Souvenirs from Russia
Matryoshka is the best known and most popular Russian souvenir. Traditional matryoshka doll represents a woman in a Russian peasant dress wearing a scarf on her head. Some people have collections of different but always bright Matryoshkas. In 1900, the Russian doll was even presented at the World Exhibition in Paris, where it got a medal and international fame.
The first Russian nesting doll set appeared in Moscow in 1890’s. The doll set consisted of eight dolls of decreasing sizes placed one inside the other. Nowadays the number of nested dolls in a set could vary as much as up to sixty, but a classical set is still five or eight figures. It’s a skillful woodcarving job to make cylindrically shaped nesting sets, traditionally from linen or birch trees. Another art is to paint them in different Russian motifs.
The nesting dolls can be painted to follow the traditional theme or any other style, including fairy tales characters, animals, famous political leaders, historical figures, musicians and popular movie stars.
A lovely gift to take from Russia!
During the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia, even though it was summertime, there were a lot of tourists buying and wearing Russian Ushanka. This “ear-flap hat” became one of the symbols of the Soviet Union, and later Russia. Hollywood films added to spreading of the image that a Russian is always expected to wear one.
Originally made from natural fur only due to severe Russian winters, the hat has recently become a collection item in the world’s fashion capitals. So today a lot of ushankas are made from faux fur.
Another unique product of Russia you would like to take with you is a Russian shawl. Pavlovo Posad shawls have been popular in Russia for centuries. The shawl factory in Pavlovsky Posad has been making shawls and scarves, wraps and throws since it first opened its doors in 1795. The scarves made there are of such high quality that simply cannot be matched by any other factory outside of this small Russian town.
With the harsh Russian winters, and a culture known for its distinct and practical fashion, there’s no question of why a warm, comfortable, aesthetically pleasing, natural wool shawl is so popular throughout the country.
Russian shawls are known for its old traditions and finest elegance all over the world. The shawl designs are mainly based on various Russian ornaments, and some shawl patterns inspired the world-famous designers in creating their fashion collections.
Traditional gorgeous wool and silk shawls are favored by millions of women in Russia, they use them as headwear or put them over their shoulders.