- Title: Missing kissing, Parisians say "la bise" is back
- Date: 28th September 2021
- Summary: PORTICCIO, CORSICA, FRANCE (FILE - SEPTEMBER 10, 2020) (REUTERS) MACRON BUMPING FISTS WITH CYPRIOT PRESIDENT, NICOS ANASTASIADES
- Embargoed: 12th October 2021 12:31
- Keywords: French La bise greeting kiss
- Location: VARIOUS LOCATIONS
- City: VARIOUS LOCATIONS
- Country: France
- Topics: Europe,Human-Led Quirky,Human-Led Stories
- Reuters ID: LVA004EWMUPTZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS PROFANITY IN SHOTS 23 AND 25
France's traditional "la bise" greeting - a kiss on each cheek - is slowly making a comeback as the coronavirus recedes.
Bestowed on family, friends, or anyone else in an informal setting, "la bise" was de facto banned at the height of the pandemic.
But with more than 70% of the population fully vaccinated, people can once more be seen planting what are usually just air kisses by a kissing sound on each other's cheeks.
"Better to be vaccinated and to be able to kiss each other than not to be vaccinated and not kiss each other," civil servant Vincent Seznec said, beer in hand, after greeting friends with a "bise."
Parisians Anna and Carmela, after embracing and kissing each other's cheeks, said they could not agree more.
"It's a great sign of affection and of welcoming the other," Anna said.
Carmela dearly missed "la bise" - especially when her 32-year old daughter stopped kissing her for fear of transmitting COVID-19. "Ohhhhhhhhh, it was so sad," Carmela said.
Even President Emmanuel Macron, who had recommended people do not kiss or shake hands to help reduce contagion risks, can now occasionally be seen "faire la bise".
However, several Parisians said things will never be quite the same. For one thing, people are more selective - and it has become easier to say you do not want to kiss someone on the cheeks.
"I'm doing 'la bise' again but only to loved ones, not people I don't really know well," Natalie Bitar said.
But for Paris-based British comedian Paul Taylor, whose YouTube video, a sketch on "la bise," went viral, there is no doubt the comeback has started and it's here to stay.
"When I do my show, I ask the audience, by way of applause, 'who has done 'la bise' since COVID'? The whole room applauds."
(Production: Yiming Woo)
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