New York – I was raised in a culture (and a family) where drinking is normal and encouraged. It is simply what people do and never questioned. Drinking is also viewed as a measure of one’s courage and strength, a sort of drinking machismo. The more alcohol you can ingest and the better you are at “holding your liquor,” the braver you are. I quickly internalized this message and felt proud when, at the age of 19, I could drink more than my father without collapsing or getting ill. I would notice how much my father drank, made a mental note of it, and strive to have one more drink than he did, all while trying my best to ‘act normal.’

Attarin Mederssa. Moroccan School in Fez Medina
Paola Garcia is a writer and translator from Chihuahua, Mexico.