Thursday, November 20, 2008

Interesting Drinking Customs in Korea

This is some interesting wikipedia citation on the drinking of Soju (distilled Vodka drink), and drinking in general. No, loyal readers, I am not drunk, but just passing the information to some who may be. Here ya go male Richter's (except Bry and Chip)

No, really though, it's pretty interesting:

"Soju is usually drunk in group gatherings while eating, unmixed and portioned into individual shot glasses. It is against traditional custom in Korea to fill one's own glass. Instead, it must be filled by someone else at the table. This promotes a spirit of thoughtfulness and camaraderie.
In Korean culture, using two hands to offer and accept items is considered an act of respect. Accordingly, if one's glass is going to be filled by a superior, one should hold the glass with both hands. Similarly, when pouring soju for an elder, one holds the bottle with both hands.
To pour a drink, hold the bottle in the right hand with the left hand touching the right forearm or elbow; this peculiar arm position originated from the practice of holding back the sleeve of the
hanbok so that it wouldn't touch the table or the food.
Similarly, when receiving a drink, rest the glass in the left palm and hold it with the right hand, perhaps bowing the head slightly to show additional respect. You can also hold the glass using the same hand positions as when pouring. Pouring and receiving with just the right hand by a senior, or between equals, is common in normal situations.
Koreans often say "
one shot", a challenge to everyone in the group to down their glass in one gulp. A glass should not be refilled unless completely empty and should be promptly refilled once empty; it is considered rude to not fill someone else's glass when empty.
Some special rules apply when drinking with someone of much higher status, i.e. greater age or rank. When drinking in front of elders (people older than you), the junior is expected to turn away from the elder first. Drinking the shot while directly facing the elder is considered disrespectful.

On occasions, an elder gives an empty soju shot glass (usually his/hers) to an equal or junior. A junior may also offer an empty glass to a senior after they have established a closer relationship.
Giving the glass implies that the person is going to fill it and wants the receiver to drink it. It is not obligatory to finish the drink immediately, but it is impolite to place the glass on the table without at least pretending to drink from it.
After finishing the entire glass, it should be returned and refilled. It is not necessary to return it immediately, but holding it for a long time is considered rude, as it deprives the giver of his glass.
Among friends of equal social status, it is not necessary to use both hands while pouring or receiving a drink, but may be done out of habit or politeness, or if the situation is considered a particularly formal one."

1 comment:

richter_paul said...


Greetings.. Andrea and I have been enjoying your blog.. It's better than late night TV. Sounds like the Koreans and the Irish do have some similarities based on that "soju blog". We are proud of you and know that this will be an adventure of a lifetime.

Just a little advice from someone who has lived overseas for 2 years;
First; immerse yourself in the culture/customs (which it sounds like your doing)
Second; Travel/explore as much as possible on your free time.
third; learn the language (hire a cute litte Korean tutor). when interviewing her for the job, inquire about cooking, along with certain oriental massages...if you know what I mean.

Talk at you soon,

Hey Chris,
Sounds like you are doing great. I want U to marry a Korean girl b/c I LOVE KOREAN FOOD!! I relate everything to Food somehow! I want to learn how 2 make the food some day.
Anyway.. what's it like w/out the "E" channel? Your students are adorable. I like your blog. It's fun to read.
Best Wishes and our prayers are w/ YOU,