It’s one of the first phrases you learn in other languages. Cheers, cin cin, prost, skål, whatever it is. It’s that idea of sharing a bevvy with someone, whether you’ve known them for five minutes or all your life.
A very important part of this in every country, is that whenever you clink glasses you need to make eye contact with somebody. It’s really, really bad manners not to do this, so get into the habit.
And there is a good reason.
Let’s start off in viking country back in the day. They used to drink their beer (or whatever they were drinking at the time) out of bowls. The scandy word for bowl is “skål”. So when someone shouts “skål!” it’s a call to raise your bowls and have a drink.
Now way back when, the best way to bump people off was by poisoning their drink. So when you were called to “skål!” you’d bang your bowls together, and let a bit slop over into the next person’s bowl. If yours is poisoned, then theirs is now. And you make eye contact when you’re doing it. It’s a trust and honour thing. It’s also why it’s really bad manners to cheers with pure (and supposedly uncontaminated) water. That make sense?
This is made more important as apparently the punishment for ignoring this is 7 years of bad sex. Not sure where that bit came from, but I don’t think I want to test it!