The legend of Grandmother Gogniasha

The Ural Cossacks have a toast, that they necessarily say when they gather at the table:

"Let’s drink to grandma Gogniasha!"

The explanation for that toast is as follows. The Cossacks had to go for a war, and the campaign was expected to be long and hard, and they knew that probably none of them will come back alive; and there were no men to stay at home to protect the families. Then Cossacks decided to kill their wives and small children, so enemy would not capture them. And everybody did it, except young Cossack Gognya. He spared his wife, steppe beauty, and hid her with children in the steppe, with relatives. And when the Cossacks came back, they saw that the fire died in all kuren’s (kuren’ can mean stanitsa, group of stanitsas, or even single house), and there is no life there anymore. And only in Gognia’s kuren’ there was table ready, and sauna (banya) ready. And Gognya lived long with his wife, and they had many children and grandchildren.

From those times Ural Cossacks say: "We are coming from grandma Gogniasha", and they call their wives and mothers "bereginya" (from verb "berech" to preserve, to spare, to protect).