In France, rather than waving bonjour, shaking hands or hugging, you lean forward, touch cheeks and kiss the air near the other persons ear while making a light kissing sound with your lips. The act of greeting someone with a kiss like this is called ” Faire La Bise”, pronounced Fair la bees: which literally means “To Kiss”.
Just as you would encourage your children to say please and thank you, hello and goodbye, French parents in France ALL seem to encourage their children to ‘faire la bise’ to friends and family both young and old.
When my 4,5 year old son goes to a friends house, the other parent pushes their child to say hello which in essence means that the parent wants their child to faire la bise. Then again when he leaves, he kisses the other child goodbye.
I have gotten so used to this that it just seems second nature now, but it doesn’t mean me and my boy like it.
Every morning when I drop my son off at school, I see parents en-route to school and in the school hallways. I stop to kiss some of the parents but not all of them. I have to be careful with what I say now as I know some parents from his school (and friends) might read this article, but is it really necessary to kiss each other every day? Ah well, I guess it’s French culture!?
Do your children have to do a ‘faire la bise’ everytime they see friends and family? Would love to hear your thoughts!
On our way to play tennis! Alexander in his new T-shirt from the brand L’armes de Crocodile. No kissing! (if you want this T-shirt, please send me a message!) Even tough it’s a lovely sunny afternoon he wears his favourite gilet from the French brand La Fabrique de Rilou.
‘Faire la bise?!’ No way he usually says!