There's surely no happier and easier way of spreading goodwill and bringing an atmosphere of bonhomie and entente cordial to holiday gatherings than raising glasses and wishing good health in the language of your host country.
Along with I love you, knowing how to toast your holiday friends in their own language is essential holiday conversation. I love you only for a bit of fun of course. It's nice to think of men coming home in the evening and calling out things like Cherie, je suis ici, or Honey I'm home, or whatever.
Way back when I was a child I was aware of the joy of toasting.
First of all it was Cheers, quickly followed by Bottoms up, which was always good for a laugh.
Then we copied Scottish toasts, 'Here's tae us, them like us..' 'lang may your lum reek', which means' long may smoke come out of your chimney.'
Later we would smile at the Irish toast 'may you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows your dead.'
Raising your glass and toasting your friends and relations was fun and entertaining.
On holiday in France we learned to say Votre Santè, to your health and things got more solemn.
What more important toast can there be but to your health, the health of the body, the mind and the country you're in.
Oh the joy for my father toasting German friends, Prost, prost, we all went. they told us that we should only say Prost when drinking beer otherwise we should say Zum Wohl which means 'your health.'
In Italy we all say Cin cin, salute, alla nostra.
In Belgrade Zivjeli pronounced zjee ve lee, meaning 'Let's live long' and in Greece Jamas.
In Japanese restaurants they will say 'Kampai'
In Hungary they say Egeszsegedre, which is pronounced Eggy shaggy dar, and means
'to your health'.
The only problem with all this raising of glasses and toasting is that it usually involves alcohol, wine or beer or cocktails at sundown.
We all know that alcohol can alter our behaviour, take away our inhibitions, loosen our tongues and blur our judgements.
That is why we must never drink and drive and generally be very careful when drinking.
Just a bit too much and you may find yourself dancing on a table in a Greek tavern or teaching the French how to kiss on New Year's Eve or saying things that can cause offence.
So just a word of warning have a great Summer and raise your glasses to friends old and new but make sure the toast 'to your health, to our health' is the one that comes true.
|A Votre Sante|
|Cin Cin Salute|
|Here's tae us|