Pak 'n Save cancels $3.99 bottle of wine special

The Six O'Clock Swill certainly contributed to New Zealand's drinking culture, but there are other important factors to look at. One of them is cultural cringe. I think Mike King hit the nail on the head where he said that Kiwis have a hard time interacting with each other in situations of potential embarrassment. So by drinking a skinful of piss, you lower your inhibitions. This means you can approach that girl that you might be too chickenshit too otherwise. And if it all goes to custard then you can just blame it on the alcohol.

To be clear, that is only one of the countless issues to look at. But it's one where you can see similarities in Sweden. Despite having a single, government-controlled liquor chain, high excess tax, and a drinking age of 20, they still have an issue with problem drinkers.

From Monday to Thursday two-third of the population are completely abstinent from any alcohol (SCB). If you drink alcohol during these days, even if it is just a glass of wine, you might get critical looks from your friends. Some might even assume that you are in danger of becoming an alcoholic. But the amounts of drinks that the Swedes stay away from during the week is quickly compensated by drinking higher quantities during the weekend.

To see very drunk people on a Friday or Saturday night on the streets of the inner cities, in front of the pubs is very common. Particularly at closing hour – around 2/3 a.m. – when most pubs have to close, people stumble out of the pubs on their way to the nearest bus stop or taxi.

Sound familiar?

Anecdotally, I used to know someone who was a native Swede, and he put it down to a similar issue of having an embarrassment culture.

/r/newzealand Thread Parent