Tuesday, July 21, 2009
A main difference between The United States of America and Europe is the often discussed and rebelled against drinking age law of 21. As we all know in the USA it is strictly enforced and almost 100% of the time an ID proving your age is required in order to be served any form of alcohol. Turning 21 in the United States is to most people a right of passage and a time to celebrate, but after spending a weekend with local Croatians it is easy to see that the drinking age in Croatia is not strictly enforced.
While visiting Croatia this past weekend I was fortunate to be led throughout the country by local Croatians. My favorite part of the weekend was when we were cooked an authentic Croatian meal in a small town called Marija Bistrica, Croatia. As we were stuffing ourselves with amazing dishes I spoke with local Croatian 24 year old Nikola Milički. Nikola was born and raised in Marija Bistrica where he still works and resides. With an outgoing personality it was hard not to get engaged in conversation with him.
As Americans are known for their illegal drinking I was curious on his insight on drinking in Croatia. With a smirk on his face he laughed and explained that there was a drinking age of 18, but he had never seen it enforced. He said, “It is pretty much normal to get drunk for the first time when you’re 14 or 15.” He explained that allowance to drink at such a young age is part of the culture. He believes it is not abused and not considered an issue. He did explain that if a young person is curious, they will experiment like he did when he was in high school.