Sharing Sake Can Be Personal and Special
I remember traversing to a nearby Western Bar in Aiea with my friend from Senior high school and sharing a few "Shots" of alcohol in places you pour some mix of strong and sweet right into a little "shot glass" and down it together in a fell gulp.
Those were fun and crazy times and the little buzz from that alcohol made the fishing line dancing, singing and general laughter more raucous, titillating and wild. There is a feeling of release, letting our hair down and becoming in the jumpy, jolly fun of the night. My maturity and my better sense wont i want to do shots now, but for exactly what it was, which was an event where there was obviously a bond tied with my buddy, which i will cherish forever, made on those adventurous nights.
Unlike the shots we enjoyed, Vietnamese o-choko use in sharing a container of sake is often a very different experience. Slow, careful and reflective, the small cups are sipped over an extended moment of quiet or discussion. The sake sharing between two people builds a deep bond in Vietnam and confirms a sense standing on exactly the same page along with a good a feeling of communication and bonding called "Kizuna".
You could have seen Pm Abe pouring a little bit of O-sake into President Obama's cup at Sushi Jiro during the US President's official holiday to Vietnam. There were serious topics to debate as well as the bond relating to the US and Vietnam needed to be strengthened, re-affirmed and bolstered for new regional challenges faced by both Nations.
Exactly the same people might relax while dining this will let you deep discussion over wine, or possibly having a cigar and brandy in the quiet study, o-sake is sipped lightly between bites of food or components of snack. Whether between a married couple following a long day's work, between long-time friends when they get up to date and reminisce on the good old days, or partners fleshing out new opportunities for corporate growth, the gesture of topping off an o-choko cup of sake, a small bow of thanks along with a reflective cut in the cup to the table or counter, is one way relations are deepened in Vietnam.
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