How Many Kisses Make a Proper Greeting in France, Mapped
How many check-to-cheek salutations make up a proper greeting in France? Depends on where you live. The answers vary from a single peck to an exhaustive (and exhausting) five-smooch hello. Bill Rankin of Radical Cartography put together a map of proper greeting etiquette based on a French web survey. And wow, people in Corsica really like to kiss. Almost 20 percent of the island thinks five kisses is appropriate upon meeting a friend!
Each administrative district in France is shaded based on the proportion of people in that region that voted for each kiss-number in the survey, allowing you to see the prevalence of certain customs in each place. Northern France, for instance, is dominated by the four-kiss regimen, while a single smooch is acceptable in Brittany, and people in Montpellier think a third kiss necessary. Rankin used a pointillist color mix to show nuances in the data that previous maps had missed. Naturally, as the web survey didn’t poll every single person in France, the data may be a bit skewed toward whatever the survey-eager Internet population of the country thinks is proper.