Hospitality Business Magazine

Weird drinking customs round the world

rsz_image_-_drinking_customsThe Huffington Post has assembled what it considers to be the twenty five strangest drinking customs in the world. Arguing that no matter where you go or what monuments you visit “you’ll never understand the people and their culture until you drink with them”, the article makes the valid point that “just as every country’s cuisine is different, so too is how they drink their booze.” Here are three highlights from the article with expert commentary from TheShout’s Head of Content Neil Miller.

Japan – “It is impolite to pour your own drink. Keep your neighbour’s topped up and they will return the favour.” This one is absolutely true and is actually a really pleasant and sociable way to drink.

Australia – “When drinking with friends in Australia, everyone is expected to shout (or buy) a round of drinks. It is considered very bad form if someone neglects to shout.” Once, many years ago in a semi-mythical outback, this may have been correct but our modern individualistic society and tougher drink driving laws means this stereotype is now the exception rather than the rule. Mate.

China – “During the toast, elders hold their glasses higher than juniors. The first drink is downed in one and the glasses upturned on the table to show nothing remains.” In my experience, Chinese drinking customs are more complex and depend on where you are and who you with. Sometimes you are expected to finish the glass in one go, at other times that same action is considered crass. The key advice is always to follow the lead of the person who is considered the senior person at your table. They set the rules for everyone else.

Kanpai! (Japan)

Cheers! (Australia)

Gambei! (China)

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