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Romania, Roma (gypsy) wedding
Garoafa Mihai dresses for her wedding in Sintesti, Romania, on Saturday, Sept. 23rd 2006. The wedding was between Garoafa Mihai, aged 14, and Florin 'Ciprian' Lulu, aged 13, both Roma (gypsies) from the village of Sintesti,15 kilometres from Bucharest, Romania. Their partnership was decided by their parents and not through love, and under Romanian law is illegal. The children will neither complete legal paperwork for the wedding, nor visit the local Romanian Orthodox church for a blessing. On her wedding day Garoafa wore approximately 30-40,000 USD of gold Franz Josef coins on her dress, part of the large dowry that she takes with her as she begins her married life. For the guests and for the people of the village another 30,000 USD of pigs were killed to be eaten and given away as presents of food. Another 30,000 USD was spent on famous Roma musicians to come and sing 'manele' type music at the wedding extolling the wealth and status of their patrons for the weekend in their songs.