Toast the host in style at your next party
Time to brush up on your guest etiquette skills. You already know to RSVP in a timely manner, not to cancel at the last minute, and to never show up empty handed. But how are your toasting skills? Despite what you may think, toasts aren’t just for weddings. They’re great for any occasion where beverages are being served and everyone speaks a common language.
I’m not talking about bread with butter and jam on it. The toasting I’m referring to is the kind where you can get noticed or make an idiot of yourself. Play it cool and cosmopolitan by brushing up on these international toast protocols.
The vocabulary -
Here are some of the most commonly used single word toasts from their nation of origin:
Cheers – American/Canadian
Prost – German
Skal (pronounced ‘skoal’) – Scandinavian (Norwegian/Danish/Swedish)
Salute – Italian
Salud – Spanish/South America
Sante – Belgium
Lechaim – Jewish
Stinygiasou – Greek (informal)
Za vas! – Ukranian
Yum seng!/Gan Bei/Kai Pay – Chinese
Gonbae – South Korean
Chin Chin – South African
Basic toasting etiquette
If you’re delivering the toast, be sure to always thank your host. If the gathering has been arranged to honor a particular person or occasion, mention this in your remarks. Remember it’s a toast, not a speech. Keep it short, one to two sentences, but say something of substance. Finish with the appropriate cultural term.
Different countries have unique rules for toasting, but as long as you don’t drink until everyone has raised their glasses and make eye contact with anyone you clink cups with, you should be good to go. Cheers!