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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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