RIBNOVO, Bulgaria (Reuters) – Fikrie Sabrieva, 17, will marry together with her eyes closed and her face painted white, dotted with bright sequins. She lives ‘at the conclusion associated with the world’, tending a hardy muslim tradition in largely Christian Bulgaria.
Kiddies view the marriage ceremony of Moussa Babechki and Fikrie Sabrieva within the town of Ribnovo, into the Rhodope Mountains, some 210km (130miles) south of Sofia January 13, 2008. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov
The remote town of Ribnovo, set for a snowy mountainside in southwest Bulgaria, has held its old-fashioned wintertime wedding service alive despite decades of Communist persecution, followed closely by poverty that forced lots of men to get work abroad.
“Other nearby villages tried the conventional wedding after the ban ended up being lifted, then again the custom somehow died away romanian online date — ladies wanted to be contemporary, ” said Ali Mustafa Bushnak, 61, whoever child arrived to view Fikrie’s wedding.
“Maybe we have been at the conclusion associated with the whole world. Or individuals in Ribnovo have become spiritual and proud of these traditions. ”
Some specialists state clinging into the conventional marriage ceremony is Ribnovo’s response to the persecutions associated with the past.
Bulgaria could be the only eu country where Muslims’ share can be as high as 12 per cent. The regime that is communist which didn’t tolerate any spiritual rituals, tried to forcibly integrate Muslims into Bulgaria’s mostly Christian Orthodox populace, pushing them to abandon using their traditional outfits and adopt Slavonic names.
The marriage ritual was resurrected with vitality among the list of Pomaks — Slavs whom changed into Islam under Ottoman guideline and now compensate 2.5 per cent of Bulgaria’s 7.8 million populace — after communism collapsed in 1989.
But today it’s still done only within the shut culture of Ribnovo plus one other town when you look at the Balkan nation. Teenage boys get back from abroad into the crisp mountain snows, only for the wintertime weddings.
Individuals in Ribnovo identify themselves more by their faith, as Muslims, than by their nationality or ethnicity, and also the wedding service is a manifestation of the piety. The town has 10 clerics as well as 2 mosques for 3,500 inhabitants.
Fikrie’s family members have already been laboriously mounting up her dowry since she was created — mostly handmade knit-work, quilts, coverlets, sheets, aprons, socks, floor coverings.
On a sunny Saturday cold temperatures early morning they hang those items for a wood scaffolding, 50 meters very very long and three meters high, erected particularly for the event in the high, dirty road of scruffy two-storey homes that results in her home.
Everybody when you look at the town involves examine the offerings: Fikrie’s tiny homeyard has been changed into a showroom for the household and furniture devices the bride needs to allow for her brand 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 all of the village’s youth.
However the highlight regarding the ceremony, the artwork of this bride’s face, comes by the end associated with the 2nd time.
In a rite that is private simply to feminine in-laws, Fikrie’s face is covered in dense, chalky white paint and decorated with colorful sequins. An extended red veil covers 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 for the rainbow, the bride is presented by her husband to be, her mother along with her grandmother into 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 during the wedding receptions and sex before wedding is taboo.
Ethnographers say it really is difficult to date the painting that is bridal, while the communist regime would not encourage studies into minority cultural and spiritual teams.
“It is quite most most likely it is a tradition that is invented. It’s their method to show who they really are, ” said Margarita Karamihova, a co-employee teacher in the Ethnography Institute associated with the Bulgarian Academy of Science.
Specialists state Pomaks had identification dilemmas and encountered more challenges compared to the bulk of Muslims in Bulgaria, that are cultural Turks.
“In the 1960s they might ban Islamic music at weddings, they wouldn’t normally enable old-fashioned clothing, plus in the 1980s, the entire old-fashioned Pomak wedding had been prohibited, ” said municipality mayor, Ahmed Bashev, created in Ribnovo.
Ribnovo’s inhabitants utilized which will make an income from tobacco and farming, but low incomes when you look at the EU country that is poorest forced men to begin looking for jobs in metropolitan areas in Bulgaria or in western Europe — maybe maybe not minimum to increase cash for a marriage.
Outside impacts have already been sluggish to attain Ribnovo and people that are young marry an outsider. Another Fikrie, 19-year-old Fikrie Inuzova, proposed the ladies, for who the appropriate bridal age is as much as 22, aren’t pretty quickly to modernize.
“My bro wants to visit, start to see the world. It’s different for males. They are able to do whatever. I do want to stay right right here and marry. ”