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What do Koreans say when drinking?


Koreans have a unique drinking culture that has been practiced for centuries. Drinking in Korea is not just about consuming alcohol, but also about building relationships and bonding with colleagues, friends, and family members. In this article, we will explore what Koreans say when they drink and how it reflects their social customs.

The importance of drinking in Korean culture

Drinking in Korea is considered a social activity that helps to build and strengthen relationships. It is common for Koreans to drink after work or during special occasions such as weddings, funerals, and holidays. Drinking is also seen as a way to relieve stress and express emotions.

Drinking etiquette in Korea

Koreans have strict rules when it comes to drinking etiquette. One of the most important rules is to never pour your own drink. Instead, you should always pour drinks for others and wait for them to return the favor. It is also customary to use two hands when pouring or receiving a drink as a sign of respect.

What do Koreans drink?

Traditional Korean alcoholic beverages include Soju, Makgeolli, and Baekseju. Soju is a clear distilled spirit made from rice or wheat and has a high alcohol content. Makgeolli is a milky rice wine that has a lower alcohol content and is often served with Korean pancakes. Baekseju is a herbal wine that is believed to have medicinal properties.

What do Koreans say when they drink?

When Koreans drink, they often use specific phrases and expressions that reflect their social customs. Common phrases include “Gunbae” which means cheers, “Jjan!” which means bottoms up, and “Hwae-saek!” which means let’s drink until dawn.

Korean drinking games

Korean drinking games are a popular way to enhance the drinking experience and build camaraderie. One popular game is “Nol-ae”, which involves singing a song in rounds. Another game is “Baskin Robbins 31”, where participants take turns counting up from one to thirty-one, with the person who says “31” having to drink.

The role of food when drinking in Korea

Food is an important part of Korean drinking culture and is often consumed alongside alcohol. Popular dishes include Korean fried chicken, grilled meat, and spicy stir-fry. Drinking with food is believed to help to reduce the effects of alcohol and prevent hangovers.

The dangers of excessive drinking in Korea

Despite the social benefits of drinking in Korea, excessive drinking can also have negative consequences. Alcohol-related accidents and deaths are common in Korea, especially among young men. The government has implemented measures to try and reduce binge drinking, including stricter laws on drunk driving.

The future of drinking culture in Korea

Korean drinking culture is constantly evolving, with new trends and customs emerging every year. Recently, there has been a growing trend towards healthier and low-alcohol drinks, as well as a greater emphasis on responsible drinking.


Drinking in Korea is not just about consuming alcohol, but also about building relationships and bonding with others. Koreans have strict rules when it comes to drinking etiquette and specific phrases and expressions that reflect their social customs. While excessive drinking can have negative consequences, the future of Korean drinking culture looks bright with new trends emerging that promote responsible and healthy drinking habits.

What do they say in Korea before drinking?

To give a Korean toast, lift your glass and say “geonbae,” then clink your glass with your friend’s. While it implies that you should drink all of your drink, it’s not required. “Geonbae” is typically said on its own, rather than as part of a longer phrase or sentence.

What do Koreans say when they take shots?

The most commonly used way to toast in Korean is “Wonsyat,” which sounds like the English phrase “One-shot.” This is a casual way to say cheers.

What is Korean slang for alcohol?

The Korean word for alcoholic drinks is ‘sul’ (pronounced like ‘sool’). This is the term used to refer to any type of alcohol.

What is kanpai in Korean?

The word “건배” is commonly used in Korean to express cheers. It is similar to the Chinese word “Ganbei” and the Japanese word “Kanpai” which also mean cheers. Regardless of age differences, Koreans use this word to express cheers with each other.

What do you say before drinking sake?

To enjoy a drink of sake with friends, it is customary to say “Kanpai” and raise your sake cup in a toast before taking your first sip. “Kanpai” is the traditional Japanese word for cheers.

Why do Koreans face away when drinking?

In Korean culture, it is customary to pour and receive drinks with both hands as a sign of respect. This is especially important when receiving a drink from an elder. Additionally, it is common for Koreans to cover their mouth and turn their face away while drinking out of respect for their elders.

In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the negative effects of excessive drinking, particularly among young people. The Korean government has launched campaigns to promote responsible drinking and reduce binge drinking. These campaigns emphasize the importance of moderation and encourage people to choose non-alcoholic drinks or low-alcohol alternatives.

Furthermore, drinking culture in Korea is not limited to just alcohol consumption. Tea ceremonies and coffee shops have become increasingly popular among younger generations. These new trends highlight the evolving nature of Korean social customs, which are constantly influenced by global trends.

While traditional Korean drinking culture is deeply ingrained in society, it is important to note that not all Koreans drink alcohol. There are many who choose to abstain for personal, religious, or health reasons. It is important to respect their choices and not pressure them into drinking.

In conclusion, Korean drinking culture is a reflection of the country’s rich history and social customs. Drinking is seen as a way to build relationships and bond with others, but it is important to do so responsibly. As the country continues to evolve and modernize, so too will its drinking culture, but the importance of respect and moderation will always remain.

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