When traveling to France,it is always a good idea to know to how people in France greet each other. Behavior in different parts of the world is rarely the same, so before someone jumps into an unknown land, it is a good asset to know how things work, how people treat each other, and what is expected.
Traditionally, when greeting someone in France, it is expected that you shake hands. However, if people are friends, it is customary to kiss each other on the cheek. Once on the left, and once on the right. When greeting someone in France that is a new acquaintance, they should not be addressed by their first name. First names are saved for only close friends and family to call one another. In addition though, if a person is invited to call someone by their first name, this is considered suitable and a person may go forth with this form of greeting someone in France.
Regardless of where a person is, it is expected that they say 'bonjour' and 'bonsoir' (good morning and good evening) when greeting someone; even if they do not know the other person in which they are interacting. It is also expected to use titles in front of 'bonjour' and 'bonsoir' when greeting someone in France. Use 'monsier' for a man, and 'madame' for a woman. When leaving, it is expected to say au 'revoir' (good-bye). A small tip, do the same as above for people who live in apartment buildings, and when encountering neighbors.
When greeting someone if France it is important to know how this culture acts. The French are private people, and they take their privacy seriously. They will act polite when encountering and greeting other people, but it is only with their close friends and family that they will truly be themselves. Their close friends are considered part of their family and traditionally they will talk to each other on a daily basis.
Greeting people in France is somewhat common knowledge. When entering France, remember to do things the "French" way. Just remember these simple steps: shake hands, and be respectful of their privacy. Do not call them by their first name unless invited, and always say the traditional good morning, good evening, and good-bye. Follow these greeting guidelines and meeting people in France will be smooth sailing.
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