Planning on moving to France? Know some of their customs!
Do you love good climate, pristine countryside, amazing culture, excellent health care, colorful traditions, history, and of course, the chance to lead a better life coupled with immense career and financial growth? Then France should be your haul.
If you are planning on moving to France, here are a few customs you may want to be aware of.
Formality comes to them naturally and they expect the same from others. The sooner you understand this and adopt this attitude, the easier it will be for you to integrate into its society. For example: the French often say "Excusez-moi de vous deranger, monsieur/madame" (Excuse me for disturbing you, Sir, or Madam), instead of simply saying excuse me!
It’s the French norm to shake hands when introduced and also when saying goodbye. Kissing on the cheeks is reserved for known acquaintances, friends or relative, but children will almost always be kissed on their cheeks.
When invited by someone for dinner, it’s customary that you carry a small present usually in the form of chocolates, a bunch of flowers or a plant. Do not carry foreign food or drinks– they are generally not well accepted. Be careful with the flowers as well, as certain flowers are used only for occasions or can even denote bad luck.
Always be polite, and greet your waiter when you enter a restaurant. Go through your menu and when you are ready to order, keep the menu aside, so your waiter can approach you. Tips are usually included in the bill, but it’s customary to round off the bill and pay.
Even casual family meals in France are a formal affair. When invited to someone’s house, you will need to follow certain etiquettes. Do not begin eating before the host says bon appétit and do not pour your own drinks (except water). If you are not offered another drink, then it’s time to leave. It’s polite to eat everything on your plate.
Certain topics are a big no-no and you should not mention them in your conversations. These include talking about money or asking someone what they do for a living. Stick to discussions on food and drink. Even if you are in the midst of a heated discussion, do not raise your voice as it is considered vulgar.
Before you leave you home country, make sure you tie all loose ends, and take care of your financial obligations. Once you reach France, find a good money exchange service provider, so you can easily send home money and do not hesitate to ask for help.
Take your time and enjoy your life in France – it’s all a part of the big adventure of relocating to a new country.