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Money and Possessions

The average Bulgarian wage is 687 lv. per month, but many families take home much less and subsequently have little to waste on luxuries for their children.

Trips to McDonalds and Toys Are Us equivalents are rare treats rather than the norm. Children do not have lots of toys - in many ways they don't need them because life here is based around playing outdoors -and when Christmas comes there is not a mountain of gifts under the tree. Children usually get one large present from their parents and smaller gifts from grandparents, aunts and uncles. Pocket money comes in the form of dinner money - for younger children this is usually 1 lv. per day. As children get older many take on work to supplement their lifestyle and this can mean being paid for jobs in the home, but they do not demand allowances; most children try to give their parents money to help them out whenever they can.

This shortage of money and possessions has a thoroughly positive effect. Children learn the value of money and respect what they and others have. They also do the things that Western parents scorn - they all watch TV, but when a parent takes over the remote, they go off to do something else. TV's in the bedroom are luxury items. Many have play stations and computers, but this is not a solitary activity in Bulgaria as those kids who do not have them gather round at friends who do and share the facilities.