VIETNAM: Hangover City

YVONNE EPPS WRITES— We all have our poisons: Japan sips sake, Korea loves its Soju, the Philippines drink Tanduay rum.  As for Vietnam, it would seem that they have finally reached their legal drinking age and the parental units are starting to feel uneasy.

Out-of-state media sources have recently shown concern about Vietnam’s raging beer bender and the possible consequences of their impending hangover. The Japan Times, South China Morning Post, and the Bangkok Post point to the correlation between the cheap price of beer and the alarming rate that Vietnamese youth have been guzzling it down.

The biggest issues are the attitude youths have about drinking and the social problems that are associated with alcohol – domestic violence and health issues to name a couple. These sources make sure to mention the failed efforts to restrict consumption and the difficulty some men have with kicking the habit.

The media of other Asian countries have been raving about the drinking seen in Vietnam, but how loose are the lips of the state run newspapers? It seems that these other media sources are late to the party because TuoiTreNews considers this old news. Last November saw an influx in beer houses, gardens, and clubs that have been growing in popularity, both with Vietnamese youth and other media sources.

However, the party scene is more emphasized by TuoiTreNews because its article was written just after the proposal to restrict consumption was dropped. The country has accepted the presence of beer guzzling into their culture – it just depends on how they will work around those hangovers in the future.

It’s cute seeing other countries orbit around Vietnam like satellite parents as if it was a teen going through its rebellious phase. However, with the media spotlight shining down on them, it could very well be a sign that Vietnam may be binge-drinking a bit too much for this to be considered just a fad.



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