Bulgarian Women Sweepers

It is a fascination in Bulgaria that I see most women having a passion about sweeping. This seems to be a National pastime in Bulgaria for the female species. No men are aloud in that domain and woe be told any man Bulgarian or otherwise that tries it, I’ve been there.

Every day first thing in the morning the Bulgarian household sweeper (the female species) is there early in the morning before the heat gets up, doing the business. It happens everywhere, in the garden, the yard the public street and in the house. A familiar sound that wakes me up every morning is the sound of women brushing and sweeping everything in sight.

I feel sorry for the ants. Every day they leave little mounds of earth or concrete in the yard from their underground nests and every day the concrete and earth is swept back into the hole they had dug. They never give up though the next morning the same routine takes place; neither ant nor Bulgarian women ever surrender form the battle of mounds.

Sweeping is a very proud activity for Bulgarian women, their pride is maintaining a clean environment for the household and especially for the men who would not doubt complain if the home wasn’t swept, or would they? I don’t think there has been and instance where they have had to complain; the women are brought up on this chore and don’t think twice about it. Even the new generation Bulgarian women still has this compulsion to sweep. I see it everywhere I go and in every home I visit.

As the summer turns into autumn the activities outside gets more frantic with the fall of leaves and what a fall as there are so many trees in Bulgaria. They make a return to sweeping at least three times a day during the height of the fall.

The sale of hand sweeping brushes is in good hands, as they are used regularly and have to be placed at least once a year. Many of course are made within the Bulgarian homes from twigs from bushes; these are excellent for sweeping leaves as I found out when one was presented to me from my Bulgarian neighbour when on the farm in Skalitsa.

When we go the farmhouse at the weekends, the first thing Galia does is dust and sweep the house out then sweep the big yard, only then after the sweeping chores is anyone else allowed to go into the house. This is to me a revelation after experiencing the habits of many non-Bulgarian women with reference to house hygiene, there is no comparison. This was another major factor that make life here so good, people that care about cleanliness of the home, something I just worked on alone before.

This compulsion to sweep is a strange phenomenon even though seeing it day in day out women sweeping the street. You know a few moments later the area just swept will be again covered in concrete dust, leaves and other flyable litter as the wind picks these up and places them there. But, they will return in this undying effort to keep the areas in and around their homes spick and span.

I take my hat off and bow to all Bulgarian sweeping women in this instance.




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