Yovka and Bitoush Behar

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Here you can see my wife Yovka Zlatanova Behar and me. The photo was taken at my daughter’s wedding in 1969. On the back of the photo there is an inscription in pen: ‘To my beloved mum and dad from your daughter and son-in-law – Yonka Bitoush – 18th November 1969.’ I can’t say where the photo was taken.

In 1955 at a birthday party I met my future wife. As a matter of fact, my brother was invited there and I went with him. We quickly made our acquaintances, we kept in touch and at the end of the year she came to celebrate together with me the New Year’s Eve in Sofia where I was a student. She was born in the village of Borets, Plovdiv region, but she went to live in Plovdiv in 1947. Her father was a militiaman here. She is a weaver by profession.

At the time of our first meeting I was preparing my diploma paper at the Institute of Mining and Technology. I graduated in 1956. We got officially engaged. My parents had nothing against the fact that she wasn’t Jewish. As far as her parents were concerned there was a certain opposition on the part of her mother because she was worried about what the people would say but her father was firm – he said it was her choice and it had to be respected. We got married before the officially chosen date. It happened absolutely by accident. At that time I was already working at Gorubso. We were invited to the wedding reception of a colleague of mine which was organized in the village of Brestovitsa, Plovdiv region. His name was Lyubo. His best man was the Director of Gorubso and brother-in-law at the same time – the director’s wife was Lyubcho’s wife-to-be sister. The Director of Gorubso started joking with us in the end and told us: ‘Come on, why don’t you get married as well? Come on, it will be fun, I’ll give you the jeep and you’ll make a honeymoon to Plovdiv.’ So we went in the registry office with one bride, separated the bouquet and went out with two brides. That is how we made our civic marriage in Brestovitsa. Afterwards we went to buy some chocolates and the first thing we did when we returned to Plovdiv was to go to her parents and she said: ‘Mum, Dad, we got married.’ ‘How come, the date of the marriage is in autumn? She started collecting her things and her mother asked: ‘Where are you going?’ ‘Well, I’m going with him.’That’s how we started living together in our house with my parents. We got married in 1956. Our children were born in 1957 – twin sisters. Their names are Liza and Dora.

Photo details

Interviewee

Bitoush Behar