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Just a little one about the kissing

March 27, 2008

Photo by: B Tal

Being a Dane use to firm handshaking and slightly loose hugs (only with your good friends), it was kind of a surprise for my cheeks coming over here and being spoiled with all those kisses. Not a bad surprise. I know it is obvious when you are in Quebec, a French province you will be greeted the French way. My cheeks and I just came a little unprepared. And most of the kisses came mostly from other exchange students…

In Lonely Planet – Montreal it says this about cheek kissing:
“As in France, it’s customary among French Quebecers who know each other to exchange bises (kisses) as a greeting (men do this occasionally, too) While two to three kisses on each cheek are typical in France, the usual ritual in Quebec is one glancing peck on each cheek. Any more will get you weird looks.” (Page 29)

As an exchange student I find it interesting how all the exchange students has picked up on this cheek kissing; even if they are not from a country where this is the normal way of greeting.

It is not that I don’t like it, as I have said before “when in Montreal do as the Montrealers”, but it makes me wonder, if “real” Montrealers look at us, the international students, kissing like crazy on each other’s cheeks with the weird look that Lonely Planet is talking about.

I guess I’m just not sure how big the cheek kissing really is in this city. Is it really something everybody does? Or is it just the wannabe Montrealers?

I would love to get some comments on this from some cheek kissing or non-cheek kissing Montrealers!

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2 comments

  1. It’s something everyone does – at least all French speakers. Not with people you see every day, though. It’s something you do with friends you don’t see every day, or even with work (or university) colleagues when you see each other outside of the normal work context.

    Don’t worry about “real” Montrealers looking at you, it seems you blend in quite well already!

    Bon séjour à Montréal!


  2. oh yeah, one thing I forgot: contrarily to what the Lonely Planet says, guys don’t do the kiss thing to each other in Quebec.



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