The art of getting drunk in the Middle Kingdom | Bangkok Post: opinion

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The art of getting drunk in the Middle Kingdom

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I often wonder why Chinese banquets are hysterically cheerful, rather noisy, with guests constantly moving from one table to another, holding cups brimful with rice liquor known as bai jiu. 

Such noisy scenes are not banquets, at least by my definition. A Thai-style banquet is rather a rigid formal affair during which social protocols don't encourage interaction between the host and guests.

After attending several banquets in the Middle Kingdom _ the ancient name of China, which in modern context alludes to Beijing as the capital and seat of power _ I concluded that the character of Chinese banquet is defined by culture and purpose. While Thais drink to celebrate or find an escape, the drinking philosophy in China is completely different.

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