How to say “Cheers” in Armenian?
Armenia is a land full of traditions. Its traditions and rituals go back to the unmemorable past of its history. Armenia is attached to its roots. It’s a country that values and preserves its traditions and wants to transfer them to the next generations.
Such kind of intergenerational connection has let its population transmit important cultural elements that form its identity.
One of these cultural aspects is toasting. Armenians do love organizing and attending events without any special occasion. By the way, you need to know that alcohol is an inseparable part of any family or friend gathering.
Wine production in Armenia goes back to XI-X centuries BC. In fact, Armenia is known as one of the oldest wine-making countries in the world. Wine, brandy, and beer have always followed Armenian men during their invasions or battles for independence. Every traditional Armenian family gathered around the table full of Armenian local alcohol.
In ancient times, the attendees of this kind of gatherings were mostly males. At the same time, the woman was considered as a symbol of the eternal flame of the house. Her role was mostly symbolic. She didn’t have right to consume alcohol. Instead, there has been only one kind of women that was allowed to participate in this kind of events. These women were practicing prostitution and accompanying men during events and male gatherings.
Throughout centuries, the role of an Armenian woman has changed step by step. Today, they have equal rights as men in various aspects of daily life, including events and toasts. Moreover, many women take initiative in pronouncing toasts during events, something that always has been a male activity.
You need to know that every occasion is a good occasion for Armenians to drink alcohol. Giving toasts is part of the events. In every occasion whether it's a wedding or birthday party, there is a tamada (toastmaster). Wealthy people hire professional tamada for their events. Other people name someone from the attendees who has a good reputation at giving a pitch.
You also need to know that not everyone can occupy this highly rewarding position. The person should have well-developed diction and artistic vocabulary. He/she is expected to give his pitch of Tamada by making long phrases and telling stories about daily life.
There is a certain order in making toasts. Tamada starts by naming all the essential members of the family (grandparents, parents, children, etc.). There are specific toasts dedicated to life, personal and professional accomplishments. The list can go long.
So, what are the common phrases to say “cheers” in Armenian on different occasions?
Cheers in Armenian
Kenadz - [Կենաց] - This is the most common way to say cheers in Armenian. Even if the toast can last 5 minutes (which is always distracting the attendees to other things), it always finishes with this word.
Apagayi hamar - [ապագայի համար] - It literally means “for the future” or “I wish the future be bright”.
Dznoghneri hamar - [ծնողների համար] - It means “for our parents”. It’s literally impossible to imagine Armenian toasts without long pitches about parents. The family plays a very important role for every Armenian.
Yerexaneri hamar - [երեխաների համար] - For the children. As for the parents, children are the core of each happy Armenian family.
Besides saying “kenadz”, Armenians can use the following terms during toasts:
Aroghjootyoon - [առողջություն] - It literally means “health”. In fact, in every Armenian family health is a primary issue. And remembering about health during toasts is as much important as greeting people.
And if you really want to impress your Armenian hosts, try to learn by heart this phrase:
Oghaxd kangoon lini - [օջախդ կանգուն լինի] - Let your home be full of joy and happiness. The meaning of this phrase goes really deep than this basic explanation. But, every Armenian family will be thrilled to hear it from a foreigner.
Dznoondd shnorhavor - [Ծնունդդ շնորհավոր] - This is the basic way to congratulate someone on his/her birthday. Or, you can just say “shnorhavor” to be short.
Yerjankootyoon norapsaknerin - [երջանկություն նորապսակներին] - This expression is commonly used to address people who just got married. Otherwise, you can just say “shnorhavor” and it will give the same meaning.
Siro hamar - [սիրո համար] - For love. This expression will be repeated thousands of times during Armenian weddings.
Astvadz pahapan - [աստված պահապան] - God bless you.
Astvadz pahi dzer yntaniqy - [աստված պահի ձեր ընտանիքը] - It has the meaning of “God bless you”. The literal meaning of this expression is “may God keep safe your family”.
Mi bardzi dzeranaq - [մի բարձի ծերանաք] - Stay always together.
Xmenq norapsakneri hamar - [խմենք նորապսակների համար] - Let’s drink for the just-married.
In the end, don’t afraid of making pronunciation mistakes while giving a pitch. The locals will appreciate your efforts more than anything else. The Armenian language doesn’t joke ))). Everyone understands that good manners matter after all.
How to say cheers in other Caucasus countries?
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