Sealed with a kiss: Macron revives France’s cheeky embrace


The double-cheeked embrace that was a customary greeting in France before the coronavirus pandemic saw it largely abandoned as a potential kiss of death is back with a presidential seal of approval.

French President Emmanuel Macron made the return of “la bise” all but official Friday by giving warm cheek-to-cheek embraces to two World War II veterans at an award ceremony.

The French leader wore a face mask. The veterans – Leon Gautier, 98, and Rene Crignola, 99 – did not. But both seemed comfortable, and reciprocated, as Macron reached in and put his cheeks to theirs.

Macron is vaccinated against the coronavirus and also suffered a moderate bout of COVID-19 in December.

The gesture put Macron’s seal of approval on what is still a slow, hesitant and not always welcome return of embraces. They became frowned upon as COVID-19 infections ravaged France, which counts 110,000 dead from the disease.

With 60% of France’s adults now having had at least one jab, embracing family and friends again has been one of the joys of vaccination for those who are quickly falling back into the habit.

But others are clinging to the hope that its disappearance during the height of the pandemic might still become permanent, particularly in workplaces.

Even before the pandemic, “la bise” was a source of division. Having to do rounds of kisses with colleagues was regarded as an awkward and tedious chore by some, a pleasant, relationship-affirming exercise by others.

Macron’s embraces for the veterans as he awarded them the Legion of Honor, the country’s highest award, marked another step toward France feeling like its former self again.

Face masks also came off this week – no longer required attire outdoors in most circumstances. And a nighttime curfew is ending on Sunday.



Source link

Latest

Blockchain Bridges: How Do They Even Work?

Blockchains do not, in general, talk to each other very well - or at all - unless bridge mechanisms are implemented. This article...

Zomato IPO opens July 14, check grey market premium; should you subscribe for listing gains?

Zomato, India’s home grown unicorn, would be the first of many Indian tech startups to list on the stock exchangesZomato, an online...

Vograce Custom Button Pins Used in the Advertising Industry

Custom button pins are a popular promotional gift and are used widely in the advertising industry. These button pins are available in different shapes...

Central Vista area to get 1,753 new trees as transplant, revamp to raise green cover

As many as 1,753 new trees will be transplanted and 2,000 tree saplings planted in the Central Vista area under the government's ambitious...

Tips for buying the best Tote bags in Singapore

When it comes to shopping for a new tote bag, Singapore offers plenty of great options. With so many styles and materials available, it...