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I was only listening to a phone-in on ABC Canberra radio the other day which was debating the culture of drinking amongst the young in Australia.Whilst Australia is by no means embroiled in the kind of excessive alcohol consumption of the United Kingdom (see league table for alcohol consumption by country but the rise in the level of young people taking part in acts of binge drinking is perceived to have increased.
Obviously Australia is a somewhat more macho culture where hard drinking can be seen as part of the supposed attraction of machismo. Witness the bare essential approach of many Australian pubs and bars and the bizarre availability of drive through ‘bottle shops’ (off licenses as we call them in the UK) to see the place drinking alcohol has in the culture.
Interestingly binge drinking has not been at the levels ‘enjoyed’ by the UK of late. Australian politicians are getting concerned in a way that British politicians do not seem to (our brilliant solution to binge drinking was to increase the hours that pubs and clubs open in the hope that our youth culture would suddenly go all European and be less likely to consume the greatest amount of alcohol in the shortest available time frame).
Sculling, by the way is an Australian term for knocking back alcohol. Cultural differences and all that.
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