Wherever you are in France, it is a custom to greet with a "bise"...

But what is it, how many should I give and whom should I kiss? 

 

"La bise" is what French people called the traditional kiss on the cheek.

It is a tradition to "faire la bise" (= to cheek kiss) when you greet your friends, people you have already met and when you meet close friends-of-friends for the first time. However, it is less common in a professional environment and French men rarely give each other kisses on the cheeks and prefer to shake hands.

Also, depending on where you are in France, you may have to give "un" (1), "deux" (2), "trois" (3) or even "quatre" (4) "bises" (kisses on the cheeks). If we look at the following map, we can see that, for example, in Paris, we would have to give 2 kisses, one on each cheek.

La bise is also used in other Francophone countries. In Switzerland, three kisses are exchanged. In Belgium, the custom is usually one or three kisses, and is also common between men who are good friends.

"Petit conseil" (tip) : if you have been invited to a party in France, don't forget to get up at least fifteen minutes before you want to exit the party because you will have to "faire la bise" to everyone before leaving (2 multiply by the number of guests = a long time 😁)

Enjoy all the kisses! 😊 

 

La bise en France.

La bise en France.

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