Roma Girl Bridal Market Stara Zagora, Bulgaria - March.2017
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, dances, and checking each other out - while mothers and fathers stay discreetly in the background. 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 leva (2.500 - 5.000 euros). But prices are said to rise for a 'very beautiful' young woman with many suitors.
This tradition is common in certain regions of Bulgaria among a Roma group called "Kalayci". This illegal practice for the state appears to be a cultural gathering in sight. It is done in the place reserved by the city administration. This time they were given a truck park. But this did not deter them from their activities. It caused new marriages while having fun in front of the trucks. A family who found and selected their bride embraced her and showed her to the guests. The most colorful images of the day were visiting of the couples who met and married at the same event a year ago.