We don’t say that: why do foreigners constantly ascribe to Russians the toast “To your health!”

If you have ever participated in feasts abroad, you have almost certainly encountered the following situation: upon learning that there is a guest from Russia at the celebration, one of the neighbors raised a glass with a joyful cry of “Na zdor-r-rovie!”. With what fright did the foreigners decide that without the toast “To your health!” not a single celebration in Russia is spared? “Subtlety” explains.

Slavic neighbors and the hand of Hollywood

Toast “Na zdrowie!” common in Poland, and when active emigration of Poles to the United States began in the first half of the 20th century, Americans also learned about it. Making films about Russia during the Cold War, Hollywood filmmakers, for obvious reasons, did not have the opportunity to get to know our culture better, and then the Polish diaspora came to their aid. So the Americans popularized the phrase “To your health!” as typical of the USSR. The popularity of Hollywood cinema has done its dirty deed, and now Russians are welcomed with this toast everywhere.

There is no smoke without fire

Hand on heart, foreigners are not so wrong: in Russia, the tradition of drinking toast for the prince has been known since the 11th century. All guests at the celebration were obliged to use it: from relatives of the ruler to warriors and priests. Thus, wishing health during a feast is indeed a native Russian tradition.

Now the toast “Let's be healthy!” one of the most popular in Russia, but clearly inferior to such options as “For you!”, “For a meeting!” and “Let's go!”. And on serious holidays like weddings and anniversaries, wordy congratulations are accepted: the more serious the occasion, the longer the toast.

How are they?

Abroad, on the contrary, they like to congratulate briefly, again wishing health, like, for example, the Scandinavians with their “Skål!”. The Irish, gathering at the table, say “Slainte mhath!” – “Be healthy!”. This is supposed to be answered: “Slainte mhor” – “We will definitely.”

To raise the topic of health in a short form during the holidays is also customary for those who are further south. The Spaniards say “Salud!” to guests, and the French say “A votre santé!” or just “Santé!”.

The Germans adopted the toast “Zum Wohl!”, Which means both a wish for health and well-being. The Jews, on the other hand, drink simply for life – “L'chaim!”. See also: 20 facts about the Russian language that you did not know. For example, that Dahl's dictionary contained the word “porn”. But no, not at all in the sense that you thought.

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