Monday, February 7, 2011

'To Şeref!'

To life, to health, to honor. The ritual words shared as glasses clink seem to have the same essential meaning around the globe. During a wine-drinking session last night, however, a Turkish friend put a new-to-me spin on the local tradition of toasting with a hearty "Şerefe" (to honor). Rather than a joint wish for those gathered together, he said, it's a pledge: To protect the honor of fellow drinkers even if having a few too many causes their lips to loosen or their eyes to wander.

In other words, what happens at the rakı-drinking table stays at the rakı-drinking table.

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