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France facts: Good manners are compulsory in one town hall

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France facts: Good manners are compulsory in one town hall

The French - well let's be honest Parisians - have something of an international reputation for being rude, but one French town values manners so much that is has made them compulsory.


If you are visiting the mairie in the small town of Lhéraule in the Picardie area of northern France you had better watch your Ps and Qs.

You can legally be ejected from the premises if you fail to greet staff politely with a bonjour and say please and thank you during your exchange.

This ruling was apparently introduced in 2012 after a member of the public was curt and disrespectful to an employee of the town hall. 

"Users of the town hall of Lhéraule are required to comply with social norms of politeness and courtesy (...), in particular to greet those present when entering the premises", according to article 1 of the decree.
"In the event of a manifest and deliberate failure to comply with this requirement, the person will be urged to leave the premises or to report back to the premises under the conditions defined in Article 1", Article 2 states.
The exceptions to the rules of polite greetings are during cases of civil emergency, election days or during a wedding.
And if you want more explanation of why bonjour is crucial when walking into an office, a doctor's waiting room, a lift and many other situations, click here.



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