Matryoshka – Is the most famous and best-selling souvenir. And this is not for nothing. They are very Russian little things, and seem saturated with the spirit of the days of yore. So it will be quite puzzling to learn that the first matryoshka was made just in the late 18th century in Moscow. In those times amid the rise of the national self-consciousness a workshop was founded under the name Children Education with the aim of rebuilding traditional peasant toy crafts. The idea of such a toy was conceived by the painter Sergei Malyutin who was inspired by a figurine of old Fukurama, which contained a few more figurines placed one inside another. It was brought from the Japanese island of Honshu. Malyutin painted the doll as a Russian peasant girl and gave it the most common Russian name, Matryona, Matryoshka. The first doll according to Sergei Mlyutin’s design was made by the wood turner Vasily Zvezdochkin.
Despite its relatively short history, matryoshka have made a name for themselves throughout the world; they are perhaps the first thing that comes to mind at the mention of Russia.
Initially, there were eight nested dolls; the smallest representing a baby in diapers.
Nowadays, Matryoshka may include from three to… a seemingly infinite number of dolls. It all depends on the ingenuity and skills of the craftsman. The most numerous Matryoshka family today consists of 100 dolls.
A Matryoshka is a great gift not just for adults but also for kids, including little children. The toy helps develop spatial thinking and motor skills (just be sure to remove the smallest dolls).
In souvenir shops and stalls you can buy more than just the traditional Matryoshka - with the image of a smiling red-cheeked girl in a bright scarf and sundress. The options are incredibly vast; there are dolls with portraits of politicians and writers, actors and musicians, heroes of fairy tales, books, and movies ... You will certainly find a doll to your liking!
Now, next comes caviar.
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