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Why is Soju the Quintessential Working Apparatus

Soju - a must-have in every company function - lights tables up with its iconic green bottle. If you do not drink Soju, you will not survive working in Korea, not to even mention your promotion! This is why Soju has come to play such an important role in the Korean work culture.

Picture credits: sojuhaus.com


Soju - a must-have in every company function - lights tables up with its iconic green bottle. If you do not drink Soju, you will not survive working in Korea, not to even mention your promotion! This is why Soju has come to play such an important role in the Korean work culture.



Bonding

Everyone bonds over drinks! It is common belief that after-work drinking sessions are a must-attend for every good co-worker. The mood gets lighter and emotions run amok with every shot of soju downed - even the shyest person will open up and laugh at the jokes cracked around the table. The Koreans believe that this helps to build a stronger friendship.


So if someone suggests going out for drinks, it’s usually because they want to break the ice!



Tradition

Drinking Soju as a form of celebration goes way beyond centuries. During those times, drinking forms a part of the ritual to show respect to ancestors. In modern days, we drink to celebrate an occasion and readily offer cheers to our colleagues to congratulate each other on a job well done. How else best to incite the endorphins within the group than to enjoy a bottle of Soju together!



Hierarchy

During the times of our parents or their parents, if an elder offers you a glass soju, it is customary to accept it as a sign of respect. To receive such a gift or toast from an elder is seen as a complement and you would proudly accept it. Nonetheless, this perception is still being practised today as we see cartons of Soju flying off the tables at every company function in Korea.


You should also always hold the Soju bottle with both hands as you serve the Soju, and receive the glass of Soju with both hands. Some still practise showing respect by turning their heads away from the elders while drinking the Soju.


However, if you are unable to drink the Soju, you can politely decline it.



Stress

Picture credits: Pinterest - Waleska Rivera


STRESS IS REAL!! A common scene in every modern Korean Drama begins with a frustrated adult having a lavish meal in a road-side tent-stall, before downing himself or herself with Soju. The bottles of emptied Soju will huddle together on the table, as we see the protagonist shouting for more Soju, with the stall owner showing some concern over his/her drunken state.


Often outside of the K-drama world, people turn to alcohol to relieve their stress in life. Soju, being very affordable, and strategically placed in between the weak alcoholic beers and the hard liquors, has emerged to be the choice of stress-reliever for many.



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