RIBNOVO, Bulgaria (Reuters) – Fikrie Sabrieva, 17, will marry along with her eyes shut and her face painted white, dotted with bright sequins. She lives ‘at the conclusion of this world’, tending A muslim that is hardy culture mostly Christian Bulgaria.
Kids view the marriage ceremony of Moussa Babechki and Fikrie Sabrieva into the town of Ribnovo, when you look at the Rhodope Mountains, some 210km (130miles) south of Sofia 13, 2008 january. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov
The remote town of Ribnovo, set for a snowy mountainside in southwest Bulgaria, has held its conventional cold temperatures wedding ceremony alive despite decades of Communist persecution, accompanied by poverty that forced a lot of men to find work abroad.
“Other nearby villages tried the marriage that is traditional the ban had been lifted, however the custom somehow died away — ladies wanted become contemporary, ” said Ali Mustafa Bushnak, 61, whoever child arrived to view Fikrie’s wedding.
“Maybe we have been at the conclusion regarding the globe. Or individuals in Ribnovo have become proud and religious of the traditions. ”
Some specialists say clinging to your conventional marriage ceremony is Ribnovo’s response to the persecutions of history.
Bulgaria may be the European that is only Union where Muslims’ share can be high as 12 per cent. The regime that is communist which would not tolerate any spiritual rituals, tried to forcibly integrate Muslims into Bulgaria’s mostly Christian Orthodox populace, pushing them to abandon using their old-fashioned outfits and adopt Slavonic names.
The marriage ritual had been resurrected with vitality among the list of Pomaks — Slavs whom transformed into Islam under Ottoman guideline and now constitute 2.5 per cent of Bulgaria’s 7.8 million populace — after communism collapsed in 1989.
But today it’s still done only when you look at the shut culture of Ribnovo plus one other town within the Balkan nation. Teenage boys get back from abroad to your mountain that is crisp, only for the wintertime weddings.
Individuals in Ribnovo identify on their own more by their faith, as Muslims, than by their nationality or ethnicity, additionally the wedding service is a manifestation of these piety. The town has 10 clerics and two mosques for 3,500 inhabitants.
DOWRY in DISPLAY
Fikrie’s family members have already been laboriously turning up her dowry since she was created — mostly handmade knit-work, quilts, coverlets, sheets, aprons, socks, floor coverings.
For a sunny Saturday cold temperatures early early morning they hang the things on a scaffolding that is wooden 50 meters long and three meters high, erected particularly for the occasion regarding the high, dirty road of scruffy two-storey houses that results in her house.
Most people within the town involves examine the offerings: Fikrie’s tiny homeyard has been changed into a showroom for the furniture and home appliances the bride has got to allow for her brand new home.
The girl along with her husband-to-be, Moussa, 20, then lead a conventional horo party on the main square, accompanied by the majority of the village’s youth.
However the highlight regarding the ceremony, the artwork for the bride’s face, comes by the end associated with day that is second.
In a rite that is private and then feminine in-laws, Fikrie’s face is covered in dense, chalky white paint and decorated with colorful sequins. An extended veil that is red her locks, her mind is framed with tinsel, her painted face veiled with and silvery filaments.
Clad in baggy jeans and bodice shimmering in most the colors regarding the rainbow, the bride is presented by her husband to be, her mom along with her grandmother towards the waiting audience.
Fikrie just isn’t allowed to start her eyes wide until a Muslim priest blesses the couple that is young. Liquor is forbidden in the wedding receptions and intercourse before marriage is taboo.
Ethnographers state it really is difficult to date the painting that is bridal, since the communist regime failed to encourage studies into minority cultural and spiritual teams.
“It is quite most likely it is a tradition that is invented. An associate professor at the Ethnography Institute of the slovenian brides Bulgarian Academy of Science it’s their way to express who they are, ” said Margarita Karamihova.
Professionals say Pomaks had identification problems and faced more challenges compared to the bulk of Muslims in Bulgaria, who will be cultural Turks.
“In the 1960s they’d ban music that is islamic weddings, chances are they will never enable old-fashioned garments, as well as in the 1980s, the complete old-fashioned Pomak wedding had been prohibited, ” said municipality mayor, Ahmed Bashev, born in Ribnovo.
Ribnovo’s inhabitants utilized which will make a full time income from tobacco and farming, but low incomes into the EU country that is poorest forced men to start out looking for jobs in towns in Bulgaria or in western Europe — maybe not minimum to increase cash for a marriage.
Outside impacts happen sluggish to attain Ribnovo and young adults seldom marry an outsider. Another Fikrie, 19-year-old Fikrie Inuzova, recommended the ladies, for whom the appropriate age that is bridal up to 22, aren’t in a hurry to modernize.
“My bro wants to visit, start to see the world. It’s different for males. They are able to do any. I do want to stay right right here and marry. ”