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Say "Oui" to Bonjour Culture in France

Jodie Day
by Jodie Day

April 12, 2024

2 minute read

If you’ve ever travelled to France, you’re most likely familiar with “bonjour culture.” Whether you're stepping into a bakery for a quick bite, strolling through a picturesque market, or entering a chic boutique in Paris, you'll encounter the familiar greeting of "bonjour" from shopkeepers, locals, and passersby alike.

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The phrase "bonjour culture" refers to the cultural norm in France of greeting people with "bonjour," meaning "hello" or "good day" in English. It's a simple concept, but an important way for travellers to convey politeness and respect. To avoid being perceived as rude or impolite, this custom is considered essential in both formal and informal interactions.

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The importance of bonjour culture reflects broader values in French society, including etiquette and maintaining cordial social interactions. In a nutshell, “bonjour culture” is seen as a way of acknowledging someone's presence and showing you care for their well-being.

Often accompanied by other polite phrases such as "s'il vous plaît" (please) and "merci" (thank you), "bonjour" further indicates the significance of the country’s courteous culture. Saying “bonjour” in France is more than just a greeting — it's a reflection of social norms and values that emphasize how communities treat one another in their day-to-day lives.

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When greeting the locals with this magic word, not only are you making a good first impression – you’re letting them know that you understand and care about French culture.

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