The Bulgarian Republic has a rich history of wearing colorful bracelets that tell its story and celebrate its culture.
Bulgarians can trace their roots to the first Bulgars, a people who settled in the northern part of present-day Uzbekistan in the early 1900s.
The Bulgars came to Uzbekistan after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, and were eventually incorporated into Uzbekistan’s ethnic group.
Today, the Bulgars make up more than 40 percent of the population of Uzbekistan.
The country’s ethnic minorities, the Turkic and ethnic Uzbek, have long been discriminated against in the Uzbek state, which considers them part of a foreign entity.
The Uzbek Republic’s Bulgar people have endured discrimination in other parts of the world as well.
In 2010, Uzbekistan passed a law banning the wearing of the hijab in public, making it illegal for Muslim women to wear the headscarf.
That same year, Uzbekistani Prime Minister Abul Gülen, the head of a Muslim Brotherhood-linked political party, was sentenced to 14 years in prison after being accused of plotting to overthrow the government.
Bulgar women have been especially vulnerable to sexual harassment and discrimination in the country, and in 2011, an Uzbekistan court ordered a public school to remove a picture of a female teacher wearing a hijab, saying that it was disrespectful.
According to reports, women in the nation are often denied access to the public spaces in which they are expected to be educated.
In 2015, an activist from the Women’s Foundation for Development, a government-funded women’s organization, said that in the city of Yerevan, a small city in the north of Uzbekian province, Bulgar girls were being forced to wear veils and face masks to avoid being picked up by men in public.