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Tradition of Bulgarian Flea-market-Bitak

“could you tell me, what is Bitak”- I am asking Kaloyan and looking at the people who are trying to find something interesting and unusual at Bitak in Sliven. According to the word sense dictionary, it means fissure or crevice, Kaloyan says that Bitak means the bug or insect which is jumping and trying to find other persons, if another way we can just call Carboot Sale or Just Flea market.

if you are crazy about the vintage, old stuff, hang out between the past, old subjects which have been left or abandoned, if you like to give new life to secondhand furniture or clothes, reuse and recycle then Bitak is waiting for you. 

The origin of the term “FLEA MARKET” is practically impossible to trace. It is a mystery that has never been solved as there has never been a serious investigation into the origin of the name. There are little or no official records or documentation existing on this amazing phenomenon of the flea market

The first reference to the term “Flea Market” appeared in two conflicting stories about a location in Paris, France in the 1860s known as the marche aux puces, translation, “Flea Market

That kind of flea markets are everywhere in the countries. It is so popular in Georgia and  As locals calls it is  “mshrali khidi “- a dry bridge.  During the days and weeks, you can hang out here what you had or had not or have and have not got in your life. 

Bitak is one of the most lovely and popular places in Bulgaria, in Sofia, you can find an antique market which has a retro Communist whiff – you can find old Communist-era medals, badges, photos of Fidel Castro or Stalin, World War II relics, knives and much more here. The flea market is also, located next to Veliko-Tarnovo, such as Dzulenitsa and Hotnitsa flea market, One of the last one in which  we walked and met our respondents is the well-known Bitak in Sliven. 

every Saturday The sellers and buyers gathered in front of my flat, next to the bus station. Sometimes lazy Saturday morning I am trying to get up early,  grab my coins, and rashed to the Market. walk between the stalls and touch the past history:  colorful socks, hiking boots, broken down gadgets, film- cameras,  microphones, bags, backpacks, vintage clothes, painted porcelains, gentle ceramics, statuettes, old coins,  Stalin’s or Bulgarian Heroe’s pictures, traditional Bulgarian handmade stuff, books, ornaments, jealousies… I can continue the list infinitely.

The main and first rule at Bitak is a negotiation about the prices.  That is some kind of passion and competition how much price you will be able and gain your favorite stuff, If you will be a bit lucky maybe you can find Binocle for 17 lev, instead of 45 Bulgarian lev, or maybe you can find bicycle so cheap price and after finding out actually it costs so expensive. Bitak is a fortune and you have to try how cool our fortune is in that competition. 

Bulgarian Flea Market is communication, conversation, adventure, and travel. 

One of our first respondents is Bulgaria. there is a long time, around 30 years he is selling different stuff at Bitak, sometimes he is in Sliven, Dimitgovgrad, Stara-Zagora, and Galabovo. As he mentioned now life is difficult and the money which he gives from the Bitak is not enough. -” The value for me, it brings food to my table. This flea market sustains me alive and healthy, either way…Old stuff. The people are interested in the traditional stuff. And I am, I mostly sell traditional clothes. Bulgarian clothes- This is my hobby. This is by the way, shirts, … “navushta”, house shoes,  “poturi”, “poyasi”, village clothes, but not those who are… from the old times. No, modern, That is authentic “-said him. 

The next seller Plamen whose I met next to the books stall was searching for something.  During his life, he was in many locations of Flea markets. at Helsinki flea market, in Odessa, in Madrid, where is the whole neighborhood of Flea market. In general, Plamen is selling books, today he was searching for Karel Čapek -a Czech author book which already been found. 

If you ask Alexander Boykov Alexandrov what does it mean Flea-Market for him, He will answer that is flea market and it’s means everything. today ha has got traditional old Bulgarian stuff, musical instruments, old buggies, from the old times, the cups,  knives, hangers, buttons, watches- all this stuff he is collecting all over Bulgaria and bought from the people. 

Saller Zlatka is talking about the people’s low economy situation. There is just one month that Zlatka has sold stuff at Sliven Bitak, She has got shoes and clothes and as she mentioned sometimes The Bitak is a part of the people’s life. 

all the buyers or sellers combine something, meeting and tradition of Flea-market which is unique,  pleasant adventure, nostalgic emotions from past and new explorations.


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