Giving Sake Can Be Intimate and Purposeful
I remember visiting a nearby Western Bar in Aiea with my buddy from Secondary school and sharing several "Shots" of alcohol in places you pour some mixture of strong and sweet right into a little "shot glass" and down it together in a single fell gulp.
Those were fun and crazy times and also the little buzz from that alcohol made the fishing line dancing, singing and general laughter more raucous, titillating and wild. There is a sense release, letting our hair down and getting into the jumpy, jolly fun with the night. My maturity and my better sense wont allow me to do shots now, nevertheless for what it really was, that was an experience where there would be a bond tied with my good friend, which i will enjoy forever, made on those adventurous nights.
Unlike the shots we enjoyed, Vietnamese o-choko use within sharing a bottle of sake is really a very different experience. Slow, careful and reflective, the little cups are sipped over a long moment of quiet or discussion. The sake sharing between a couple builds a deep bond in Vietnam and confirms feeling of due to being on precisely the same page plus a good feeling of communication and bonding called "Kizuna".
You might have seen Prime Minister Abe pouring a bit of O-sake into President Obama's cup at Sushi Jiro in the US President's official visit to Vietnam. There are serious topics to debate and also the bond between the US and Vietnam needed to be strengthened, re-affirmed and bolstered for brand new regional challenges faced by both Nations.
Much the same way people might relax while dining this will let you deep discussion over wine, or even which has a cigar and brandy inside a quiet study, o-sake is sipped lightly between bites of food or components of snack. Whether between a married couple after a long day's work, between long-time friends as they definitely get up to date and reminisce on the good old days, or business partners fleshing out new opportunities for corporate growth, the gesture of topping off an o-choko cup of sake, a small bow of thanks as well as a reflective lowering of the cup time for the table or counter, is one method relations are deepened in Vietnam.
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