March 24, 2008

French kisses

Nope.. This is not any spicy blog about what you may have thought its going to be from the title.. This is about the French way of greeting people (or saying goodbye to them). I believe it is called faire la bise.. La Bise means kiss in French.. So this is the action you might've caught on TV somewhere where 2 people exchange kisses (to the air) on alternating cheeks. It seems that 2 kisses is the norm.

I was at a party yesterday.. It was a birthday party for an Indo-French kid hosted by his family, an entire bundle of Indo-French folks... They spoke fluent Tamil and French and halting English.. It was my first time at any such gathering and I was observing the customs quite amusedly. Initially when I met the first 2 people, I enthusiastically followed along kissing the air ( I realized that these people exchanged 4 kisses - it seems its a custom for people in Nantes) But my interest waned when I met another whole bunch and I saw more of the surrounding people than the one was meeting while kissing the air around me 4 times!! Gosh!! It was a pretty long drawn process and started to get to me a bit.

That apart, at the time of cake cutting (there were 2 huge cakes to accomodate servings for the number of guests), each one flanked by a flowerpot cracker. There were 2 bottles of champagne and we were each given sparklers (mathaappu) which we were to light when the birthday boy was about to blow out the candles.

And once we were done, we got started with the goodbye kisses. Some customs just require getting used to.


Priya said...

haha, I pity you! I would have absconded from the scene :) But champagne, that sounds like fun, especially when its a kid's b'day bash.

Sangeeta Sinha said...

Kid's b'day and champagne? Let not our elders hear this. But after all, that's France and this is India. Will the twain meet??he...he...

Jaya said...

No no.. Kid as in, he is 25 years old. You know how I tend to call anyone younger than me a kid :). I guess bcoz this was silver jubilee year, it was a bit more than normal. Yeah but the kisses started getting on my nerves a bit! Its such an elongated meeting!

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