The custom when eating dinner is to raise your glass and say ?erefe at the beginning of the meal. In the past, you raised your glass at the table and said ?erefe to say you were drinking to the honor of the table. You also should try to touch glasses together with everyone at the table or those near you.
Robert has spent much time in Turkey because that is where his family is from and many of them still live. Several of the Turkish traditions Robert has experienced happened in Turkey. This tradition, on the other hand, he said he has always done, even with his parents at home in America. This is a way of identifying themselves as part of the Turkish culture, not only in Turkey, but back in America as well. It is also a way for them to bring their Turkish culture with them to America.
Robert said that he does not know of a direct translation for the word ?erefe. As he said it used to mean you were drinking in honor of the table, meaning everyone who was at the table. Now it still maintains some of that meaning, but it has also become just one of those things you do.
Although Robert did not know an exactly translation, he said it is basically the same thing as saying Cheers. The entire tradition, in fact, is very similar to that which we do here n America. Many people in America, including my family, raise our glasses and touch them with everyone at the table or those near you. I have never really understood this part of the tradition, but I suppose it could be a way of honoring each person at the table individually. Many people also include the word cheers when they do so. These traditions are basically identical, just with the use of a different word. I have also seen the exact same tradition in other cultures, except they use the word Salut. I do not know the origin of this tradition, if there even is one. It may have been passed though cultures, and adapted to fit each culture. Or, it is quite possible that the same tradition happen to develop in several cultures.