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Article updated: 3/31/2013 7:26 AM

Gypsies flock to bridal fair as parents negotiate

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People watch a Roma girl and boy from the Kalaidzhi community dancing on the trunk of a car, during so called "Roma bridal market." The Kalaidzhi, who represent only a small portion of the estimated 700,000 Roma in Bulgaria, are almost all devout Orthodox Christians who keep teenage boys and girls separate. Parents sometimes remove girls from school at 15 or even earlier to keep them from mixing with boys. The isolation is broken only by Internet chats and the twice-a-year bridal fairs.

Associated Press

Roma brides-to-be from the Kalaidzhi community as they dance during so called "Roma bridal market." The Kalaidzhi, who represent only a small portion of the estimated 700,000 Roma in Bulgaria, are almost all devout Orthodox Christians who keep teenage boys and girls separate

Associated Press

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Elderly Roma women from the Kalaidzhi community having a chat during so called "Roma bridal market." The Kalaidzhi, who represent only a small portion of the estimated 700,000 Roma in Bulgaria, are almost all devout Orthodox Christians who keep teenage boys and girls separate.

Associated Press

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Love's not exactly for sale at the gypsy "bridal market," but in the litter-strewn parking lot that hosts the fair, amid blaring Gypsy pop and saucy flirtation, negotiations are churning quietly behind the scenes as families weigh their financial compatibility along with the merits of the prospective bride.
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    • People watch a Roma girl and boy from the Kalaidzhi community dancing on the trunk of a car, during so called “Roma bridal market.” The Kalaidzhi, who represent only a small portion of the estimated 700,000 Roma in Bulgaria, are almost all devout Orthodox Christians who keep teenage boys and girls separate. Parents sometimes remove girls from school at 15 or even earlier to keep them from mixing with boys. The isolation is broken only by Internet chats and the twice-a-year bridal fairs.
    • Roma brides-to-be from the Kalaidzhi community as they dance during so called “Roma bridal market.” The Kalaidzhi, who represent only a small portion of the estimated 700,000 Roma in Bulgaria, are almost all devout Orthodox Christians who keep teenage boys and girls separate
    • Elderly Roma women from the Kalaidzhi community having a chat during so called “Roma bridal market.” The Kalaidzhi, who represent only a small portion of the estimated 700,000 Roma in Bulgaria, are almost all devout Orthodox Christians who keep teenage boys and girls separate.
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