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What Do You Say When You Toast With Vodka?

Drinking vodka, like many other social rituals of individuals gathering to celebrate, brings with it a background of a protracted and rich history and numerous traditions which have come to us down through the generations. The accepted rituals of toasting with vodka are rooted within the culture, history, and traditions of Russia, though it has taken on a more worldwide character in this global age. Vodka is still a large part of the social material and interpersonal interactions of Russia, and is replete with quite a few conventions.

Vodka etiquette

Usually, in Russia as well as within the west, drinking vodka is a group activity. Teams of individuals indulge in Vodka drinking once they meet to party, socialize, or hang around; after they celebrate a life event like a birth, a loss of life, or a wedding. Copious consumption in quite a few rounds is frequent at most such gatherings. You might see people drink vodka – straight – as shots, in traditional Russian gatherings, whereas most individuals mix it with something like tonic water or recent juices.

Making a toast with vodka

In the western world, we undergo from the misunderstanding that the appropriate toast when drinking vodka is na zdorovie. This isn’t really an appropriate toast in Russian. It does not really mean «to your health», as you might have regularly heard. Instead, strive something like za milyh dam, which means to pretty ladies or vashe zdorovie, which means to your health.

Vodka toasts for events

The nature of the occasion calls for a particular kind of toast, regardless of whether the tipple is vodka or a bottle of champagne. Weddings for instance, demand toasts to like, happy endings, and a few years of wedded bliss for the new couple. On the other hand, when toasting a new baby, it is more appropriate to drink to its health and long life, and the happiness it will carry into its parents’ life. When toasting a new venture, a new house, or some other live event, equally, the occasion will offer you a clue to potential and appropriate toasts. For instance, at a wake, it’s best to toast the deceased as the first toast, however the glasses should not be clinked. At birthdays, toast the birthday boy/girl first, after which their parents. Wedding ceremony toasts would be to the couple, then their mother and father, moving on to different topics like love, happy life, and so on.

A sequence of vodka toasts

Over the course of an evening, hardcore vodka drinkers would possibly progress through a series of toasts. If you’re in Russia, drinking vodka with a roomful of Russians, the evening might progress through some common steps. The primary toast, made by you or another visitor, could be to propose a drink to the host of your party. This will generally be the first of a series of toasts, from one’s noble ancestors, to the guests/hosts children, the ladies within the company, and abstract ideas like honor, pride, the motherland, and so on.

Suggestions and warnings

Always keep primary etiquette and polite manners in mind, as well as the occasion.

It is better to appear uninformed than to appear impolite or to risk insulting one’s host, or other guests.

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