Svetla and Zhivko’s family

Svetla and Zhivko’s family photo
  • Svetla and Zhivko’s family photo
  • Svetla and Zhivko’s family
  • Svetla and Zhivko’s family

Svetla is a Bessarabian Bulgarian from the Ukraine, who came in Bulgaria to find a better life. She had been enrolled as a student of social pedagogy in Sofia University, but did not take her diploma. She has a delicate white face, blond hair and large, blue eyes, in which tears often well up. She loves her husband Zhivko, but sometimes she feels lonely and isolated in the Roma neighborhood. When we met, she shared a lot with us. She likes to go downtown especially for a concert or a theatrical performance. For Zhivko this is his second marriage. He listens to Svetla and tries to lift himself up to her intelligence and worldview. They have a four-year old boy and a one-year old baby. Her dignity is injured by the statement of her Roma woman-neighbor: “You should not have got pregnant in this crisis”.

In the process of work, all people asked us “how can this beautiful woman, moreover Ukrainian, bury herself in a Roma neighborhood?” – Out of love! It is thus simple, and when you taste their cozy and harmonious home, you don’t have even to say it. When we met Svetla, she was hostile “administratively” also towards the Bulgarian state. She could not take Bulgarian citizenship (although she was married to a Bulgarian citizen) without given up her Ukrainian citizenship, which meant she had to take out a visa each time she wanted to see her mother and her other relatives. When her second pregnancy was well-advanced, she seemed to vibrate harmoniously and such prosaic issues stopped occupying her. We became sort of concerned that this character did not have a conflict in her story. It is interesting that most people have a conflict with themselves, having learned her story, because they still fail to understand “why in a Roma neighborhood?”