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How Many Cheek Kisses French People Do?

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French people greet each other with a cheek kiss, which is called faire la bise. Interesting is that the number and order of bises (cheek kisses) differ from cities and regions. I’m going to describe you which cheek kiss to do in different regions of France and with whom this way of greeting is appropriate.

In Paris

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Most of people do 2 kisses starting with the right cheek.

In Eastern France and French Provence

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Is it common to do 2 kisses, but starting from the left cheek.

Around South western or Central France

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It is 3 cheek kisses, starting with the right cheek.

French Island Corsica

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18% of Corsicans do 5 cheek kisses!

The number of cheek kisses can depend not on region only, but on a social status of a people greeting each other, for example, among Parisian executives and Bourgeois Fran├žaises just 1 kiss is enough. However, most of French regions practise only 2 cheek kisses starting with the right cheek.

To whom faire la bise?

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Young people, coworkers, friends and family members do cheek kisses. Among women it is common to greet with kisses all the time, but among men it depends on the degree of relationship and the region of France. The only exception, you should not do it with your supervisor or boss.

French Cheek Kiss Map

Bises

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2 thoughts on “How Many Cheek Kisses French People Do?

  1. I’m from the north-west of France and I usually do 2 kisses (starting on the right cheek) except when i greet family : i do 4. We’re used to do this when we didn’t see each other for a long long time, then we go back to 2 kisses.

    My boyfriend is from Marseille, him and his family are all used to do 3 kisses from the left. Which is disturbing lol

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