Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Drinking Culture in Bhutan and South Korea

The purpose of this post is to spell out the differences in drinking culture in Bhutan and South Korea. To begin with, an employee or subordinate of a company almost cannot decline when offerred to go drinking when asked by their bosses. Although, in Bhutan, it is not big of a deal. Thus, company employees drinking together is more common in Korea than in Bhutan. 

In Korea, you need to empty your glass in order to get refill. And the refilling is usually done by someone else other than yourself. Surprisingly, it is just the contrary in Bhutan. If you empty your glass while drinking in Bhutan, it means you are calling it a day. Therefore, you or your friend will make sure to top up your glass before its empty until both/everyone agrees to bring to an end to the party/occasion. 
Bhutanese beer: Red Panda

Another interesting difference is that, in Korea, you will end up going for fourth or fifth round of drinking excluding the dinner you just had, moving from bar to bar until dawn. In between, Koreans also enjoy dropping by karaokes. People in Bhutan keeps it simple. Drinking usually happens when there is a cause for celebration, such as birthdays, wedding,  promotion and as such. It is common to drink, then have dinner, and then hit the road home. 
Korean alcohol: Soju

University students (especially freshmen) and also company workers would cram in a bar and play endless drinkin games. Drinking and playing games is considered stress relieving. Again, for Bhutanese college students, drinking takes place over a small chat for females, and debates over politics, religion and other hot topics for men (might sound a little biased). 

Drinking with family members and relatives is common in South Korea. While it is a rare thing in Bhutan. Drinking in Korea is a fun activity and they tend to keep it casual. On the other hand, Bhutanese people share their feelings and opinions openly over a drink. I think there are many amusing and beautiful customs we can learn about a country just from its drinking culture. Cheers and gun-bae (cheers in Korean) to everyone out there who enjoys drinking.