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), and will quickly switch from vous to tu with new social acquaintances, although older people may be reluctant to make the change.
Some people always remain vous, such as figures of authority (the local mayor) or those with whom you have a business relationship, e.g. If you’re invited to dinner by a French person (which is a sign that you’ve been accepted into the community), take along a small present of flowers, a plant or chocolates.
When you’re introduced to a French person, you should say ‘good day, Sir/Madam’ ( bonjour madame/ monsieur) and shake hands (a single pump is enough – neither limp nor knuckle-crushing).
Salut (hi or hello) is used only among close friends and young people.
Social customs can also dictate the type of language a person uses in social settings.
Continue Reading Social customs vary based on a person's background, ethnicity and cultural upbringing.
If you do take wine, however, don’t be surprised if your hosts put it to one side for a future occasion; they will already have planned the wine for the meal and know that a wine needs to settle before it can be drunk.
Flowers can be tricky, as to some people carnations mean bad luck, chrysanthemums are for cemeteries (they’re placed on graves on All Saints’ Day), red roses signify love and are associated with the Socialists and yellow roses have something to do with adultery, and marigolds ( soucis) simply aren’t de rigueur. You shouldn’t serve any drinks (or expect to be served one) before all guests have arrived – even if some are an hour or more late!
Some people say you must never take wine, as this implies that your hosts don’t know what wine to buy, although this obviously depends on your hosts and how well you know them.For example, India's social arena puts more prominence on gender, with special preference given to males as a figure of authority and dominance.Almost all marriages are arranged in this culture, and women are expected to be more submissive in social settings.(It’s also customary to kiss everyone in sight – including the men if you’re a man – at midnight on New Year’s Eve!) When talking to a stranger, use the formal form of address ( vous).