Fashion depends on each era and environment. In the past, people admired those who wore large clothes, carried guns, had long hair and smoked cigarettes. Today, it is fashionable to drink alcohol, even for the underage. From parties to family reunions, alcohol is everywhere.
Hence, there are mocking words for those who refuse to drink: “You are too naff and an unsocialised person,” they say.
Sann Koeun, 24, a fourth year student of physics at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, recalled being mocked when he refused to drink.
“I wondered why they mocked me and said ‘you are too professional’,” said Koeun.
Koeun said that they tried very hard to get him to drink. In the end he did not try alcohol to win respect at his college, but he did sip a little beer to cheer with others.
“If we refuse too many times, we have no chance to talk with others, so I tried to drink,” said Koeun.
Everything has its root, including valuation on drinking among youth. Koeun thought that the main root cause of this judgment is led by the media, which encourages youth to drink by promoting alcohol in advertisements.
“There are hundreds of beer promotions in the media, not only on TVs but on newspapers, radios, magazine, and billboards.”
Koeun said that the necessary values for the 21st century youth, such as good education, decent jobs and positive morality, do not make an impression on the drunkards.