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.
  • 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.]
  • Languages
    French (official) (100%)
  • Religions
    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.
  • Ethnicities
    Celtic and Latin
    North African
    Note: France prohibits state authorities from collecting data on individuals' ethnicity
  • Cultural Dimensions
  • Australians with French Ancestry
    135,382 [2016 census]
French in Australia
  • Population
    [2016 census]
    This figure refers to the number of Australian residents that were born in France.
  • Average Age
  • Gender
    Male (50.9%)
    Female (49.1%)
  • Religion
    Catholic Christianity (45.0%)
    Judaism (1.9%)
    Other (11.9%)
    No Religion (35.6%)
    Not stated (5.7%)
  • Ancestry
    French (67.2%)
    Italian (5.1%)
    English (3.4%)
    Australian (3.1%)
    Other (21.2%)
  • Language Spoken at Home
    French (61.3%)
    English (31.1%)
    Italian (1.9%)
    Other (5.1%)
    Not stated (0.7%)
    Of those who speak a language other than English at home, 94.0% speak English fluently.
  • Diaspora
    New South Wales (36.2%)
    Victoria (22.8%)
    Queensland (20.2%)
    Western Australia (11.3%)
  • Arrival to Australia
    Prior to 2001 (54.4%)
    2001-2006 (13.9%)
    2007-2011 (26.7%)
Country Flag Country France