RITUAL – Will the health crisis cause the wind to disappear? An essential French habit that we had to give up temporarily, or almost, because some do not regret it that much.
V. F – 2021-06-21T18:23:00.000+02:00
It had disappeared during the pandemic, but with mass vaccination and the gradual lifting of restrictions, the French kiss seems to be back. Even if this tradition, already in decline, could have taken lead in the wing, one of the most striking images came Friday, June 18 from the highest peak in the state. Emmanuel Macron rehabilitated her when he greeted in this way two veterans of the Second World War. The head of state wore a mask, but not the two men, 98 and 99 years old.
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What about the average person? After months without physical contact, it seems that reflexes of caution have set in. “Me, I hate the kisses at the base. So I say thank you to the Covid: we stop the kisses. It suits me very well, I will never do it to anyone again”, thus entrusts a young woman to the news of 13H of TF1. “It’s a little too early to consider a return to friendly gestures”, another young woman argues. While a young man confesses: “If the person reaches out to me, I will not refuse them, but I will not voluntarily extend my hand “, he says.
Will the check dethrone the north wind?
On the other hand, as a family, we tend to lower our guard. Question of proximity, no doubt. “With the family, in any case, it’s back. With very close friends that we see regularly, we also kiss each other as before. And if not, it’s the checks [façon de se saluer poing-à-poing]”, confirms a young man. The check or hug, very common among Americans, indeed seems to have gained traction, especially among young workers who prefer this other code to a kiss not very popular between colleagues. “At 20, the kiss is not really something that we are used to doing. Now, I have the impression that it is not too much of our generation”, explains a young woman.
Cultural differences also play a role, because the north wind has its own geography. Three kisses for example, in the Massif Central, Drôme or Hérault. Four kisses in Aube, Yonne or Haute-Marne. While in Marseille, it is distributed generously. “We’re like that. We can’t just say hello. We don’t need to slap each other on the shoulder, kiss each other, hug each other,” recognizes a resident.
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After 15 months of health crisis, everyone is now free to choose their gesture to greet. No more obligatory winds, it regains the intimate character of its origins. “Kissing someone is also making them trust again, marking a truly intimate relationship between two people. Kissing today makes sense, in any case more than it did before. the pandemic “, analysis Mathieu Avanzi, linguist and lecturer at the Sorbonne.
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