Saturday, November 28, 2015

Expat Observations: Drinking

Alcohol is a huge part of Australian culture. Most social gatherings will involve drinking of some sort and often lead to binge drinking. Even at work, going out for Friday night drinks is a regular occurrence and can extend late into the night. When I first arrived in Australia it was a shock how much alcohol people would consume. Having a big night out and bragging about it was commonplace. Moderation just didn't seem to exist, and for someone who isn't really much of a drinker, it was hard to convince others that no, I don't need another drink.

More recently I think attitudes to alcohol have been gradually changing here. Daily drinking is in decline, and younger people are abstaining more. There are fundraiser events to encourage people to take a break from alcohol for a month with Dry July and Ocsober. The Hello Sunday Morning initiative is also gaining traction in trying to change people's relationship with alcohol and getting them to drink in moderation. These are all positive signs, but until people realise that you don't have to have a drink to have a good time, there won't be a true shift in society to responsible drinking.

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