Wednesday, 6 October 2010

French Kisses

The number of kisses and the side that the kisses start on vary by region and by other factors that are more difficult to pin down.

  • One bis for work colleagues, although sometimes its two with colleagues you know well. The problem at work is remembering who you have said hello to, its bad manners to forget to say hello, and worse to forget that you have all ready greeted them.
  • Two bises (one on each cheek) is the most common, exchanged between family and friends of all ages as well as between people of the same age who are introduced by friends or family.
  • Three bises is common in Provence.
  • Four kisses are exchanged in Nantes.
This may sound confusing. In my experience, the best thing to do is just hold still and let the French person do the bises; whenever I try to anticipate how many kisses or which side to start on, I mess it up.

1 comment:

Keith Eckstein -A Taste of Garlic said...

At Helga's House of Pain it used to be 4 kisses if it was someone's birthday!

Confused the hell out of me!

Like the handshaking thing; how do you keep track of who you've already shook hands with?