Brides for Sale

Brides for Sale

Gesellschaft und Soziales 

The Kalajdzii - a name meaning tinsmiths or boilermakers - are a Roma group who keep themselves to themselves. Once a year, at Bachkovo Monastery in Bulgaria, a market is held for young Roma men who travel from all over Bulgaria to select - and buy - their brides.

Kalajdzii are only allowed to marry other Kalajdzii. A growing number of young Roma, however, are rebelling against the ancient tradition. For young Kalajdzii the annual bride market at Bachkovo Monastery is the only chance to find a partner. Their Orthodox Christian faith and traditional code of conduct prohibit them from dating, flirting or having any other pre-marital relations. The Kalajdzii - literally "tinkers" - marry only within the group. Finding a spouse from outside - and in particular a non-Roma Bulgarian - is out of the question. Love is only a secondary consideration. What matters is the dowry. A growing number of young Roma, however, are rebelling against the traditional marriage market. They want to make their own decisions, and to love and marry the person of their choice. For girls especially - some as young as 15 when they are put up for marriage - the wedding is the end of self-determined life. They will subsequently be housewives and mothers. The film accompanies 17-year-old Teni and 19-year-old Maria in the week before the market day. For them it means buying a lot of new clothes and masses of other preparations. Can this be a way to find true love? And how is the outdated ritual affected by the Internet and social media?


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