Thursday, 18 September 2008

To bissou or not to bissou

This refers to the French custom of greeting everyone with a peck on the cheek. Well, both cheeks to be precise. I was under the illusion that absolutely everyone bissoued as soon as they met and although it is something that doesn't sit so well with my Anglo Saxon upbringing I was prepared to indulge for the sake of entente cordiale. However, I noticed that this cheek kissing is not indulged by all and there is in fact a strict protocol as to who and when. As far as I can tell, never biss on a first meeting unless absolutely everyone else is bissing; never biss with anyone older or more senior that you until they biss you first (up until then the handshake is perfectly acceptable), never biss in any kind of business meeting. Biss with friends, people your own age, people who biss with you first and all the English living there who seem to think that now they are living in France they can biss absolutely everyone! I never have got used to it as way of greeting!

Biss Biss

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