Tuesday, November 23, 2010

They do things differently there

From a 1959 French survey:

"When you were, let's say between 8 and 12 years of age what did you usually drink at meals?"
Only water            22%
wine with water added 44%
a little wine, pure    4%
cider                 15%
beer                  10%
other                  4%

There was a series of questions about the first time you had "the impression that you had drank a little too much."  One of them asked "Was it at a particular occasion and which one?"

15% Ceremonies of a family character very often religious followed by celebrations 
 8% Gatherings [at a] family meal 
11% Gathering [of] friends
 7% Popular celebrations
 8% Usual drinking excess marking the beginning of adult life
 3% During work
 2% At the army
 4% Curiosity or childhood feat unknown to the adults
 4% Accidentally, exceptionally, taken surprise by circumstances
 2% Other answers
36% Don't know or don't remember

"How did your parents react when they observed that you had effectively drunk a little too much for the first time?  Were they..."

amused                        11%
kind                          16%
did they think it was normal   4%
judged you severely            4%
they didn't know about it     20%
No answer                     40%

The question about the occasion on which you first drank a little too much was open-ended:  people gave whatever answer they wanted and later someone classified it into the categories.  The report gave some examples of people's answers:

"It's sad to say but it was my first communion"
"pig fair"
"when I buried my life as a boy"
"I was an apprentice for an old gardener who made me drink"
"after school, to celebrate his little brother's birth, a friend took me to a cafe"
"I had gone to be paid by a wine-grower and they made me taste their wine"
"to be a braggart"
"I was coming back from a long stay in England where I had drunk only water"
"it was at boarding school, we were well taken care of"

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