French Culture


  • Greetings are important in France. Thus, it is necessary to greet others correctly to make a good impression.
  • Handshakes are the norm in a business setting or with acquaintances. It is expected that you will shake hands with everyone present when arriving and leaving. 
  • Among friends and relatives, the most common greeting is the ‘la bise’ (kiss on both cheeks). The la bise consists of placing one’s cheek against another’s, making a kiss noise, then repeating it on the opposite side. A la bise is sometimes accompanied with an embrace.
  • People generally kiss twice during a la bise; however, this varies depending on the region in France. In this instance, follow your French counterpart.
  • One should remove their sunglasses and/or hat when doing a la bise
  • Respect is shown in verbal greetings by referring to the person as “Madam,” (‘Mrs’) “Monsieur” (‘Mr’) or “Mademoiselle”. Madam is only used to refer to a married woman, while Mademoiselle is reserved for unwed women.
  • In formal contexts or when speaking to elders, use last names and appropriate titles until you are invited by your French counterpart to move on to a first-name basis. It is important to acknowledge someone by their academic title (if relevant).
  • In a formal setting, addressing someone by their title always precedes any conversation or request (e.g. “Madam, would you like a drink?”).
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  • Population
    [July 2016 est.]
  • Language
    French (official) (100%)
  • Religion
    Christianity (63-66%)
    Islam (7-9%)
    Buddhism (0.5-0.75%)
    Judaism (0.5-0.75%)
    Other (0.5-1.0%)
    No Religion (23-28%)
    [2015 est.]
    Note: France prohibits state authorities from collecting data on individuals' religious beliefs.
  • Ethnicity
    Celtic and Latin
    North African
    Note: France prohibits state authorities from collecting data on individuals' ethnicity
  • Cultural Dimensions
  • Australians with French Ancestry
    135,382 [Census, 2016]
French in Australia
  • Population
    [Census, 2016]
    This figure refers to the number of Australian residents that were born in France.
  • Median Age
    [Census, 2016]
  • Gender
    Male (51.4%)
    Female (48.7%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Religion
    No Religion (46.9%)
    Catholic Christianity (36.0%)
    Judaism (1.3%)
    Buddhism (1.2%%)
    Other Religion (7.7%)
    Not Stated (6.4%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Ancestry
    French (63.7%)
    Italian (6.3%)
    English (3.3%)
    Spanish (3.2%)
    Other Ancestry (23.5%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Language Spoken at Home
    French (65.6%)
    English (28.0%)
    Italian (1.2%)
    Other Languages (4.5%)
    Of those who speak a language other than English at home, 95.5% speak English fluently.
    [Census, 2016]
  • Diaspora
    New South Wales (37.1%)
    Victoria (23.0%)
    Queensland (18.8%)
    Western Australia (12.3%)
    Other (8.8%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Arrival to Australia
    Prior to 2007 (50.3%)
    2007 - 2011 (17.0%)
    2012 - 2016 (28.8%)
    [Census, 2016]
Country Flag Country France