March 3, 2011

Ein Prosit, Ein Prosit!

(for anyone who knows that song, good luck getting it out of your head now:)

In honor of Thirsty Thursdays over at FTLOB, I decided to share with you a tid bit of info about the drinking protocol here in Germany. 

First rule, you must wear lederhosen. Nah, not really.
Nothing like being awkward at a foreign bar when you don't know what to do with your drink. You start to get nervous, a thin line of sweat beads on your forehead. "Do I tap the drink on the table first before I sip?", "What if I clink glasses and no one else does?", or "Oh god, do I drink it all in one sip or slam the thing?!" Nerve racking :)

Our first year we were in Germany we learned how to 'cheers' properly right away. Well, maybe I shouldn't say learned. It was more like we got scared shitless into doing it the right way. The hubs got yelled at by a drunk old German lady because he 'cheers-ed' wrong. Willkommen in Deutschland, hubby!

You see, in Germany, it is polite (or mandatory, depending on the inebriation of the individual) to look the person in the eye when you cheers, or, auf Deutsch, Prost. It signifies that they exist in your mind, that they are worth something since you took the time to look into their eyes. What?! Did they write the movie Avatar or something??

You learn quick, good job babe!
 Anyways, it became a quick habit for us. And you know what, it's not such a bad practice either. I am a believer of looking people in their eyes when you are talking to them. So it works out OK for us, except when we go back home and people think we are weird starers. "Why did you look me hard in the eye before I took a sip? Did you poison my vodka soda?! You did, didn't you!!"

Quit it, you weirdos! (source)
I am not sure if this is the 'official'/'unofficial' rule over here, I think some Germans might disagree. But this is what we were told, and as I have mentioned several times before, I hate getting yelled at in German. So like a good little Deutsches Mädel, I follow the rules ;)

So, quick recap. You say "Prost" (Cheers) or "Zum Wohl" (To health) or "Auf Uns" (To us, my favorite), clink your glasses, stare daggers into the other people's eyes - must make eye contact with everyone at the table- and then get to drinking. 

Just don't clink too hard....
Useful information....I think so!

Although I like adapting to the culture here, we live in Germany so we do as the Germans do, this whole cheersing act doesn't quite have the same ring to it as my favorite toast back home.

It's so appropriate for the Texas cowgirl I can be. And if you use it, you MUST say it with a Southern draw.

"Here's to the bee that stung the bull that got the bull a-bucking. Here's to Adam who stuck Eve that got the world a-f*cking. Yeeehaaaw!" 

Drink up, ya'll! (source)
Cl-ass-ee.
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41 comments:

  1. How about at the team Christmas party this year everyone kept slamming on the table when they walked in. I was finally like "WHAT THE HELL IS UP WITH THE HITTING ON THE TABLE!!!" Oh dumb American girl.

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  2. I love the thing where one has to look in the eye when saying Cheers. But then I don't like people staring at me either. That would be so awkward! I so wanna break this chain of rules about cheers-ing and stuff, just wanna chug it down bottoms up one time in my life! I am transforming into a Man-Eater hahaha!

    Prost (Staring at you)
    Apfel

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  3. Years ago, a cousin of my spouse was engaged to a German guy and his family put on a rousing engagement party for the couple.

    It was a fun, fun time that I only vaguely remember...all during the festivities, we were given pretty cordial glasses that the host kept filling with Jägermeister as he looked everyone in their eyes and shouted..."drink up!"

    Between the Butterkuchen and shots of that evil liqueur, I went home feeling only the upper part of my body.

    It was...a great party....I think!

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  4. Oh the Germans have to love the class-act that is a Texan.

    Note to self: The 5 second reel 'em over glance from the bar rule need not apply in Germany. It's only because they're polite!

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  5. Stare daggers. Heh. Good times my friend. I think I too, shall do a drinking protocol post. I've touched upon it, but have not given it the full throttle analysis.

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  6. @KY - I don't really know about that one either. I think every little area of Germany like to make up their own rules. Interesting!
    @Apfel - haha, quit staring at me! :)
    @Slidecutter - hmm, sounds like a kick ass party!! Too funny, they can get quite aggressive when they drink
    @Morgan - they have no idea what to do, haha. No, not gonna work, good note to self
    @Mollie - I would love to see one, please do so!

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  7. I swear everytime I read one of your stories it makes me want to go to Germany even more. The closest I've been is "Germany" at Epcot in Disney World. We DO go to Vegas a lot, though, and there is a Hofbrauhaus there. They rotate to polka bands from Germany every 3 months and most of the workers are German. Last summer we met a couple of guys that were over here from Germany and hung out with them all night. "Prost" was heard over and over but I love the "Auf uns"! I told my husband I want to buy the German Rosetta Stone. Someday I WILL make it over there!

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  8. Ein Prosit, ein Prosit, der Gemuetlichkeit! Never found a word that translates this one correctly.

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  9. Good to know!! I love the different cultural methods ;)

    I'm a new follower from Thirsty Thursday blog hop. I can't wait to read more of your posts. I'd love it if you would follow back :)

    ~Kristina
    www.cobbled-stone.blogspot.com

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  10. Gotta say cheers to the stud that broke that stein. I concluded it was not possible at the Hofbrauhaus but not for lack of effort.

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  11. HA! I love the Texas toast! I'm going to bust that out at happy hour one night.

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  12. Haha, yes, we don't hit the table, and we do have funny sayings to go along with the cheers sometimes, rhymes of all sorts of funny things. You do know also that we say that if you cheers to someone and don't look them in the eye means you are going to have bad sex for 7 years. . .uh oh, it is a risk none of us would like to take ;)

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  13. Wow Rebecca,

    Wouldn't wanna mess with that one. Bad sex is worse than no sex :P

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  14. I had no idea there was such a complicated protocol for drinking in Germany!

    I'll have to pay attention next time my adopted uncle from Germany (he was an exchange student who lived with my grandparents for several years and now is part of the family) does that when he drinks--he lives in Berlin now :)

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  15. haha! Love it! I think staring someone in the eyes also shows what a confident bad ass you are! Thanks for following www.lifesgristle.blogspot.com! following you back!

    Marcy

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  16. This is a pretty cool "tradition!" And, I love that Texas toast! ha ha we have a cussing one too. I feel like toasts are best with cussing :)

    Second, thanks for being encouraging! I kind of didn't want to post that post because it's slightly negative, but I was like, you know, pretending to be happy is fake, and that's not acceptable either.

    yes, my pain meds are pretty good, but they also limit me a lot more than advil would have. I don't know how you did it.

    And I've been saying that I picked a decent time to have the appendix removed, this way I should be good to go when spring break gets here, and I won't be in a different state :)

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  17. Here is an award you thought you might have never seen or received, but here it is! Enjoy...

    http://izombielover.blogspot.com/2010/02/i-want-to-give-out-first-zombie-rabbit.html

    Thanks,
    Jeremy
    [iZombie]

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  18. I love both of your cheersing (is that a word?) traditions!

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  19. I'm from Northern Germany...therefore I'm not quite so familiar with Bavarian cheersing habits. All I know is that they have a weird taste concerning fashion, food etc. and a totally different mentality xD

    We folks up here, don't necessarily need to make eye contact with everyone....I guess we don't even drink with strangers that often....it's more like: "Why should I drink with you? I don't even know you!" I think it's not meant to come across as rude or something, we're just more reserved.

    One of my favourite toasts is:
    "Nich' lang schnacken, Kopf in'n Nacken!"
    I don't know how good your German is, it's just that I have no idea how to translate that right now^^

    anyways....thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm a new follower.

    xoxo

    {SeMi}CrAzEd

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  20. @APril - haha, I bet the Brauhaus in Vegas is fun! That is cool they actually have German staffers there. When you do get to visit one day, I would love to give you pointers on everything here :)
    @Bristol - no joke, it just sounds better in German anyways!
    @Kristina - always good knowledge, these drinking customs are important! Thanks for stopping by, really glad you did!
    @Rusk - haha, that stud would be the idiot drunk hubs....at every Oktoberfest, haha. I will pass on the compliment.
    @Little Beaches - well thanks, and thanks for stopping by!
    @Sam - haha, it is just to fun and funny not to use
    @Becca - I would love to hear those rhymes! Really! haha, I haven't heard that one, but I will use it from now on. Deadly, lol
    @b lee - thanks b lee!
    @Apfel - I know right...just to be safe, haha
    @KT - no kidding! Ask him if he has any other funny 'customs'
    @Marcy - thanks Marcy, and thanks for stopping by :)
    @Denise - no prob, thanks to you for stopping by too
    @Mallori - What is your cussing toast?? And the eff word gets louder with every drink, lol. Of course love, anytime!
    @iZombie - AWESOME! Thanks Jeremy!
    @Texas Type of Mom - I think it is a word, I used it too, haha.
    @BlackEyedDog - haha, they say that about your northerns too, haha, just kidding. I understand what you mean. AWESOME, thanks for sharing!! I will have to remember that one for sure.

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  21. It's funny that you mention this. Here in the Czech Republic is it also mandatory to look people in the eyes as you clink glasses and exclaim "Na zdravi!" However, It's because apparently you don't you will get 7 years bad sex.

    I'm not a superstitious girl at all, but I'm not willing to risk it. :)

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  22. Following back!

    Thanks for the follow

    Madeline @ Professionally Insane M

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  23. I have to correct BlackEyedDog. I am from North Germany as well (Kiel) and we definately have the rule of looking the other person in the eye. It is of course not done when you give rounds of shots, but definitely when you cheer with beer-glasses. But BlackEyedDog is definitely correct about "Nicht lang schnacken..." ;-)

    Another rule here is that you never cross the arms of other people who are saying "Prost" but you wait until you have a free path to hit the other persons glass. And with beer glasses you always let them hit at the bottom, not at the top. There is also a saying that goes with that which I will not post here since it is slightly deminishing of women. :-)

    While I did live in Texas for a while I do not really know the habits of saying "cheers" since I was under age at the time. So I don't know if any of this applies to the US as well.

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  24. Of course by about the fourth or fifth cheers you stop being able to tell which of the person's pairs of eyes you're supposed to be looking into.

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  25. Gawd bless Texas... :)

    Also, I've tagged you over at http://www.texpatsabroad.com/texpatriate-musings-blog.html

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  26. You are so funny!!! I bet you are a riot at a party..no matter what country we are in!! Your hubby's a lucky guy because you are a HOOT!!!

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  27. Too funny! I got quite a kick out of reading this - I feel completely prepared to visit Germany now. lol

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  28. hahaha, loved this! Makes me think of the song, God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy.. Love the blog hun. You have a new follower!

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  29. Too Funny, love the informative blog post :o)

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  30. I love that picture of Alex! He looks like a little boy!

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  31. @Jimmie - someone else said that about the German one, but I had never heard it before! Also, have no idea how I would even start to say the Czech one, yikes! haha
    @M - Hi, I stopped by your blog earlier, thanks for stopping by mine
    @Lutz - oh really!? I bet there are all kinds of traditions everywhere. I like the no arm crossing one, thats a new one to me too.
    @tattytiara - haha, no kidding. It just gets ridiculous by then
    @SB - haha, I am heading right over there!!
    @Crystal - haha, well thanks. Maybe too much the life of the party at times. I will tell him you said that,lol. You are too sweet!
    @Holly Ann - see, that is what is supposed to do! :) Thanks for stopping by!
    @Jacqui - I don't know that song, but then again, I am so out of the loop. Thanks for coming over to say hi!
    @Wendy - haha, you are welcome :)
    @HW - he always looks like a little boy in the pictures :) Between the two of us, no one ever believes we are old enough to be married, haha.

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  32. I'll be trying the Texan cheer next time I have a glass in my hand. Won't work with a cup pf tea I guess.

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  33. Love it! Especially the idea "that they are worth something since you took the time to look into their eyes". Have a great day!

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  34. Funny!!! I once met a guy who did that and it creeped me out. Good to know he wasn't a pycho!!

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  35. @Moannie - haha, so classy right :) Cup of tea would work great!
    @Miko - thanks for stopping by, you have agreat day too!
    @Kyria - haha, maybe he was a weirdo too, lol

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  36. Now, you know the next time I get my drink on, the Texan "cheers" is gonna come out of my mouth. Too funny!

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  37. Ha! Fun post! Takes me back to being in Uni in Germany years ago!!
    I must admit we do the whole look in the eye thing when we cheers - not sure if it's just us, or an Aussie thing (we emigrated here from the UK 10 years ago - and I don't think it's a British thing to do!)

    http://beourbest.blogspot.com/

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  38. @Mo Betta - haha, it just rolls right off the tongue, doesn't it!
    @Jill - nice! I am glad ya'll do it too :) I think its not so much of a bad thing!

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Whoomp, there it is!