Greeting Friends of a Friend in France

Bonjour Tristesse

Bonjour Tristesse (Photo credit: Nico86*)

If the friend you meet is accompanied by friends of his own whom you don’t know personally, you must first shake hands with the former, and then, under normal circumstances with the others. This can, however, be a matter for personal discernment, and dependent on circumstances and numbers involved. The other day, for example, after playing a round of golf with three French friends, we had a drink together on the terrace of our clubhouse. As we were sipping our beer a pal of one of my friends arrived, shook his hand, and then – since it would have been impolite to ignore us – proceeded to shake mine and that of our other friend, even though he was a complete stranger to both of us. He could, of course, have simply bid us a friendly ‘Bonjour’, but the physical contact involved in shaking hands in France is added an extra touch of cordiality.

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