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FRENCH CONNECTIONS

A quirky, insider’s guide to understanding France and the French, from the sublime to the ridiculous. Thursday at 1.45 pm.

Latest update : 2016-01-14

French rules of etiquette: 'Bonne année' and ‘La bise’

FRENCH CONNECTIONS – Thurs. 14.01.16: This week we take a look at some of the rules of French etiquette - from how to say "Bonne année" to the dos and don’ts of doing "la bise".

We're well into the month of January, but you'll still hear people wishing each other Happy New Year - "Bonne année". French people take saying Bonne année very seriously and there are some cardinal rules you must follow.

Just like for saying Bonne année, there are rules for doing "la bise", the traditional - kissing - way of saying hello, goodbye and congratulations to friends and family in France.

"La bise" can be awkward and confusing to people new to France. Where do you put your hands? What side do you start on? How many kisses do you give? And what noise do you make? I team up with FRANCE 24’s Business Editor Stephen Carroll to bring you a crash course on "la bise".

Finally, we focus on another January tradition: king cake. Traditionally eaten on January 6 to celebrate Epiphany, king cake (La galette des rois) is enjoyed throughout the month. Not only is it delicious, it’s also fun! In each cake, there is a porcelain charm or trinket (la fève). Whoever finds it in their slice is king or queen for the day.

By Florence VILLEMINOT

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Archives

2017-02-23 agriculture

France's Salon de l'Agriculture: Celebrating a struggling sector

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2017-02-16 Valentine's Day

Are the French the world's best lovers?

Valentine’s Day was just a few days ago, a good opportunity to focus on love "à la française". What is it like to date a French person? Are the rules different? Do all French...

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2017-02-02 French Presidential Elections 2017

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FRENCH CONNECTIONS – Thurs. 02.02.17: France is gearing up for the 2017 presidential elections. Rarely has there been so much uncertainty surrounding who could be the next person...

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2017-01-26 France

How to cut cheese and the French 'fromage' rules

After wine and bread, we explore something else that's quintessentially French: cheese! With an estimated 400 distinct varieties of "fromage", it’s safe to say that France is...

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2017-01-19 food and beverage industry

Frogs legs and brains? The French food hard to stomach

France is famous for its gastronomy, but some delicacies are a little hard to stomach for first-time visitors. From snails and blood sausage to tripe and frogs' legs, this week...

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