Toast with raki in the tradition of Skrapar

Toast in Albania and in particular it in Skrapar, is one of the earliest traditions of great cultural value. The Toast has the “speaker” (dollibashi) and “host” (pritesin). Hospitality, generosity and jovial spirit, characterize by time the residents  of Skrapar.

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Toast is: the respect to newcomers, therefore friends (the desire to honor friends or family) is an ancient tradition that appears to become more common in Skrapari dining table. Not only as a sign of respect and love for newcomers (friends), but also in celebration of birth and marriage ceremonies.

The traditional toast has been and is at the center of attention for the host of the house. He plans the number of toasts and the persons, to whom the toast will be raised, which starts from the middle of the conversation.

The person pointed by the master of the house “speaker” or “dollibashi” .. Begins with the sentence “For the health of …” then the “host” of the toast … come on foot and repeats the word of “dollibashit”, and requires the knocking of the glasses full of raki. Also, the other participants repeat the word of congratulation and name of the person for whom the toast is raised. The task of “host” of the toast is to care, to have tranquility at the moment, which the toast rises. his attention should be also to the participants at the table to honor the toast by drinking raki. This is assessed as a sign of respect and love toward friend or friends. If the “host” shall “order” to drink the full glasses of raki, this applies to all, unquestionably.

The first toast is from the owner of the house in honor of the guests, the second toast is for most important guests, and then to the other guest according to age and importance. After the owner of the house finishes with his toasts, comes the turn of the toast to the honored guests who starts and raise the toasts to the family he is invited according to importance and age.

The organizer of events makes the plan, which will raise the toasts and with how many cups it will be. Usually toast rises to newcomers. So the moment of toasts is a moment of hospitality and joy, a beautiful way of honoring the guests while drinking the traditional raki of skrapar. In many cases the toast promotes self-respect and manly values. Everyone who takes part in the toast is included in joyful moments. Tradition requires that toasts ritual to be present whenever come a friend or relative of the family.

The toast could be raised in two, but even more if it is the case. It is a rule that when a toast is raised, the participants must be calm and full of attention to this beautiful traditional way. It unfolds simultaneously: hospitality, generosity, desire, rule, love, joy, pleasure..! In rare cases the toast becomes the cause for intoxication, which even has its ugly side, still has value. If you are part of the toast table, you do not have to leave, nor disrespect the rules of the table; in this case it will be taken as an insulting action to the master of the house. Guest cannot give up the toast, drinking a full glass of raki with one turn.

If to a family a child is born, the first toast is for the newborn or “sebepciun”, all the family is in joy ,they  toast and sing in this day.When the toast is more than ten cups.. in such cases it may  include some breaks allowing the participants to sing or dance traditional songs close to the motive they are gathered.

[Credites:Images: Krenar Xhaferri]