Sofi Pinkas

This is a photo of my mother, taken in the late 1900s. The photo was taken in Sofia when she was already married to my father. My mother and my father met each other on the great Jewish holiday of Purim. My father lived in the village of Kovachevtsi at the time and came to Sofia especially for the holiday. He saw my mother in the carnival - she was dressed as Queen Ester. He fell in love with her at first sight. My father was tall and well built and my mother was very short but very beautiful. He was very impulsive and he introduced himself immediately. I remember my mother telling me about what my father looked like at their first meeting. He was dressed in typical Bulgarian village clothes. He wore poturi, traditional loose trousers worn by villagers, and socks with beads on them. He spoke the local Kovachevtsi dialect fluently and also sang the local folk songs very well. My father eliminated another candidate for my mother's hand. They got married in 1907 in Sofia. They had a religious wedding with a rabbi in the synagogue. All my father's relatives from Kovachevtsi attended the wedding. My parents settled in Sofia after the wedding. They lived in the city center. My brother, my two sisters and me were born in that house. My brother, Moshe, was born in 1908, my older sister, Lika, in 1910, I followed in 1914 and my younger sister, Lili, in 1925. The part of the city has changed a lot since then, and at present the main building of the Central Universal Shop is situated at the place where our house used to be. We had housemaids. They were Bulgarians and came from some nearby village. We had housemaids from Vakarel and even from Kovachevtsi, my father's birthplace. Their duties were to clean the house. Cooking wasn't their job, my mother cooked herself. We considered our housemaids members of the family. We ate at one table and slept in one and the same room. My father even introduced the maid from Vakarel to one of his shop attendants and found a lodging for them. They got married later. My older sister, Lika, also helped in the household. She went to school, played the piano and took care of our upbringing. My mother left home early to work at the shop.