do it for you instead. Not only does this show the strength of your friendship, but it also shows how much you trust each other.
This custom is also applicable to the folks drinking in South Korea. If you are in South Korea and you’re handling pouring duties, you must only do so when a glass is completely empty.
Drinking WITHOUT Using Your Hands (Netherlands)
This country, while not exactly known for their alcoholic prowess, has its fair share of liquor drinking. In fact, one of the country’s most well-known alcoholic drinks around is none other than Jenever, otherwise known as ‘Dutch Gin.’
If you do want to try this exotic beverage, then remember to fill your glass to the brim. This will enable you to sip the drink without using your hands. You can only pick up the glass and finish it entirely when your drink reaches a certain level in the glass.
Quick Drinking (Italy)
Italy is not just known for its pasta and other delicacies, but for its alcohol as well. In fact, Grappa (pomace brandy) is one of its most famous alcoholic choices; you could ask any Italian about it.
When you visit this country – no matter what you are drinking – it would be best for you to drink your liquor as fast as you can. This would mean that you should finish a drink as soon as you buy it. This is especially true for ‘hole in the wall’ establishments, where patrons would just stop by the road to grab a quick pint, drink it, then leave.
Turning Away from Seniors When Drinking (South Korea)
South Korea is one of the most popular countries, when it comes to having a good time. To put it simply, these guys know how to party! Though, one should expect some rules to be followed.
First off, like the Japanese, you’re not expected to pour your own drink, not just out of tradition, but out of respect as well. Speaking of showing respect, the act of turning away from your seniors (people who are older than you) when drinking must be done. It is considered disrespectful if you do not observe this custom.
Be sure to follow this rule when you visit your (older) South Korean friends.
Pour and Pass (Peru)
Peru has one of the richest histories around, especially when it comes to traditions. In this country, when it comes to drinking with your friends, the most important person to consider is none other than the friend, who bought the drinks.
If you are at a gathering and you happen to be the one who bought beers for all of you to enjoy, then make sure to pour the drink in a glass and sip from it. Once you’ve had your fill, pass it around to the right until each one of you has had a chance to take a sip. When only a little bit of the drink is left in the cup, pour it on the ground to clean it before pouring your next drink and passing it around.
Always Bring Snacks (Philippines)
Whether it be a simple plate of peanuts or be it a bag of Chicharon, liquor here in the Philippines just wouldn’t be quite enjoyable without the presence of everyone’s favorite pulutan options.
If you are a foreigner in this country and you’ve been invited by your Filipino friends to an inuman, don’t forget to bring a couple of snacks for sharing. This will make your drinking session all the more fun and filling.
Should you decide to travel to these countries and enjoy their alcohol, be sure to follow these traditions. Not only will you be able to show respect to their culture, but you’ll definitely become a fan-favorite among the locals as well.