Ugly Bulgarian Baby -Not!

In Skalitsa one of my lovely neighbours recently had a baby - I had not seen the new Bulgarian addition to the Skalitsa village for a month or so and found it quite strange in fact quite worrying.

It was a boy and called Alexander, that's all the information that came out from the family. On asking around why the baby was being hidden from public it was tradition that families with new arrivals were not to get visits from friends and families for up to a couple months from birth as this was deemed as bad luck. This explained a lot.

Then on a lovely summer day I saw the pram being pushed down the road past my house and as Galia my Bulgarian partner and I were also on the road walking the other way we paused to finally get a glimpse of the child. Now my Bulgarian isn't excellent by any account but I heard Galia say in Bulgarian that the baby wasn't very pretty added to which she said that the left eye was bigger than the right one! I was absolutely certain that this is what she said. Also, uncharacteristically, we only spent about a minute with Alex and Maria his mother, usually a conversation would last anything up to an hour especially after not seeing them for so long!

When we walked away I questioned Galia who said that it wasn't good to spent time looking at the baby it was a bad thing to do in Bulgaria. I then asked why she insulted the baby by saying it was ugly and other nasty things about his eyes. She said this was a custom in Bulgaria where you say bad things about the baby as it brings good luck - I was quite amazed and also amused with this.

The following weekend we met up again with baby Alex and mother Maria, I had the strange custom of telling the mother in Bulgarian that her son had ears like Prince Charles and a mouth like a horse! She thanked me very much as she walked off in another brief encounter!

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