You might have seen various types of markets today. There are separate markets for vegetables. Some markets deal with clothes. Some specialize in grains. But have you ever heard of a bride market? You might be wondering if such a thing even exists. Is it permissible to sell women in today’s time? Let me tell you, we’re not joking. In Bulgaria, there is a place where the bride market is completely legal. Yes, in this market, people roam around to buy a wife for themselves.
We’re talking about the market that operates in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria, where brides are sold. Here, men come with their families and choose a girl they like. The girl’s worth is assessed, and negotiations take place. When the girl’s family is satisfied with the offered price, they hand their daughter over to the boy’s family. The boy brings the girl home and officially designates her as his wife.
Market for the Less Privileged
This bride market is set up for underprivileged girls. Weddings often incur significant expenses. Families that cannot afford to arrange their daughter’s wedding bring her to this market. The boy’s family then arrives and selects the girl they prefer. According to the girl’s family’s valuation, they pay the price and acquire her. This tradition has been ongoing in Bulgaria for years, and the government even grants permission for this market to operate.
Bringing the Bride Home from the Market
The prices for the girls sold in this market vary. A girl who hasn’t been with any man before typically commands a higher price. Moreover, there are several rules to follow before bringing a purchased bride home from the market. In this market, members of the Kalaidzhi community sell their daughters. It’s essential that the buyer also belongs to the same community. Additionally, the girl’s family must be economically disadvantaged. Well-off families cannot sell their daughters. It’s also necessary to grant the purchased girl the status of a daughter-in-law.
In essence, this practice sheds light on a unique aspect of culture in Bulgaria, where a bride market functions as a means for less privileged families to marry off their daughters. While it might seem unconventional and controversial, it’s important to understand the historical and cultural context in which such practices have emerged.
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