by Tatiana  

Last weekend I was invited to my friend’s wedding. It was a great celebration with lots of dancing, delicious Russian food and… wait for it… drinking! &#59;D Being there made me think of a great word to write about — «горько». No Russian wedding can go without people yelling «горько» to the bride and groom. Literally translated, this word means "bitter”. According to the tradition, people say it at the end of their toasts or just surprise the newlyweds with it at any moment during the wedding to make them kiss. The idea behind this tradition is that the guests want to see the bride and groom kiss. By yelling «горько», people let them know that they can’t stand the “bitterness” in the air and ask them to make it sweeter by kissing each other.

Я хочу вам пожелать долгой и счастливой совместной жизни! Горько! I would like to wish you a long life of happiness together! Give us some sugar!
Когда гости закричали «горько», жених поцеловал невесту. When the guests yelled “bitter,” the groom kissed the bride.
— У меня выскочила лихорадка!
— Что же ты будешь делать, когда «горько» кричать будут?
— Ну, знаешь же, как говорят, что у мужа с женой всё должно быть общее… вот мы и это разделим!
“I got a cold sore!”
“What are you going to do when they yell “kiss”?”
"Well, you know how they say, “what’s mine is yours now”… so we’ll share that too!"

Sometimes the guests play it trickier and instead of just yelling «горько», they start saying that the wine is bitter or the food is bitter; thus, indirectly asking the newlyweds to sugar it up. Once they made them kiss, everybody begins counting very slowly to see how long the kiss will last. It is generally considered that the more the guests yell, «горько», the happier the couple’s life will be. Therefore, when you are at a Russian wedding, don’t hesitate to use it! :D

1 comment

Comment from: honorary Russian [Visitor]

This is my new favorite website! I’m the American half of a Russo-American family – and learning Russian very s-l-o-w-l-y.

When we got married (here in the US), the Russian contingent led the non-Russians in chanting “горько” – but they didn’t understand the word and chanted “borko” instead, which as I understood it means pig!

So instead of chanting “bitter” my family was chanting “pig". It was the Year of the Pig, so I suppose it sort of worked.

Needless to say it was a memorable wedding!

07/30/12 @ 17:02

Form is loading...