The Cost Of A Bride, Roma's Traditional Wedding Negotiations By Edge of Humanity Magazine, May 26, 2017
A work for Edge of Humanity Magazine
Teenage Roma girls match up with their future husbands at open-air activity in Bulgaria. Poor Roma families use these markets to arrange financial benefits for their children's marriages. The event's reputation as a 'bridal market' dates back generations. It starts, like a high school dance, with groups of boys and girls in separate clumps, occasionally shaking hands and checking each other out. Mothers and fathers stay discreetly in the background. If the youths warm up to each other, the activity can trigger complex financial negotiations about the price a young man's family must pay to a woman's parents if they are to be married. The cost of a bride is between 5,000 and 10,000 lev (2.500 - 5.000 euros). But prices are said to rise for a very beautiful young woman with many suitors.