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Koreans’s drinking culture varies on social and economic factors

Koreans’s drinking culture varies on social and economic factors

Posted August. 15, 2018 07:24,   

Updated August. 15, 2018 07:24


Was beer indeed a drink of happiness and soju a drink of sadness? One could actually see the relevance when comparing drinks that are reported frequently on newspapers.

Like the common saying that consumption increases when there is a large-scale sports event, beer was the most frequently mentioned drink on newspapers during World Cup seasons. The year 2002 hit its record high. Soju, the “alcoholic beverage of ordinary people,” was referred to the most in 1978, 1996, and 1999. In particular, soju was mentioned the most on newspapers above all other drinks in 1999, which was immediately after the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

In fact, the most frequently commented drink on newspapers since the 1950s was beer. It is also due to the fact that beer was related to social problems such as a group of people being caught by the police for producing “fake beer” and the case of counterfeit stocks of “Handok Beer” in the1970s. Makgeolli, which did not distinguish itself between the 1980s to the 2000s, made a record by outpacing other drinks owning to the “makgeolli boom” in 2010 but disappeared from the newspapers a year later.

Kyu-Jin Shin newjin@donga.com