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Drinking Traditions Around The World

Posted by / in Featured, Responsible Drinking

The world is a diverse playground and without diversity it would be a mighty dull place to be in, we all know that. Experiencing the local cuisines is one of the many charms of travelling, with so many countries and unique cultures to learn about, you’d be surprised to know that there is a similar uniqueness when it comes to drinking traditions too. Have a drink or two with the natives to explore the quirky drinking traditions, you might as well find out a thing or two about their distinct traditions.

Let’s take you through some of the wackiest and fascinating drinking cultures around the world.

Britain

British culture is so much more than people enjoying their tea. People there LOVE to drink and it is a close contender to the title of beer pilgrimage, well the next in line is Germany! The Brits have ‘drinking sessions’ well in place, rule of the thumb is that each person at the table buys drinks for the entire group until they have all bought a round each.

Germany

Oh the Germans and their much celebrated love for beer! In many regions, Frühschoppen is generally understood to be a tradition of drinking before midday. Thanks to astonishing production and consumption of beer, beer gardens and the famous Oktoberfest, Germany has become one of the most sought after destinations for the beer lovers around the world. No trip would be complete without trying out local beers and the natives of Cologne are particular about drinking ‘Kosch’ which traditionally should be consumed roughly at 10 °C.

Iceland

The Icelanders have taken their love for alcohol to an altogether next level by dedicating two holidays a year solely to alcohol!  First of March is reserved as Beer day or Bjórdagurinn Bjórdagur. It is celebrated to honour the elimination of prohibition of beer which lasted from 1st January 1915 to 1st March 1989.  Yet another listed public holiday is the first weekend of August called as Merchant’s weekend or Verslunarmannahelgi, which is considered as the biggest party weekend.

Italy

Italians are more of wine drinkers and drinking in Italian culture is usually associated with meal time. They like to have aperitivo is an alcoholic beverage meant to stimulate the appetite. Aperitivo is usually a cocktail, wine or liqueur. Similarly digestivo is served after meal, it is usually infused with herbs which aids in digestion. So much love for drinking!

Spain

Spaniards believe that you earn the curse of seven years of bad sex if you toast with water. Whether in Spain or not, we bet that you surely wouldn’t want to let this nightmarish curse befall you!

Czech Republic

People here are as proud of their beer as French are of their wine! Czechs toast to ‘Na zdraví’ which means ‘to health’ and look at each person in the eye as they clink glasses with them. This custom must be followed to avoid seven years of bad sex!

France

French have a cultivated drinking tradition- they savour their drinks. They are pretty prim and proper in their drinking ways, Frenchmen serve the ladies first and the glasses are to be only half-filled. While in a gathering, they wait for everyone’s glasses to be filled and whoever serves the wine in the gathering makes sure not to fill their glass as it is considered rude. It is customary to look in the eyes as you clink glasses with people and you never cross your arms over theirs.

Russia

Russians are known to be vodka lovers. They make sure to eat something before drinking- zakuska, as they call it and toasting before the drink is also very important there. Remember to pour your vodka last if you’re proposing a toast! Russians usually pair their beer with dry fish and vodka follows pickles.

Peru

They thoroughly enjoy their beer and beer drinking is quite a tradition for Peruvians. Traditional Peruvian way of drinking is a reflection of their kindness and generosity which involves sharing the drink among the group. Usually one person in the group orders a large bottle with a glass and the drink is to be shared using only that one glass.

The Japanese and South Koreans love to follow nuanced age-old traditions. They also love to extend camaraderie toward each other by pouring a cup of drink for each other. They consider it outright rude to pour your own drink and elders must be served first, they also make sure that no one’s glass is empty.

Whichever part of the world you travel to, remember to make your trip more memorable by mingling with the natives. Being respectful of the traditions and culture is an obvious prerogative one must follow. And as it goes, there’s beauty in uniqueness and people who drink share a strange kind of bond that way so go forth and clink glasses the local way.

P.S. Dear teetotalers, please keep heart for you can find other things to explore!

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Why You Shouldn’t Drink in Front of Children?

Posted by / in Featured, Underage Drinking

Every child’s psychological setup is determined by the exposure he/she gets during the formative years of their life. In every child’s life, the formative years are crucial as they mould and shape the traits that they carry throughout their life. The innocent and immature mind of the child picks up whatever he/she sees is going on in front of him/her. Therefore, it becomes important for the parents to carefully choose their action in front of their children.

Effect of drinking in front of children

The acceptance of alcohol consumption, in our society, has seen a steady rise. The society talks about being broad-minded and open. But at what cost? In the last decade, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of alcohol-related deaths.
Parents are the most influential people in a child’s life and their actions directly affect their children.
Thus, it is time to take a step back and analyse the consequences of your actions.

Impact on psychology and health

A child’s brain is immature and juvenile and does not have the absolute ability to distinguish between what is right or wrong for him/her. This leads to a mind-set where the child considers their parent’s actions to be sacrosanct. Therefore, when a parent drinks in front of the kids, the latter is ignorant of the essential harms that come with it. This action of the parent assumes an “unsaid” legitimacy in the eyes of the innocent child. Later, the children, without having proper knowledge of the harms, also feel that it is okay to indulge in such an activity because they have seen their parents doing so.

This might create a situation where the child also begins underage drinking and consequently lands up in great trouble. The body of a child is not adept to break down the complex alcohol molecules and hence cause serious health risks like liver damage and depletion of WBC’s. Furthermore, if proper parenting is not done then the risk of addiction looms large.

Possibility of induced violence      

Taking into consideration the fact that, alcohol is a toxic substance and heavy drinking can cause serious health issues, and cause certain behavioural changes, parents must ideally not indulge in drinking in front of their kids. Alcohol impairs the brain functions and clouds reasoning capacities. Sometimes, due to heavy drinking, parents might lose their self-control and behave in a way that is not appropriate for the kids. As discussed earlier, the kids pick up that very action and think it to be “normal”. Moreover, in an inebriated state one may become very violent. It can lead to unforeseen circumstances, none of which are good for the kids.

Proper communication required

It is well understood by now; that children are susceptible to the dangers of alcohol consumption. When proper dialogue is not established between the parent and the kid, the miscommunication leads to an uninformed mind prone to the dangers of addiction and other associated risks.
Therefore, it is pertinent to remember that before being “too open” in front of the kids, the parent must take into account the age of the kid and his/her capability to comprehend the actions. This must be followed by informing the kid about the do’s and don’ts of alcohol consumption.

After ascertaining these measures, if you deem it right to drink in front of your children, the safe limit of alcohol consumption must always keep in mind so that you are always in control of your action.

Remember, the future of your kid depends on your actions too!

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Post-Pregnancy Drinking – How long should one wait?

Posted by / in Featured, Responsible Drinking

Browsing through hundreds of websites online will give you only one answer to the question of “How long should to wait before you start drinking post pregnancy?”, and that is that there is no definite timeline. Every individual processes alcohol at different speed and has different responses to alcohol.

While the safest option is to not consume alcohol at all while you are still breastfeeding because even the slightest amount of alcohol in your breast milk can harm your child, affect his/her appetite and even hinder growth. However, there are ways by which you can include a couple of drinks in your day and continue nursing unaffected:

  1. The safest way to go about is to not go too heavy on the alcohol. A beer or a glass of wine is processed by an average woman in 2-3 hours. Thus a drink or two a day is safe for the child, as long as you do not nurse the child immediately after drinking.
  2. If you need to nurse immediately after having alcohol, throw away the milk as the alcohol content in the milk might be high, making your child drowsy and reducing his/her appetite.
  3. The popular wisdom is to avoid alcohol for at least the first 3 months of breast-feeding. These initial months are crucial for both the mother and the child and thus no compromise should be made with the health and nutrition of either.
  4. Alcohol affects your capability of responding to your child too. Drinking heavily when you have an infant to look after can make you drowsy and less aware about your child’s need.
  5. The safest time of the day to enjoy a couple of drinks is to schedule it around your child’s sleeping pattern. If he/she sleeps for 3-4 hours at a stretch, that is the best time-window for you to put your feet up and enjoy that glass of wine.
  6. While there are no studies to prove it, many mothers claim that dark barley malt beers have resulted in an increase in their milk production. It also softens the breast tissues by dilating the blood vessels, resulting in an easier flow of milk. Thus, replacing that glass of wine with beer might have a two-fold benefit.
  7. With fast advancing technologies, you can easily get hold of over-the-counter tests to detect the level of alcohol in your breast milk. These tests are easy to use and will give you a fair indication of whether the consumed alcohol is a threat to your infant.

Thus, if you are careful and well aware about the quantity of alcohol you are consuming at a time, you are good to resume drinking right after delivery, provided your doctor allows you to. However, what never should be forgotten is that the safety of your child is your foremost priority and as a parent you should never compromise with his/her health.

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