Musing about legal drinking age? In China, consenting adults remain unperturbed
It’s a known fact that wines are used by certain cultures for customary rituals and ceremonies. One such country is China, which traces a long history as far as wine-making is concerned.
Travelers, young and old alike, find it interesting to note that the alcoholic drinks in China, known as jiu, may be known as rice wines, but they may be made of many different ingredients like other grains, herbs, fruits, flowers or vegetables used for making those wines. As such, discovering the legal drinking age in China will most likely not match up with or conjure the same images that alcohol-drinking practices and trends in western countries may evoke. The Chinese, as portrayed in most literary works (like “Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World,” where Mongol rulers were shown to be heavy drinkers) may seem oriented towards excesses like drinking, but in the real-life setting, many traditionally use wine not just for drinking but for cooking and healing purposes.
In the contemporary age, young adults’ alcohol consumption is not regarded as potentially perilous behavior. When people destined to visit China, ask `What is the legal drinking age in China?,’ the answer is the exact age individuals are officially considered an adult. At 18, the young adult may be allowed to purchase alcohol on his own.
Other countries may seem far stricter when imposing minimum alcohol drinking age, but let’s get real, they are oftentimes not enforced. As far as Chinese youths are concerned, many remain incredulous that government sectors of different countries seem to be perennially singling out underage alcohol consumption for the rising trend in road mishaps and injuries. The legal drinking age in China (actually the purchase age) is midway what most other countries set (16-18 years for most European and Asian countries, and 20-21 years for other countries including the US which is the extreme end). This may be because Chinese youth tend to see or use alcohol differently than their western counterparts. Chinese parenting style, along with the drinking habits laid out by elders within the context of family & culture, preclude alcohol misuse among many responsible youth. Giving 18-year-olds, who are not children anymore, the freedom to buy/consume alcohol is not tantamount to giving the nod of approval for these new adults to engage in unsavory or reckless alcohol-induced behavior.