Myanmar student’s observation of life in Japan

Japanese drinking party

Each country has different customs and culture. When living abroad, the customs and culture of the country may not suit you. When I went to study at a graduate school in Japan, I was invited to a drinking party, a drinking place that must not be done in Myanmar.

table of contents

1. Japanese drinking party

2. Myanmar culture and sake

3. University drinking party-Cultural differences between Japan and Myanmar


1. Japanese drinking party

Japanese people sometimes hold drinking parties at night to communicate with people. Some foreigners like me feels uncomfortable. Drinking parties are held at night after classes, so some people wants to spend their evening together.

Japanese office employees also have a “drinking party” after they finish their work or when they finish their project. I think this culture unique in Japan.

2. Myanmar culture and sake

Myanmar people are devout Buddhists and follow the Five Commandments. The Five Commandments are things that you must not do to avoid going into hell: (1) do not kill (2) do not steal (3) do not engage in immoral sexual activity (4) do not lie and the fifth is alcohol. You should not drink. Especially when drinking alcohol, it is said to be the most bad thing to be criticized because it makes you stupid and does bad things, and you can no longer follow the teachings of Buddha. So drinking is absolutely bad in Myanmar.However, recently men have started drinking at restaurants and talking about work. There are some young people who drink a little when they go out with friends but few.

But as a culture, women are still absolutely not. Myanmar women are talking to people who drink alcohol, being in the same place as people who drink alcohol, and ridiculous.

There are many things that must not be done for being a good woman in Myanmar. For example, don’t laugh loudly in front of a lot of people or sit down with your knees or thighs visible but women who drink alcohol are the most worst.

3. University drinking party-Cultural differences between Japan and Myanmar

When I first came to Japan and was invited to a drinking party where my professor in the graduate school’s laboratory and seniors and juniors were participated, I was surprised. I have to break my promise with Buddha again in Japan! Will there be a lot of people gathering in hell?

However, it was not compulsory, and it seemed that people who could not drink alcohol could drink juice, so I decided to participate with courage. I was worried about what to speak and what to hear. But in reality, it was a relaxed atmosphere and it wasn’t bad, so I started to participate in drinking parties.

The professor and students from the same class mainly participated in the drinking party at the graduation school. There were drinking parties at beginning of the semester, end of the semester and when the research project was finished. I also participated when I went on a training trip on the day when the research was completed. At that time, local people and trainees also participated. A large number of people who know and do not know spent time with each other in a fun way and we became friends.。It is gradually becoming clear that Japanese drinking parties are not just about drinking and getting drunk.

Also, sometimes the professors pays all the fees for the school graduation drinking party, and in most of cases, the teachers pay most of the money and the students pay the rest in installments. When the teacher paid most of the money and the student split the bill, I calculated the amount on the spot, because I was worried about how much I should pay.In Myanmar, when eating in large numbers, it is decided in advance who will pay and how much to pay. When teachers and students eat together, they are usually supposed to pay.

As I started to participate in drinking parties in Japan, I learned about studying, researching, and many other things. Since I talked while eating, it was also an opportunity to acquire knowledge that was not easy and difficult to obtain. I think my Japanese has improved. I met other seminar people and became friends. We also received various ideas such as research concerns and problems of Japanese life among students.Therefore, there are many benefits to drinking parties. However, the drinking party is an extension of the seminar, so when asked if I had fun, it was not fun.


A Japanese drinking party is a place for Japanese-style communication that values harmony with Japanese, and is for unity, information exchange, and mutual understanding. Sake is meant to help you a little. Maybe I don’t think I’m breaking my promise with Buddha.

written by Htet Htet Aung

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