Alcohol Prizes

One thing I have noticed about the Dutch, and it goes along with their laid-back stereotype, is that when a competition on campus says there is a prize it’s generally alcohol. I may have said this before, but it is so weird to see as in the UK it would be seen as “universities encouraging students to drink”, especially when the competition is not even to do with drinking (ie. in Lifespan Development where the prize is one whole bottle of wine for the student who guesses the correct artist of a painting).

The UK has a binge-drinking culture, and for many students this is also part of the reason they go to University. This means that in a student town every night (or in a non-student town every weekend) there are quite a few drunken bodies and pools of what had been drunk littering the street. Because of this our government heavily discourages any promotion of  excessive, or binge, drinking. This means raising awareness of how many ‘alcohol units’ there are in different drinks, and how many you are recommended per day and week. Which means not one bottle of wine per student. This concept of units, I have discovered, is not known to the Dutch at all – if you are interested go here. But to be fair British people don’t know much about units either.

The presentation of alcohol to students is at most in contrast to Exeter, because here if you are on a Society’s/Committee’s Committee/Board then you have to sign a waiver saying you will not encourage other members of your society to drink – something that at Bartenders’ Week we were told – but not as much as you are reminded at Exeter. I don’t think Bartenders’ Weekend would work for those who are non-drinkers – and even more it would never be allowed at a UK university. Allowing students free beer for the whole weekend where a majority of it consists of drinking games? No way.

Perhaps the Dutch are just more trustworthy than us and don’t need to be turned away from drink. I do think there is less vomiting at UC and defiantly no concept of “Tactical Chunder” or TC (where, before you leave, you make yourself throw up so you can then drink more later – for the record it is not something everyone does).

I appear to have turned this into a debate on British Drinking culture which wasn’t the initial aim. I don’t know why the UK is so different as there are plenty of students here who get just as plastered as we do at home. I mean Bartenders’ Weekend was obviously messy. Yet their drinking age is also younger. Perhaps the UK should be more open with alcohol rather than leaning towards making it taboo?

In essence the “drink-to-get-drunk” mentality is less prevalent and due to this there is less restraint on allowing alcohol to be a prize. And I have no idea why that is.


3 thoughts on “Alcohol Prizes

  1. Tactical Chunder – ieks! Never heard of that, thats insane.. xD

    I do think there is a type of people that drink with the only purpose of it to get drunk here in the Netherlands, but I do believe they are in the minority. Most Dutch people I know, know what their limit is and so take care when to stop drinking. I say “most” though – a friend of mine drank so much he didn’t remember me at all and asked me for my name several times. Now the rule in my group of friends is, if you forget about Sofie – you are going to be thrown into cold water – aka.. the neighbours pond. xD

    I regret bartenders weekend very much, I would have loved being a bartender (I would actually go to more parties than I do now – jeej! xD) – but yeah when I heard what it all contained I didn’t think me , not drinking one drop, would fit in there.

    I think we are a bit more free with trust in relation to alcohol yes, but I also think because of this students and youth in general are more responsible. Maybe because in the UK they are on it so very closely, there are those who drink so much in a way to… ‘rebel ‘ ? Its a truth universally acknowledge something you are not allowed to do, people want to do. xD Dutchies are no sweethearts though, I tell you that. xD

  2. I don’t think anyone really knows why British and Continental drinking cultures are so different – all sorts of theories, mostly nonsense – its just been that way for literally hundreds of years.

    Units is also a strange mess. No country seems to be able to agree what a “unit” is, or how many units you should drink, not least perhaps because the limits are apparently based on no real medical evidence (other than the general idea that drinking lots is a bad idea). UK limits are actually quite low compared to some countries, but recently went up slightly.

  3. Oh right btw – as for writing style I didn’t notice that much of a difference? Its yours and I like it. I do like how by reading it I learn a bit more about the UK aswell.. xD Thats great – so if thats what you mean, I like it – do continue. xD

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