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BULGARIA/
RTR2V65X
December 12, 2011
A Bulgarian Muslim woman walks in front of the dowry for the wedding of Mehmed Aiumankov and Fatme Kichukova...
Ribnovo, Bulgaria
A Bulgarian Muslim woman walks in front of the dowry for the wedding of Mehmed Aiumankov and Fatme Kichukova...
A Bulgarian Muslim woman walks in front of the dowry for the wedding of Mehmed Aiumankov and Fatme Kichukova in the village of Ribnovo, in the Rhodope Mountains, some 210 km (130 miles) south of Sofia December 11, 2011. The remote mountain village of Ribnovo in southwest Bulgaria has kept its traditional winter marriage ceremony alive despite decades of Communist persecution, followed by poverty that forced many men to seek work abroad. The wedding ritual was resurrected with vigour among the Pomaks - Slavs who converted to Islam under Ottoman rule. Today Muslims make up 10 percent of Bulgaria's 7.4 million population. The highlight of the ceremony is the painting of the bride's face, where in a private rite open only to female in-laws, her face is covered in thick, chalky white paint and decorated with colourful sequins. Picture taken December 11, 2011. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov (BULGARIA - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION)
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