#46 中国人到底爱不爱喝酒? Do Chinese actually like drinking alcohol?

Podcast Transcript

大家好,欢迎回来MaoMi Chinese。

在我去过的很多西方国家里,喝酒是生活中很重要的部分。比如,在英国,每周五,我的同事们都会一起去酒吧喝酒。上大学的年轻人也喜欢喝酒,也经常喝酒。对于他们来说,喝酒,是一件令人放松的事情,是社交,也是娱乐。在中国,喝酒也是生活里很重要的一部分。今天我们一起来聊一聊,中国人到底爱不爱喝酒?

中国人喝酒的习惯是从哪儿来的呢?其实,在七千年前的陶器上就发现了“酒”的汉字。在中国古代的文学里,也有很多关于酒的诗和文章。中国古代有一个诗人,他叫李白,每一次他喝醉了酒,他都能写出特别好的诗句。他曾经写:“人生得意须尽欢,莫使金樽空对月”。意思是,我们的一生很短,一定要快乐,一定不要让酒杯空着对着月亮。古代的中国人喜欢对着月亮喝酒,非常浪漫。

今天,如果我们问中国人:“你喝酒吗?”很多人会说喝。但是,如果我们问:“你爱喝酒吗?” 他们不一定会说爱。有一些人甚至讨厌喝酒,但是不得不喝酒。

在中国,很多生意都是在酒桌上谈的。很多中国公司谈生意,一定要喝酒,只有喝酒喝得愉快了,才可以谈生意。所以,一些公司员工不得不为了生意喝酒。如果喝酒喝得不够,客户不满意,就做不成生意。很多人因为喝酒压力很大,而且有时候他们不得不喝醉,这对他们的身体也不太好。

在东亚国家,比如中国,韩国,日本,都有劝酒的文化。在一些公司,和上司一起吃饭的时候,一定会被劝酒。如果不肯喝酒,或者喝得不够多,上司会觉得你不给面子。不给面子,意思是让他丢脸。所以,员工和上司一起吃饭的时候常常很有压力,也常常不得不喝酒。

我的父亲在我小时候经常需要出去喝酒。他不是商人,也不是公司员工,他是警察,但是他也有很多社交的压力,也有很多不得不去的饭局,在饭局上也有很多不得不喝的酒。我小时候非常不喜欢我爸爸喝酒,因为他根本不喜欢喝酒,但是又经常喝醉,这其实是在伤害他的身体。

我的父亲只是其中的一个例子。其实,喝酒原来可以是一个让人开心的事情。和朋友一起喝喝酒,聊聊天,这多么让人放松。但是,如果喝酒变成社交的任务,这就不好玩了。

回到我们的问题:中国人到底爱不爱喝酒?我想是的,中国人爱喝酒,中国的酒文化也有很久的历史。但是也有很多中国人不喜欢喝酒,因为很多时候喝酒只是为了给别人面子。

Hello everyone. Welcome back to MaoMi Chinese.

In many western countries I have been to, drinking alcohol is a very important part of life. For example, in the UK, all of my colleagues would go to the pub and drink every Friday. Young people who go to universities also like drinking alcohol and often drink alcohol. For them, drinking alcohol is a relaxing thing. It's socialisation as well as entertainment. In China, drinking alcohol is also very important in life.

Where does the Chinese people’s habit of drinking alcohol originate from? In fact, on the potteries with 7000 years of history, there were some Chinese characters of alcohol. In Chinese ancient literature, there were also some poems and articles about alcohol. There was a poet called Li Bai, who could write really good poems when he was particularly drunk. He once wrote, ‘life must be happy and don’t make your alcohol cup empty to the moon’, which means that our lives are very short and we must be happy. We must not make the cup empty when it’s facing the moon.  Ancient Chinese people love drinking towards the moon, which was very romantic.

Nowadays, if we ask Chinese people, ‘do you drink alcohol’, lots of people will say yes. However, if we ask, ‘do you like drinking alcohol, they might not say yes, and some of them even hate drinking alcohol but have to drink it.

In China, there is lots of business that is negotiated around the dining table. Many companies would have to drink alcohol when they are talking about business. Only if they drink enough alcohol, they would be happy to talk about their business. Therefore, some staff in of some companies have to drink alcohol for their business. If they don’t drink enough and their customers are not happy, they can’t get the business. Many people get stressed because of drinking alcohol and sometimes they have to get drunk, which is not good for their health.

Some east Asian countries, for example, China, South Korea, and Japan, have the culture of persuading people other people to drink alcohol. In some countries, if people are dining out with their boss, they will be persuaded to drink. If they don’t drink or haven’t drunk enough, the boss would think that you are not ‘giving him/her face’, which means to lose his/her face, to make him awkward. Therefore, staff often feel there is lots of pressure when they are dining out with their boss.

My father often went out to drink when I was little. He was not a businessman neither a staff of a company. He was a policeman but also had the pressure to socialise and lots of dining parties that he had to go to. He had to drink alcohol there. I didn’t like him drinking when I was little, because he didn’t like it at all but often got drunk. That was doing harm to his health.

My father was only one example. In fact, drinking alcohol can be a very happy thing. Drinking and chatting with friends is so relaxing. However, if drinking became a task of socialization, this will not be fun.

Back to our question: do Chinese people love drinking alcohol? I think yes, they do, and the culture of Chinese alcohol also has a long history. However, there are many Chinese people who don’t like drinking, because quite often drinking is just to ‘give other people  (boss)   face’.

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