If you think to shot a bottom of beer within 5 seconds is called “bottom up”, probably you have never seen the real down the hatch. In China, to bottom up is called “gan bei”. For Chinese version of “gan bei”, is a bit like the power hour, involving repeated and prolonged shooting of small amounts of alcohol — red wine if you’re lucky, baijiu (strong Chinese liquors, often higher than 52%) if you’re not. However, if you think this is really fun, you can book China Flights and China Hotels to experience the Chinese way of drinking.

For a Chinese social situation, to drink your alcohol properly is quite important. In some cases, businesses are done in restaurants or KTVs, far away from the formal offices in China. Hence, to get to know Chinese drinking habits is rather important. Sometimes, it might even have influence on business.

Business dinners in China are the most prominent display of Chinese die-hard drinking culture. Even if you can’t drink, you need to drink to give your business partner face and respect, and also to show him that you are honest and trustworthy by putting your life on the line and drinking more than you are capable of.

In most cases, the host of the dinner will toast to everyone with a speech at first to start the “drinking party”. To show respect, everyone sitting around the table shall empty their glasses. When making a toast, everyone is required to stand and lightly touch each others’ cup, ensuring that the junior’s cup is held lower than that of their superior, with the word “gan bei”. The glass should be emptied and inverted to show that no wine remains. Drinking with a single draught symbolizes boldness and an uninhibited character. Those who cannot manage to do so should explain in advance in order to receive a kindly understanding of their situation and thus ensure that no one is offended. If you think you are unable to empty your glass, you can say “peng bei” and you can drink just some from your glass instead of drinking it all.

Those who are late to the party have to drink extra beers as a “punishment”. For men apologies are vain. It’s better to show the sincere regret and drink 3 glasses of beer without redundant explanations.

And some times, people will give women a free pass. A woman can drink just half or quarter of the glass while men have to empty their
glasses. However, ladies are still asked to keep pace with the crowd.

For Chinese, it is quite rude if you refuse to drink after someone toasting you. At this time, you can use some tricks; for example, switch from baiju to wine or beer. You can also put some water in your wine. Another trick? If you get people laughing, they will not care how much you
drink.

Meanwhile, if you really can’t drink alcohol, you can just be honest. People will respect you and will not force you to drink. So, before you rush to Chinese parties, get ready to face the endless toasts. Perhaps, to experience Chinese ways of drinking could add more fun to your China Tours.

Jack Li
 
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