Tips + Advice

Getting Cheeky: Kiss Like a European

kiss my cheek

You’re about to say goodbye to your good friend, Monique who is visiting from Paris. You go to hug her and she goes to kiss your cheek. Do your noses collide or are you clued-in as to which cheek gets kissed first? And how many kisses will this farewell take?

In Paris and central France, most people give two kisses – one on each cheek. But a swath of northern France, from Normandy to the Belgian border, opted in general for four. And southeastern France, from Marseilles to the Alps, preferred three. The French upper class seems to go for two kisses. But which cheek first, dammit!!

The answer? Nobody knows. The Italians kiss all over the place — left, right, it doesn’t matter which is first. In Spain you have to kiss the right cheek first or risk having your toes stomped. The French may prefer that you kiss the left cheek first, but this is heavily influenced if you are dyslexic.

Photo: moonsoleil on flickr

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