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Samsung Sets New Guidelines For Alcoholic Beverages 137

jones_supa writes "To tame the vigorous drinking habits of the Koreans, the parent company, Samsung Group, implemented a strict code of conduct for staff dinners at Samsung. Deeply ingrained in South Korean business culture, hoesik is a hierarchical bonding experience which usually involves free-flowing alcohol, often forced upon lower-ranked staff who are expected to serve and entertain their superiors. The new rules banned rituals like beolju, or forcing drinks on others, and sabalju — the mixing of several different beverages to make a potent punch. An employee of nine years, said the company had implemented a rule known as '1-1-9', which restricts hoesik to one sitting, one type of alcohol and a cut-off point of 9pm in order to prevent excessive drinking. Samsung's move comes as South Korea has more broadly made some steps towards tackling excessive alcohol consumption and drink-induced violence. South Koreans are by far the heaviest drinkers in Asia and the biggest consumers of spirits in the world, according to the World Health Organization."
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Samsung Sets New Guidelines For Alcoholic Beverages

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  • Re:News For Nerds??? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Saturday December 01, 2012 @07:36PM (#42157587)

    As a nerdy engineer, I have to travel to South Korea for product support. Those guys can match me with Johnny Walker when I'm drinking beer. It's astounding - I don't know how they are alive.

  • by Belial6 ( 794905 ) on Saturday December 01, 2012 @08:41PM (#42157977)
    Heavy drinking is equated with being tough because ingesting a lot of poison, and living to tell about is is pretty tough. The same could be said for people who can hammer nail with their fist and take shot gun blasts to the face. The question isn't whether heavy drinkers are tough or not. It is a question of whether being tough in that way has any actual value.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 01, 2012 @09:00PM (#42158087)

    In the 2000 Census, 15.2% of Americans consider themselves to be primarily of German descent, while 10.8% consider themselves to be of Irish descent. It's a very common ancestry because the Irish came here in large numbers a long time ago. My surname is Irish, although my genetics are well over half English with a smattering of Welsh, Dutch, and a bit of Native American.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 01, 2012 @09:58PM (#42158399)

    When I was in the Air Force in the early '70s, I spent 18 months in South Korea (it was a 1 year tour, but I fell in love with the place and the people, and got it extended by 6 months). I was told to think of them as "the Irish of the Orient". (You can think of me as a member of the Irish of the Occident.) As stereotypes go, it was pretty accurate. All it took was "So's your old man" for a serious fight to break out. I witnessed several, between and among people of both sexes, in various states of sobriety. I was even more amazed by how hard they worked, regardless of how hung over or beaten up they were. Looks like not much has changed in 40 years. Samsung should be careful about playing with a formula that seems to work rather well.

  • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Saturday December 01, 2012 @10:20PM (#42158491) Journal
    That is exactly it: group bonding through shared experience. Getting shitfaced together with friends, colleagues, or customers is great, and it beats mountain climbing for several reasons:
    - You need a mountain to go mountain climbing, but drinking you can do pretty much anywhere
    - You need skills to climb a mountain. Booze, in contrast, is the great equalizer. Anyone can drink, and anyone can drink too much
    - Mountain climbing is dangerous, whereas the worst that will happen in a night on the town is you falling off a bar stool.
    Plus, rock climbing makes Joel and the bots cry.

    All good reasons to prefer drinking over other forms of bonding. It's not tough; it just makes sense.

    This message brought to you by Lagavulin single malt scotch. (A brand name even known by my spelling checker)
  • Re:Ha (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PPH ( 736903 ) on Saturday December 01, 2012 @10:56PM (#42158627)

    You raise a good point: Asians, Japanese, Chinese and their distant relatives Native Americans don't process alcohol nearly as well as Northern Europeans or Slavic people. Trying not to be racist here; there are scientific explanations for stereotypes of drunk Indians or tipsy Chinese and Japanese*.

    So, while drinking among themselves may have been a sign of macho (or whatever) they aren't likely to do as well up against a German or Irishman. Perhaps this is why Samsung management is trying to change their company culture. It's all about saving face an status, but now in an international setting.

    * I'm searching for a PC way to break this to a couple of friends of mine. A Japanese woman and Native American man. Both, after a few drinks, start developing a distinct 'eau de wino' due to their livers' inability to metabolize alcohol properly. In the case of the Japanese, this is particularly weird, since their culture places quite a stigma on bad smells.

  • Re:News For Nerds??? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 01, 2012 @11:13PM (#42158701)

    You don't understand, they were matching by _volume_ ;)

"Plastic gun. Ingenious. More coffee, please." -- The Phantom comics