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Samsung Sets New Guidelines For Alcoholic Beverages

timothy posted about a year ago | from the no-wonder-I-don't-work-for-samsung dept.

Businesses 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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137 comments

first drink (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42157443)

make it a scotch straight up

Now I understand. (4, Funny)

Abreu (173023) | about a year ago | (#42158027)

Now I understand why that "Gangnam Style" video is hilarious when drunk, but incomprehensible when sober.

Wow (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42157451)

What a bunch of party poopers.
- An Irishman.

Since you mention Irish... (4, Funny)

Dave Emami (237460) | about a year ago | (#42157643)

"They're hardheaded, hard-drinking, tough little bastards. 'The Irish of Asia.'" -- P. J. O'Rourke

Mind you, P. J. is of Irish extraction, so he meant that as a mix of compliment and self-deprecation.

Re:Since you mention Irish... (1)

Threni (635302) | about a year ago | (#42157925)

Aren't all Americans of Irish Extraction? To listen to them you'd certainly get that impression.

Re:Since you mention Irish... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:Since you mention Irish... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42158467)

Actual Americans are of no "extraction", and wear feathers on their heads, you insensitive clod.

Re:Since you mention Irish... (2)

leftover (210560) | about a year ago | (#42158951)

The "Americans" of which you speak were from Asia.

Re:Since you mention Irish... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42159225)

The "Americans" of which you speak were from Asia.

Citation needed.

Re:Since you mention Irish... (1)

artor3 (1344997) | about a year ago | (#42159989)

Well they started in Africa, and they sure as all hell didn't swim across the Atlantic. You figure it out.

Re:Since you mention Irish... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:Since you mention Irish... (2)

AlanS2002 (580378) | about a year ago | (#42159555)

"They're hardheaded, hard-drinking, tough little bastards. 'The Irish of Asia.'" -- P. J. O'Rourke

Mind you, P. J. is of Irish extraction, so he meant that as a mix of compliment and self-deprecation.

The Irish have nothing on Australians when it comes to drinking. I'm afraid we've set a very high benchmark for the rest of the world.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42157681)

Literally. Somebody shit in the punch bowl a the last (and first) hoesik I attended while in Korea on a sex tour.

Re:Wow (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about a year ago | (#42158373)

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.

The WHO needs to get their head out of their ass. Everyone knows an Irishman can out-drink a Korean any day of the week.

Re:Wow (2)

asticia (1623063) | about a year ago | (#42158423)

I have always thought it's Russians (former ostblock eventually) who can outdrink anybody in the world.

Re:Wow (1)

smellotron (1039250) | about a year ago | (#42159393)

I have always thought it's Russians (former ostblock eventually) who can outdrink anybody in the world.

I'd have to agree with you. I've never seen an irishman drink a pint glass of vodka* with dinner, like it was water.

* substitute your favorite 70+-proof spirit

News For Nerds??? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42157469)

Why the fuck is this story here? It has nothing to do with tech or nerd issues.

Stop it timothy. Right now.

Re:News For Nerds??? (4, Interesting)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:News For Nerds??? (1)

russotto (537200) | about a year ago | (#42157963)

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.

Yeah, they can drink. When I was there, they drank my boss under the table, and he outweighed the heaviest of them by a factor of 2 at least. Fortunately for me I was low enough on the totem pole not to be expected to match drink for drink.

Re:News For Nerds??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42158965)

I don't mean to question your experience, but mine has been the opposite. Many of the Korean men I've known (a pretty fair number.. I'm a PhD student, my advisor and several of my labmates are Korean, and I've spent an extended period of time in Korea on two occcasions) have been proud of their ability to consume alcohol. But I've yet to meet one who hasn't been three sheets to the wind while I'm just getting started. And I consider myself a pretty average white dude where alcohol tolerance is concerned.

Re:News For Nerds??? (1)

QQBoss (2527196) | about a year ago | (#42159137)

I am not a beer drinker, but I do have a penchant for tequila (nothing with Cuervo in the name as a rule except for shots, in a plastic bottle, or mescal- basically start at El Jimador and work your way up). I used to carry one or two bottle of tequila with me on my frequent trips to Asia (PRC/Korea/Japan/HK/Taiwan/Singapore) so that when local coworkers would complain that I wouldn't drink with them (I would drink vodka when they were drinking beer, so I wasn't drinking with them- at least in Korea we would drink soju together, but my Japanese coworkers generally wouldn't drink shochu except with meals), I would pull out one (or both, if there were more than 4 of us) of the bottles and tell them this was the night that we would drink together.

They usually discovered before the end of the night that beer, even good beer, is just alcohol on training wheels ;-). What amazed me was the women who would keep up with no problem while the men were headed off to the subway.

Re:News For Nerds??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42157981)

I call bullshit. Beer has around 8 times less alcohol. A normal person has no problem "surviving" 2 liters of beer at 5% alcohol by volume. But 2 liters of whisky in a short time span will kill even hard core alcoholics.

Re:News For Nerds??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42158149)

Also, most people would start puking long before finishing before 2 liters of whiskey unless they beer bonged all of it in one hit. (in which case, the alcohol poisoning probably would do them in)

Re:News For Nerds??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42158819)

You assume that MightyYar can consume 2 liters of beer in a short amount of time. Maybe they are just a really really light weight?

Re:News For Nerds??? (2)

Local ID10T (790134) | about a year ago | (#42159161)

I'm Irish.

Even in my family you dont drink pints (or liters) of whiskey... You drink shots, or "fingers" if its a sipping whiskey.

Re:News For Nerds??? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#42159423)

Their glasses were certainly smaller than mine, but I simply couldn't believe the sheer quantity of whiskey they were able to put down. They definitely did not drink 2 liters each, but they certainly did seem to take down a whole 5th each. I had nowhere near the equivalent in beer (wouldn't that be a whole case?).

Re:News For Nerds??? (3, Informative)

gutnor (872759) | about a year ago | (#42158473)

A double of Johnny Walker has about the same alcohol content as a pint of beer (i.e. 500ml at 5% has the same alcohol as 50ml at 50%) - if that makes you feel better :-)

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

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42158701)

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

Re:News For Nerds??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42159053)

Their livers are tempered with soju. Spend enough nights drinking that stuff and you can handle anything.

Re:News For Nerds??? (0, Flamebait)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a year ago | (#42157737)

because it has Samsung in it, and Slashdot was unable to fill its mandatory Apple quota for the day, so they did the next best thing. (kind of like how Samsung Galaxy is the next best thing if you can't get an iPhone)

Re:News For Nerds??? (1)

Angeret (1134311) | about a year ago | (#42159009)

You are, of course, assuming that everyone wants an iPhone. Some people actually want something else, be it for better or worse.

Re:News For Nerds??? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#42157969)

Samsung is probably the top electronics manufacturer in the world right now. All your geek gadgets either came from them or contain parts made by them.

Re:News For Nerds??? (4, Informative)

gagol (583737) | about a year ago | (#42158023)

Login, click on "Recent" and start moderating. As AC you have no right to bitch what so ever.

Re:News For Nerds??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42159907)

Get over yourself.

-not the same guy

North Korea (4, Funny)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about a year ago | (#42157491)

You are, obviously, forgetting North Korea. North Korea, number 1, even in spirits.

PS: The above comment is not supposed to be taken as fact, for any reason.

Re:North Korea (5, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about a year ago | (#42157557)

There is an old saying in North Korea which roughly translates as "Drink until you see unicorns". So far, so good.

Re:North Korea (2)

jd2112 (1535857) | about a year ago | (#42159177)

There is an old saying in North Korea which roughly translates as "Drink until you see unicorns". So far, so good.

You mean drinking can restore virginity? I thought it was the other way around.

More Western PC rubbish (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42157531)

Keep your mores to yourself, you constipated Puritans.

Re:More Western PC rubbish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42157555)

The west is where all the good drinks are from, fuckwit.

Re:More Western PC rubbish (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42157669)

You have obviously never tried eastern spirits. Try a Soju (Korean) or a Sake (not the hot piss, proper sake) sometime.

Re:More Western PC rubbish (1)

PCM2 (4486) | about a year ago | (#42158403)

Around here, bars and restaurants make faked-up vodka cocktails (Bloody Marys, screwdrivers, etc.) using soju. Why? Because soju doesn't taste like anything (kind of like vodka) but it is so low in alcohol that you can serve it even if you only have a beer and wine license.

So as far as I can tell, soju is an alcohol designed for people with no tolerance and no taste.

Re:More Western PC rubbish (3, Informative)

QQBoss (2527196) | about a year ago | (#42159303)

Soju can be made with many things, just as vodka is. Some retain their taste more than others and can be found in strengths as high as any moonshine. I brought some back from one trip that was 60% ABV, found it completely undrinkable, but gave it to some Korean guys I knew who immediately became my bestest buddies until the alcohol ran out. I found it rather disturbing when I noticed that the alcohol was dissolving the Styrofoam cups they were drinking out of! To say the least, like with erguotou in China, at that level it is an acquired taste which few people that don't grow up with it will develop.

Modern day soju has commonly been made from sweet potatoes and then saccharin added to make it even sweeter (more than a few military personnel would find out antifreeze had been added to kick up the sweetness even higher, resulting in horrible headaches if they were lucky, blindness or death if they weren't). This makes it work very well in cocktails where the sweetness blends in. Koreans generally just mix it with fruit juice or lemonade if with someone who doesn't like the taste, or drink it straight with someone who does or when eating food, at least in my experience. For something with less of an overt taste and with no sweetness added, try Iichiko shochu from Japan- made from barley, served with a twist of lemon, quite nice and dry, so to speak, but significantly pricier than a similar amount of Jinro.

Soju also comes in a variety of strengths, with Jinro adding water to the 21 or 22% version mostly popular in Korea to bring it down to 19.5% or 20% (some places do allow higher, this was first done for California, IIRC) allowing it to be sold at beer and wine-only licensed establishments in the USA. The establishments love it because they can charge a premium for it as a call-brand, the customers can buy more because they don't get drunk as easily, and the soju is cheap (perhaps not compared to Gilbeys, granted, but a lot cheaper than Absolut or Finlandia).

Re:More Western PC rubbish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42159529)

Who is talking about the origins of the drinks, dumbfuck?

Re:More Western PC rubbish (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42157695)

What "mores", idiot, we taught the Asian neanderthals to drink and smoke opium when they aren't assembling gadgets for $1 a month. And their bitches to swallow for the taste.

Well, a compliment from P.J. O'Rourke . . . (4, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year ago | (#42157619)

"They don't like anyone who isn't Korean, and they don't like each other all that much, either. They're hardheaded, hard-drinking, tough little bastards, 'the Irish of Asia.'"

Re:Well, a compliment from P.J. O'Rourke . . . (5, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#42157727)

Yeah, yeah. Why people equate heavy drinking with some sort of toughness, I'll never know. It's just one means of group bonding through shared experience. Personally, I'd rather hang out with some mountain climbers than a bunch of sloppy drunks. Samsung management might be figuring this out and attempting to change the company culture.

I wish them luck.

Re:Well, a compliment from P.J. O'Rourke . . . (4, Interesting)

Belial6 (794905) | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:Well, a compliment from P.J. O'Rourke . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42158563)

No, it is just really fuckin' stupid.

Re:Well, a compliment from P.J. O'Rourke . . . (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about a year ago | (#42159923)

Stupid and tough are not mutually exclusive. In fact being stopped trend to lead to situation where one needs to become tougher.

Re:Well, a compliment from P.J. O'Rourke . . . (2)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#42158567)

It's a different sort of 'toughness'. And you make a valid point: being able to handle a lot of booze is a toughness with questionable value.

Alcohol interferes with testosterone production, and its promotion of muscle mass creation. There are several other mechanisms related to alcohol consumption that increase body fat. So it seems to be one type of toughness at the expense of others. The whole flabby body image as one of power might be involved here. In the past, corpulence (to use a nice word) was associated with economic and social power. Just as being thin was a sign of poverty. It is still so in some parts of this country (USA). Think of the 'Boss Hogg' image of the big man in town, still a prevalent stereotype in some backward parts of the country. That would make the big (in more than one sense) drinker an attractive image.

Re:Well, a compliment from P.J. O'Rourke . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42158483)

I equate it with weakness and failure. My grandpa was an alcoholic, and it killed him. Heavy drinking serves no purpose other than to repress things and be the equivalent of a penis/tit size comparison.
Only immature teenagers and losers who stay like that their whole lives think it's "cool" or "tough". Basically people who get their concept of reality from TV and bragging (read: lying).

Re:Well, a compliment from P.J. O'Rourke . . . (2, Interesting)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year ago | (#42158491)

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:Well, a compliment from P.J. O'Rourke . . . (5, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#42158533)

Mountain climbing is dangerous, whereas the worst that will happen in a night on the town is you falling off a bar stool.

Not true. Many more people die from acute alcohol poisoning [wikipedia.org] than from mountain climbing accidents.

Re:Well, a compliment from P.J. O'Rourke . . . (1)

blueg3 (192743) | about a year ago | (#42158721)

By fraction of participants?

Many more people die from driving in cars than from playing Russian roulette, but that doesn't really say anything about the intrinsic danger of either activity; just how popular each is.

Re:Well, a compliment from P.J. O'Rourke . . . (1)

Fjandr (66656) | about a year ago | (#42160015)

While the statistics would probably be fairly hard to accurately compare, I would guess that those who regularly engage in drinking likely suffer more, and greater, injury per capita than those who climb mountains. You might come closer to parity if you were just comparing alpine climbers, due to the danger to even the most experienced among them. Then again, climbers of any stripe don't tend to injure or kill innocent parties. The same can't be said for alcohol.

Re:Well, a compliment from P.J. O'Rourke . . . (2)

VTI9600 (1143169) | about a year ago | (#42159855)

That is exactly it: group bonding through shared experience.

Others would call it hazing

One kind of alcohol, one sitting, 9PM? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42157653)

Does the combination of a liter of 97% ethyl alcohol and as much Korean prostitute piss and cum spit as necessary fit the bill? I pity the poor Samsung males.

Just one question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42157685)

Does it come in pints?

A pint of your cheapest bourbon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42157731)

I'm going to "bond" with my Korean coworkers, perhaps they can try my lower-ranked staff.

Mixing (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year ago | (#42157811)

What is wrong with mixing alcohols? it is not like it makes it stronger.
If you are just drinking straight alcohol, and variety does not matter you are doing it just to get drunk.
What does Samsung have against class or taste?

Re:Mixing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42158391)

I guess the myth that mixing makes drinks stronger is more widespread than I thought. I guess most people don't stick to the same drink all the time, so for them, many kinds of drinks equates much alcohol. Common sense and logic is hard enough to come by among sober folk, good luck with the drunk.

Only one thing to do (4, Funny)

paiute (550198) | about a year ago | (#42157833)

When word of this new policy came down, there was one common response among the young employees: Toga! Toga! Toga!

It all makes sense now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42157851)

why Samsung cellphones suck so bad. The more you know...

5 Years Ago in Hong Kong (5, Funny)

retroworks (652802) | about a year ago | (#42157867)

I went and visited a 55 year old Chinese investor. When I'd last studied business-in-Asia in the late 1980s, this /. article describes what it was like in every Asian city. I asked my host if that's what I was going to have to prepare for. No, he said, it's not like that anymore. He explained: " I mean, it used to be like that. But those guys are all dead."

Kidney for iPad, liver for Galaxy ring busted... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42158037)

I knew it will come to that as soon as I heard that 'kidney for iPad, liver for Galaxy' ring got busted in China...

Apple's response (4, Funny)

Grayhand (2610049) | about a year ago | (#42158111)

Not to be out done Apple has replaced the water in their water coolers with Everclear.

Re:Apple's response (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42158421)

And Samsung has filed a patent lawsuit.

Galaxy camera (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42158323)

Maybe if they just switched to Sake from Sochu, the samsung phone cameras would stop saking.

Ha (4, Funny)

headhot (137860) | about a year ago | (#42158331)

For Asians, the Koreans can out drink them all, but as a big white guy trying to wash down god knows what food was put in front of me, I literally drank them under the table. You see, its impolite to pour your own drink, if you want some, you fill some other persons glass and they fill yours. The food was terrible, and I did not want to be impolite and not eat it, so with every bite came a sip. It got to the point there some of the people at the business dinner could not get up out of their chairs.

I was told at the end of the night, "You drink very well!"

Re:Ha (4, Funny)

berashith (222128) | about a year ago | (#42158381)

I will never remember the night that I learned that you never poor your own drink, and never turn down a drink poured for you. My god, that was painful.

Re:Ha (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42158509)

Let me guess: You have no spine nor balls, and totally caved under the social pressure, even though it was actually nonsensical meaningless drivel from a bunch of drunk dumbasses that no sane person would even listen to.

PROTIP: You don't have to play along with *every* shit. I for example walk my path, and you either like that or GTFO. If you don't like it, you have no meaning or even existence in my world. (Don't misunderstand that. I'm of course not hurting anyone either, nor forcing them into anything.)

Re:Ha (1)

berashith (222128) | about a year ago | (#42158673)

you have guessed ... poorly

I was at a japanese steakhouse while out of town helping an old friend pack up his apartment to move back from college. We had other people there who could drive us, had not seen each other in a long time, and proceeded to drain many of those little bowls of sake that just never run out.

Just because you dont have friends, doesnt mean you need to be a prick.

Re:Ha (1)

tftp (111690) | about a year ago | (#42159035)

I was at a japanese steakhouse while out of town helping an old friend pack up his apartment

That is different from the subject of the thread. When you are with your friends you can do whatever you want, and even your friends will not remember what you did or did not do :-)

The thread is about social pressure that is being applied to young workers to make them drink. This is wrong. I do not work in Korea (nor I was ever there visiting) but if I were, I would never set foot into any such orgy. If they don't want me to work for them I will gladly quit because obviously their way of doing things is not acceptable to me. As matter of fact, after the work ends I leave for home. I have no need to socialize with my coworkers - at least because I had no say in selecting them. I have friends, and I meet with them pretty often, but those friends were not assigned to me randomly.

Re:Ha (1)

lakeland (218447) | about a year ago | (#42159241)

Dunno, I've been out with Samsung before and drinking was definitely expected. I could've piked but that would've been impolite. I didn't find it was required for me to drink too much - you can regulate a lot with smaller sips and that sort of thing seemed to be politely not noticed.

Re:Ha (1)

tftp (111690) | about a year ago | (#42159301)

I do not accept drinking in any way, shape or form. No way I would be within a mile from that place.

Re:Ha (4, Interesting)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#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:Ha (5, Insightful)

swillden (191260) | about a year ago | (#42159101)

Sheer body mass probably also plays a non-trivial role. Six-foot, 250+-pound white guys are pretty common. Asians of similar mass certainly exist (and bigger!) but they're pretty rare. Assuming it's not all fat, a 250-pound person has a big advantage over a 125-pound person when it comes to tolerating alcohol.

Re:Ha (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42160093)

this is supposedly due to a deficiency with the liver enzyme acetylaldehide-dehydroginase which converts the very toxic acetylaldehyde to the much less harmful acetone before it can be excreted. the build up of acetylaldehyde is responsible for a hot red face, wheezing and pounding headache. One theory for why oriental people are deficient in this enzyme compared to people of European descent is they developed clean safe drinking water much earlier on whereas in Europe the only safe drink came from the brewing process that involved boilingthe water. Not sure if I believe that but it sounds good enough to be true.

Re:Ha (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | about a year ago | (#42160355)

Kimchi isn't "food", it's an ordeal intended to toughen them up through intestinal Darwinism.

I spend 3 months in Seoul working with (surprise surprise) Samsung, and I'd be dead now if it wasn't for Pringles.

As to the drinking culture, I went out once, moderated my intake, and after that just clocked off at the end of the day and left them to it. If more Koreans had the balls to tell their superannuated corporate despots to do one, they wouldn't have such a problem with it.

Black out time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42158427)

For those of us who have lived in Korea this site is pretty well known:

http://blackoutkorea.blogspot.com/ ;)

Remember... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42158493)

Just remember:
1. Don't ask your Korean friends for drinking contest.
2. When they give dinner at 6pm eat it. That's the last meal you'll get for the day. The rest of the evening would be liquid.
3. Don't wasted on your first bar. That's just the beginning of your "evening" tour.
4. When they offer you "nuclear-bear", just say no.
5. The same if they offer you orange juice at the end. Ask what inside those juice other than the orange.

Prepare a headache pill for the next morning, cause you still have 3 days more for your training seasons. Don't fall for "farewell party", you'll miss your plane the next day... (that's all that i remember. I think.)

You know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42158853)

I thought I gave a crap about this for a second and then the more I read....

Who gives a flying fuck about this issue or who is taking a stand to rectify it?

To each his own.

Forcing drinks on others (1)

mysidia (191772) | about a year ago | (#42158899)

The new rules banned rituals like beolju, or forcing drinks on others,

Wait... Samsung allowed that practice before?

How despicable and unbecoming of a professional enterprise....

Re:Forcing drinks on others (1)

timeOday (582209) | about a year ago | (#42159173)

I suppose they are treading a very blurry line here between company and personal time.

9pm cutoff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42159047)

Ah yes a 9pm cutoff, I've done that before....

The problem is *which day* after you start drinking you stop at 9pm

A little bit more background (5, Informative)

ihavnoid (749312) | about a year ago | (#42159775)

I'm a native Korean, Samsung Electronics employee for the last couple of years, although the following text does not represent my employer.

Actually the reason behind this seems to be twofold - health (you can't expect somebody who drunk heavily to perform adequately next day), cultural (Samsung isn't simply a Korean company anymore), and probably legal (the company is liable if drinking was part of the routine job, and it didn't do anything about it).

Decades ago, the only people working for Samsung (and probably most Korean companies) were mostly male Koreans aged somewhere around 30 to 50. (In the eighties, Korean women had a difficult time getting jobs on large corporates (except as secretaries or factory production workers) and were routinely fired for getting married) The only thing that they could do in common was drinking. Considering that Asian people have a blurry boundary between personal and professional issues, drinking (and for executives, playing glof) was a very essential task for successful working. Actually, companies even had "drinking VP"s who's job was to drink with business contacts every night, and nothing else.

Fast forward to 2012. Samsung now has some 300k employees, and more than half of those people are non-Koreans. Many employees have their spouse also working, which means somebody has to take care of their kids if they have to drink late. There are many non-Korean people everywhere, even on the Korean campuses. Business contacts are no longer limited to Asian countries. Suddenly, it doesn't make much sense to socialize by drinking heavily. You can't expect to be able to socialize with other people if they don't drink much, or don't drink at all.

The problem was that this "heavy drinking" thing was a sort of a "tradition". Many people, especially junior/senior management people who were working for Korean companies for decades, found themselves uncomfortable to socialize with other people without excessive soju or whisky or whatever. So, corporate policy kicks in, and tries to change the culture. Not only by simply banning "drinking", but by trying to suggest alternative methods (e.g., sports activities or doing charity work).

Beolju (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42159861)

Thank god they clarified what "beolju" means. When I read it at first I thought it sucks to be a Korean.
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