Politely drunk

von Franziska Schulz

Une Grande Nation (Issue IV/2017)


They are also in line to make a serious social faux pas. That is because even though South Koreans do like to party, there are certain drinking rules that should never be broken, even after a few too many beers. If you’re pouring somebody a drink, you should have two hands on the bottle. Additionally the younger person at any table should turn their head away from their elders when taking a sip.

Even if the older person suggests that the tradition be disregarded it is best if the younger drinker declines the offer, with thanks. And at the end of the session, the oldest pays! Koreans like drinking soju, a kind of strong, clear alcohol. But not when it is raining. Then they prefer Makgeolli, a sparkling rice wine, together with pajeon, a type of Korean pancake.  Apparently this happens because when said properly, the word pajeon sounds a little like the rain falling. 



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