White-painted bride honors Muslim that is bulgarian rite
White-painted bride honors Muslim that is bulgarian rite RIBNOVO, Bulgaria...

White-painted bride honors Muslim that is bulgarian rite

RIBNOVO, Bulgaria (Reuters) – Fikrie Sabrieva, 17, will marry together with her eyes shut along with her face painted white, dotted with bright sequins. She lives ‘at the conclusion of this world’, tending A muslim that is hardy culture largely Christian Bulgaria.

Kiddies view the marriage ceremony of Moussa Babechki and Fikrie Sabrieva when you look at 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 mountainside that is snowy southwest Bulgaria, has held its old-fashioned cold weather wedding service alive despite decades of Communist persecution, followed closely by poverty that forced many men to find work abroad.

“Other nearby villages tried the marriage that is traditional the ban had been lifted, then again the custom somehow died away — ladies wanted become contemporary,” said Ali Mustafa Bushnak, 61, whoever child arrived to look at Fikrie’s wedding.

“Maybe our company is at the conclusion regarding the entire world. Or individuals in Ribnovo are extremely proud and religious of these traditions.”

Some professionals state clinging to your old-fashioned marriage ceremony is Ribnovo’s response to the persecutions associated with the past.

Bulgaria could be the European that is only Union where Muslims’ share is really as high as 12 %. The regime that is communist which would not tolerate any spiritual rituals, tried to forcibly integrate Muslims into Bulgaria’s largely Christian Orthodox populace, pressing them to abandon using their old-fashioned outfits and adopt Slavonic names.

The marriage ritual had been resurrected with vigor among the list of Pomaks — Slavs whom transformed 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 just when you look at the society that is closed of plus one other town into the Balkan nation. Teenage boys return from abroad into the mountain that is crisp, 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 marriage service is a manifestation of the piety. The town has 10 clerics and two mosques for 3,500 inhabitants.


Fikrie’s family have now been laboriously mounting up her dowry since she was created — mostly handmade knit-work, quilts, coverlets, sheets, aprons, socks, floor coverings.

For a sunny Saturday wintertime early early early morning they hang the things for a scaffolding that is wooden 50 meters long and three meters high, erected specifically for the event on the high, dirty road of scruffy two-storey homes that causes her house.

Most people into the town involves examine the offerings: Fikrie’s tiny homeyard has been changed into a showroom when it comes to furniture and home devices the bride needs to give her brand new home.

The girl and her husband-to-be, Moussa, 20, then lead a horo that is traditional on the central square, accompanied by all the village’s youth.

However the highlight associated with the ceremony, the artwork for the bride’s face, comes by the end associated with second day.

In a erotic panamanian brides personal rite available and then feminine in-laws, Fikrie’s face is covered in dense, chalky white paint and decorated with colorful sequins. A lengthy 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 every the colors for the rainbow, the bride is presented by her husband to be, her mom and her grandmother into the waiting audience.

Fikrie is certainly not allowed to start her eyes wide until a Muslim priest blesses the young few. Liquor is forbidden during the wedding receptions and intercourse before wedding is taboo.


Ethnographers state its difficult to date the bridal painting ritual, once the communist regime failed to encourage studies into minority cultural and spiritual teams.

“It is quite most likely it is an invented tradition. It’s their method to show who they really are,” said Margarita Karamihova, an associate at work teacher in the Ethnography Institute regarding the Bulgarian Academy of Science.

Professionals state Pomaks had identification dilemmas and encountered more challenges compared to bulk of Muslims in Bulgaria, who will be cultural Turks.

“In the 1960s they might ban music that is islamic weddings, chances are they will never enable old-fashioned clothing, plus in the 1980s, the complete conventional Pomak wedding had been prohibited,” said municipality mayor, Ahmed Bashev, created in Ribnovo.

Ribnovo’s inhabitants utilized which will make a living from tobacco and farming, but low incomes into the EU country that is poorest forced men to begin searching for jobs in urban centers in Bulgaria or in western Europe — maybe not least to boost cash for a marriage.

Outside impacts happen sluggish to attain Ribnovo and young people seldom marry an outsider. Another Fikrie, 19-year-old Fikrie Inuzova, recommended the ladies, for who the appropriate bridal age is as much as 22, aren’t pretty quickly to modernize.

“My sibling wants to visit, start to see the world. It’s different for males. They could do any. I do want to remain right here and marry.”

About Author

Leave a Comment