The French like their kisses. Anyone who knows anyone in Paris is familiar with the quick cheek-to-cheek greeting, an ageless ritual entrenched in the social fabric of French society.
But the swine flu has the French government a little freaked out, apparently. They’re asking people – French people – to forgo this ritual to help slow down the spread of the virus. In the schools, teachers are asking their young charges to place notes of affection into “bise boxes” instead of offering friendly pecks to their classmates.
Is it possible that the French will actually take the government’s suggestion to heart? The answer remains to be seen, but the truth is that it’s highly unlikely. Sure, they gave up smoking in restaurants without a fight, but that was a law. When it comes to “suggestions,” the rebellious heart of the French people is likely to take over. Give up la bise? Non, non, non! Not until it becomes the kiss of death. Or law.