Nepali Men and Whiskey

In keeping with the general theme of “Stuff Nepali People Like” I wanted to take a minute to mention whiskey. Particularly now that I have attended a few Nepali weddings it has become abundantly clear that Nepali men (I know, I’m generalizing) seem to enjoy whiskey–or at least it seems to be the hard liquor of choice.

Last summer when P and I were traveling to Nepal we had a layover in Qatar. Our friends R and S took the same flight several days before, and S had asked us to pick up several bottles of Johnny Walker at Duty Free to bring to his wedding. He had done the same during his transit, but there was a limit to how many bottles could be brought through the Kathmandu airport.

We dragged the bottles from Qatar, to Kathmandu and through the janthi in Chitwan but everything got so chaotic near the end of our journey that I actually lost sight of them after awhile. Hopefully the whiskey made it into the right hands, but even if it didn’t, I’m sure someone really enjoyed it.

At R and S’s wedding reception there were two places set up for drinks on opposite sides of the venue—the bar, and then the “ladies bar.” The bar served beer and, of course, whiskey (perhaps some came from our Qatari Johnny Walker?). The “ladies bar” served soda and wine. I asked someone why there were two separate bars, thinking perhaps women weren’t suppose to drink beer and whiskey. I was told this was “in fashion” and also that the ladies didn’t want to be crowded around by the men. At the “ladies bar” they had space to stand around and gossip with each other over wine and soft drinks. Hmmmmm.

Another wedding I attended in Kathmandu the waiters were circulating with glasses of wine and whiskey, while at AS and N’s wedding they received a few gifts of bottles of whiskey from family and friends. One of which, I must admit, was polished off last night during a dinner party… where more than half the guests were Nepali men.

So if you find yourself entertaining and happen to have a bottle of whiskey on hand, feel free to serve, straight up with ice. Or not sure what to gift at a Nepali wedding when you are a buddy of the groom? Perhaps a nice bottle of whiskey. Trust me, someone will drink it ;)

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5 responses to “Nepali Men and Whiskey

  1. Man that sounds lame! I guess they haven’t met the like of me or Robin Shabotski (HIMYM) who enjoys a glass of scotch older than myself.

    At least this knowledge makes shopping very easy!

  2. Robin Shabotski! I love HIMYM!

    Actually I asked a Nepali friend earlier if the whiskey loving was accurate and he said it was “half accurate” since those who can afford it “love them some scotch as well” but from what I’ve seen— whiskey is pretty big.

    Ajanabee actually wrote an interesting post on “Knowing Nepali Booze” including local drinks made from millet and rice like Tongba and Chang, which I’ve definitely tried as well (although my Tongba wasn’t in a fancy wooden container, but in a plastic cup that is usually used for washing!) http://theajnabee.wordpress.com/2010/07/10/know-your-nepal-booze/

  3. All the nepalese men that i know (from my city) also love whiskey! And always in parties they must have beer and at least one bottle of whiskey.

  4. I mean they drink it the bottle of whiskey together, not one bottle per one man. :D

  5. I think the whiskey-as-hard-liquor-of-choice thing also happens in some circles in other parts of South Asia too. Aditya played tennis ball cricket with a bunch of Indians & Pakistanis in a league back in VA, but didn’t care to hang out with them much outside of games. When I asked him why, he told me that, for instance, they had a party where the things served were popeye’s chicken and whiskey – and that that totally wasn’t his scene. I’m suspect that there’s something class-related going on there, as well as ethnicity-related (none of his teammates were Bengalis).

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