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Archive for the ‘Habits and Traditions in France’ Category

By Camapima Adagpavi

« When in Rome, do as the Romans do. » We have heard this motto so often that we do not pay attention to what it means anymore. However, in this age of globalization, it’s as true as ever. Chatting with people from other countries thanks to Internet is one thing; living overseas requires tact and cultural insight. The following pieces of advice will help you to avoid some of the more common mistakes. But, if you keep your eyes open and observe local manners and traditions, you will find a way to avoid them.

Avoid shaking hands if you should have exchanged what the French call “la bise”, which is a kiss on the cheek. If the person who is greeted is a woman, a handshake might be seen as a mistake. Although it is rude to reject la bise, it can be also intimidating to suggest it if you don’t know the woman well enough or see her for the very first time.

If you want to exchange la bise, you have to stick to the following rules : bring one cheek close to the other person’s cheek and simulate a kiss on the chick. Some people try to kiss the right cheek first, some the left one. You have to act like a goalkeeper trying to predict the direction of a striker’s attempt. That is why you have to find out which one of your cheeks the other is intending to kiss first. In each French region, the number of the kisses is not the same. What is more, it also depends on the person and other things. Even French people don’t seem to agree on the number of kisses. That is why there’s no need to be scared. Don’t take it too seriously. Finally, the French will help you at the beginning of your stay in France and you will be acting as a proper French gentleman after a little while.

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septembre 2017
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