Does India pair well with alcohol?
Does Indian culture generally embrace drinking alcohol? Is it the same all over India? Do Southern and Northern views differ? Do Indian holidays embrace wine, beer or cider?
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Let’s explore my insights on whether does India pair well with alcohol …
Exploring India’s Relationship with Alcohol
Southern Indian Holidays & Festivals = Dry days
There are NO festivals in South India that embrace wine, beer or cider!
Roughly about 85% of the holidays in India are due to festivals observed by different religions. These festival days are considered to be highly auspicious, where people from each religion perform rituals according to their customs. South India predominantly doesn’t have an open drinking culture, yet. The fear of being judged by the society puts the “yes I do drink” conversation as a topic which you cannot discuss freely with everyone! The South still has not come to terms with women drinking, no doubts there are exceptions to that, even so its not without making a couple of heads turn!
I know it seems really boring to be a South Indian during holidays especially!
However, the Reality Is …
Most people think that there might be low sales during the holidays, Indian’s don’t drink etc. but that’s not true. South Indians like to drink just like the rest of India, but we are bound by what society might say. But, nevertheless holidays are about families coming together and celebrating the occasion. This usually ends up with social drinking and family time. Hence the drinking doesn’t happen to embrace the holiday, but to just embrace the company of your family. By this gesture one embraces their culture (festival) by waiting till sun down to consume alcohol. People do drink during holidays but it is not something we give a lot of importance to.
Different Regions of India Pair with Alcohol Differently
The drinking culture in North India is more predominant when compared to the South. People are more open-minded and don’t consider alcohol as bad. Every celebration, festival or gathering isn’t complete without wine, beer or hard liquor. But don’t have specific holidays that embrace wine, beer or cider.
Festivals and holidays in India are considered to be dry days. Dry days are days where the government bans the sale of alcohol during select days of the year, which sadly are in regards to the holiday.
Does Millennial India Pair Well with Alcohol?
India is one of the largest alcohol consuming countries in the world due to its massive population. As the millennial generation moves forward, the drinking culture is embraced more and more. A lot of millennials do not view drinking as a taboo; they simply chose to go out drinking on their “day off” (holiday) without putting the cultural connotation to it.
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With our ancient roots of our traditions so strong and being in the 21st century with all the western influences, I will admit it is hard to balance it. We might not have holidays that embrace wine beer or cider. But we millennials definitely do not let that stop us from embracing wine, beer and ciders whenever we choose to indulge in some.
But, as a country in whole, as a whole our country has yet to totally embrace alcohol! While Indian holidays do not embrace alcohol, Indian culture is shifting to include it. This change is largely due to exposure of many to other cultures who value a lovely glass of wine, tasty craft beer or refreshing hard cider. Indians, as a whole, are not immune to the “good life” the rest of the world aspires to live.
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Want to read more by Kooshali on India? Check out Indian Alcohol Importing – A Bitter-Sweet Relationship