Apparently the Mint Museum of Toys in Singapore is worth seeing. Although I have not been, it seems that they currently have an exhibit up on “Guinness by the decades.” This should not seem too odd. The Guinness folk have a long history of humorous ads that might appeal to kids.
The Guinness Book of World Records was an important part of youth culture when I was a wee nipper, since we often had to settle important arguments and needed a source of authority that knew more interesting facts than our parents did.1
Guinness also seems to have been in Southeast Asia for a long time, adopting its brand to the local culture. From the exhibit
I wonder how well the whole ‘Guinness for strength’ thing fit in with Chinese ideas about medicine and food. Here is a more modern place mat, which is on my office door
Mulan is trying to convince the other soldiers that she is indeed a man by drinking 11 pints of stout. Just 3 more and she can go surfing!
So not surprisingly there is all sorts of Guinness swag spread all over Southeast Asia
I don’t know how well the exhibit does with the way Guinness, a brand sometimes associated with Ireland, was acculturated into Southeast Asia, but I will be charitable and assume they did a great job with it.
When will this interesting exhibit come to our Children s Museum here in Pittsburgh? When hell freezes over, of course. In the U.S. any suggestion that childhood could happen in the same places alcohol exists is unthinkable. It may take a village to raise a child, but that village better not have a pub in it. Apparently in Singapore kids are part of the general society, rather than a special Disney version.
Our debates did not take place in pubs, and I don’t think any of us associated the book with the brew, or even knew it existed. ↩