USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘drink’
Folk Beliefs


My friend from Paraguay told me about this special drink which wards off illness.

Me: What is it?

Friend:”Carrulim is a drink that’s made from sugar cane alcohol, lemon, and some other herbs and spices. It started with the medicine men in the Guarani tribe, which is the tribe of people native to Paraguay before the Spanish arrived.”

Me: When do you drink it?

Friend:”Well I don’t drink it, I think it’s mostly old people and people who live in the country. But it’s only for the first day of August, because August is the month where the weather is worst and a lot of people get sick. There’s a saying that goes: August is the month when skinny cows die.” So yeah if you drink it, it’s only in August.”

Me: Have you ever tried it?

Friend: “Yeah. It’s a disgusting drink. I thought it sounded good but it tasted so bad. I probably will like it when I’m an old man- then again, I’ll “need” it when I’m an old man so I make it through August!”

Analysis: This custom harkens back to a time when people were worried about the harsh weather and how it would effect them. Today, we can control our living conditions with a button (at least in more modern countries) but back before this, people had to ward off illness any way they could. Today this custom serves more as a protection or good luck charm for older people. Perhaps it is psychosomatic– if you drink this, you will believe you won’t get sick, and if you don’t drink it, you will worry about being sick.


Pouring a Drink in South Korea

The informant is a 51-year-old international businessman who has frequently traveled across Europe and Asia to meet with clients for the past 20 years.

Over a relaxed nine holes of golf, I asked the informant if there were any dining customs or etiquette that have stood out to him throughout his travels. He mentioned that after having been to South Korea many times, he has learned that you must pour a drink in an extremely particular way when out to lunch or dinner.

“When you’re pouring someone’s drink in South Korea, you have to hold your forearm tightly. So if your right hand is being used to pour the drink, you place your left hand on the underside of your right forearm and wrap your fingers around it. It’s just polite. I guess that it comes from the old days when extremely wide-cuffed sleeves were the custom.”

While contemporary fashion trends and the accepted style of dress in South Korea may not encompass wearing sleeves that are so wide-cuffed they have the potential to droop into food and drink, this form of dining etiquette provides a glimpse into the types of formalities that arose as a result of the traditional style of South Korean dress. I asked the informant what a South Korean would do if you failed to hold your forearm when pouring a drink, and he replied, “Probably nothing. It’s kind of like chewing with your mouth open. Nobody will say it but everyone is thinking you’re rude.” Hearing of this subtle dining tradition that I would have otherwise never thought to perform leads me to wonder how often I and other Americans give ourselves away as foreigners when eating in other countries. Assuming that this is a practice unique to South Korea, knowing to engage in this tradition provides South Koreans a silent act of solidarity with one another. If an individual from South Korea is out at a restaurant anywhere across the world and sees another holding their forearm when pouring a drink, they will know that they share a common nationality, or at least that both are knowledgeable and respectful of what they see as proper dining etiquette.



In order to “ice” someone, you have to hide a Smirnoff Ice somewhere that they would find it, and then once they do they have to chug it right then and there. Then they’ve been iced. It is said to be used to get back at someone.