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For centuries, South Korea’s public drinking culture has been characterized by well-designed hierarchical etiquette—and excessive.

Hold the glasses tightly with both hands and announce Fruit tree, “Let’s drink and die”, the young members of the group respectfully turned to leave their senior companions, and then repelled the wine.

However, as the coronavirus pandemic rages, these obvious collective customs are being abandoned by a new trend: Homesul, Or drink at home alone.

This trend has attracted the attention of investors and social scientists.

Despite the government’s record-breaking stimulus measures, the increase in alcohol sales has been welcomed in an economy that strives to ensure a sustained recovery in domestic consumption.

But widespread isolation has raised concerns about the country’s already high rates of depression and suicide.

Seoul anthropologist Hyun-joo Mo said that when people face Similar problem Around the world, Seoul’s already extreme drinking culture has become more “dangerous”.

“They didn’t talk, they just drank. At least before they talked, they had some conversations,” she said.

South Korea formulated this week The strictest lockdown measures Since the beginning of the pandemic, health officials have been struggling to combat the spread of highly infectious Delta variants.

About half of the country’s 52 million people live in the Greater Seoul area, gatherings of more than two people are prohibited after 6 pm, and schools and kindergartens are also closed.

As the restrictions expand, HomesulMo added that it is common among young Koreans struggling to cope with high unemployment and low wages and working parents with young children. Enormous pressure Because of the rising cost of housing and education.

“They feel isolated, frustrated, and hopeless,” she said.

For alcohol brands, Homesul Due to months-long social activities and curfews at mass gatherings, bars, restaurants and nightclubs, as well as the ubiquitous Nolaibon, Or karaoke rooms, closed-many closed permanently.

According to data from Fitch Solutions, the country’s spending on alcoholic beverages will increase by more than 8% this year, reaching approximately US$6.8 billion.In contrast, South Korea’s sales last year increased by 2%, while alcohol consumption in Asia Down 2%.

According to Fitch Food and Beverage Analyst Ng Jun Ying, South Korea’s household drinking trend will “continue for most of 2022”.

For liquor distributors, the sharp increase in wine consumption also helps offset the damage caused by the closure of bars and nightclubs to the hotel industry.

Sales of beer and spirits, including tensionNg pointed out that national wines traditionally made from rice still account for the majority of sales, but wine imports in 2020 have increased by more than 30%.

South Korea has Highest suicide rate In OECD member countries, there are 24.6 deaths per 100,000 people. Lithuania ranked second with 21.6, followed by Slovenia with 16.5.

Health officials in Seoul said that after volunteers reported a 50% increase in calls during the pandemic, they have increased resources to suicide prevention hotlines.

If you are affected by anything in this story and need help, you can contact Lifeline Korea at 1588-9191. In the UK, the Samaritan’s phone number is 116 123. The national suicide prevention lifeline in the United States is 1-800-273-8255.

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