On Saturday we celebrated Waitangi Day with about 4,000 other Kiwis on the now (thanks to Dylan Clements) 13th Annual World Famous Waitangi Day Circle Line Pub Crawl, and it was awesome! Whilst New Zealanders at home were treated to the all too familiar protest at Waitangi headlines, Kiwis in London donned costumes, ate pies, sang songs and drank beer in celebration of our favourite nation.
Posts tagged ‘beer’
According to Colin Farrell’s character in In Bruges, Bruges is a s#@$hole, according to everyone else Bruges is a delight. We spent a rainy day in early October wandering the cobbled streets of the city; drinking beer, eating waffles and looking for that so-called shitty part of Bruges.
There aren’t many reasons worthy of getting out of bed super early on a Saturday. Maybe Christmas, maybe rugby… however as of this weekend I’d have to count beer as one of them. But it wasn’t just any old beer that was forcing me into the shower at 4:45AM, it was Belgium beer; a festival of Belgium beers to be precise.
According to a report released by the World Health Organisation earlier this week, “the world drank the equivalent of 6.1 liters of pure alcohol per person in 2005 and the biggest boozers are mostly found in Europe and in the former Soviet states.” As indicated by the bright red area on the below image.
New Zealand pops up at 7.5 – 9.99 litres per average person, less than Australia (10 – 12.49L) and significantly less than South Korea (12.5 +), who as a result also qualifies for the biggest boozer category.
Per capita consumption
SK: 11.8 liters of pure alcohol
NZ: 9.1 liters of pure alcohol
Consumption by type
SK: 81% is spirits. Soju is the drink of choice here.
NZ: 44% is beer, followed by wine at 33%.
In South Korea there are no restrictions for on/off premise sales. Alcohol can be sold at all times of the day and night at specific events, to intoxicated persons and at petrol stations as long as that person is of aged 19 and above. There are no rules about drinking in public places either, it’s not uncommon to see people drinking outside the local mart or wandering along the street with a couple of beers or more likely; two bottles of soju.
In NZ the legal minimum age for off and on license alcohol purchases is 18 and there are some restrictions for these premises. You’ll be fined big time if you sell alcohol to an intoxicated person and you definitely can’t purchase it at your local petrol station.
Now comes the interesting part. “The WHO estimates that alcohol results in 2.5million deaths a year, more than AIDS or tuberculosis.” So what mortality impact does it have two countries who have share a similar drinking culture?
Alcohol Use Disorders
SK: Males 13.10% and females 0.41%
NZ: Males 3.5% and females 2.2%
Death Rates, 15+ years (per 100,000 population)
Liver cirrhosis Road Traffic Accidents
SK: M: 38.4% F: 7% * SK: M: 29% F: 9.6% *
NZ: M: 4% F: 2% * NZ: M: 19.5% F: 8.6% *
Binge drinking is a big deal in NZ and many people argue it’s ingrained in our culture. As such it’s not uncommon to see headlines discussing this issue on a regular basis.
After a year of living in a country where drinking is a part of every day life the statistics in this report come as no surprise. Entertaining and drinking go hand in hand and are an integral part of establishing business and personal relationships in South Korea. It would appear that South Korea has a much bigger problem with their consumption than little old NZ but I’m yet to see anywhere near as much media coverage of the issue as NZ.
Food for thought.
* 2004 statistics only.
After our interesting experience at arrivals in Kuala Lumpur we were a little anxious about what to expect in Langkawi. Yes it’s an island; about a third of the size of Jeju and much bigger than Rarotonga. It’s hot and there are beaches. I’d googled it to death and taken notes of what to see and eat but that was it. I was crossing my fingers for tropical weather, palm trees, white sand and fruit. Lots of fruit. We weren’t disappointed.