Friday, 25 September 2009

Ban 'La bise'

French lessons have resumed and last week in the class we had to bring in a photo of something to discuss. Someone brought in this photo (originally from the daily mail) of Carla Bruni with

Nicolas Sarkozy, indulging in what the French call 'la bise' or the little peck on the cheek that the French do when they meet. Apparently the French government have decided that in the event of a swine flu epidemic they will ban 'la bise'. We discussed this in our class and quickly concluded that this would be impossible to enforce; a view that seems to be shared by many French people!
I wrote an entry about the kissing custom last year, where unfortunately I spelt bise incorrectly and referred to the practice as a bissou. Bisou (with one 's' and not two) means a kiss and I guess that explains why the most common keyword used to access my blog through a search is Bissou. Those reaching the blog in this manner are usually from web addresses in places where neither English nor French are the native tongue and I would guess they are hoping to find a site about French kissing!

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