The best thing you can bring from Russia is your delight and good memories. Also there are a lot of magnets, shirts with funny titles, postcards with beautiful views and so on. But is there anything connected with Russian history, its traditions? Of course, there is!
#1 Matreshka doll
This is just a wooden toy which is very popular as a gift. Actually it is a number of dolls placed one inside the other. Each next one is smaller than the previous. Traditionally matryoshka doll looks like seven women in Russian traditional wear called sarafan. These can be designed with special theme: churches, fairy tales or even Soviet leaders. You can find more in gift shops.
This is a fury hat with «ears» which is really helpful when it’s freezing outside. Symbol of Soviet style. Ushanka is very popular among tourists. Though now it is not as widely-used as earlier, it’s still a part of military uniform in Russia.
#3 Orenburg shawl
Orenburg shawl is a very thin and at the same time very warm shawl which is named after region of Russia where such shawls are produced. Orenburg shawls are made from silk mixed with goat’s wool. This is one of symbols of Russian handicraft. Each shawl is a piece of art. Orenburg shawl is rather large but also is so thin so it can be pulled through a wedding ring.
#4 Gift with traditional painting
There are several styles of paintings which are best-known kind of Russian folk craft.
- ♥ Gzhel. This is white-blue painting on ceramics. It can be tea-set, figurine, bottle, candlestick or even ceramic clocks.
- ♥ Zhostovo painting. This is an old Russian style of painting on metal trays. Originally it’s a black tray with colored flowers. Nowadays you can find options. Such metal tray can be beautiful present and useful as well.
- ♥ Palekh miniature. This kind of papier-mâché paintings has its own style. Theme of miniature is usually connected with Russian fairy tales, songs or real life in old days. As a gift you can find this painting on jewel-boxes, ash trays, brooches, small boxes and etc.
- ♥ Fedoskino miniature. It’s also kind of papier-mâché paintings. It differs from Palekh miniature in technique. In Fedoskino miniature they are used popular motifs of Russian peasant life.
- ♥ Khokhloma. This is a Russian painting on wood. It has black background with red and gold flowers. There are a lot of Khokhloma wooden tableware. Most popular item is spoon.
- ♥ Gorodets painting. It’s another kind of Russian folk craft. Craftsmen use scenes of real life in old days, images of animals, birds and flowers. This painting is applied for various kinds of boxes, tableware, caskets, children furniture, toys and others.
Winter felt foots. Another piece of Russian traditional wear which also reminds us that there can be really cold in Russia. To keep valenki from water they can be worn with galoshes (special rubber boots). Fun fact: if you want to call somebody simpleton in Russia you can say «valenok» (singular from «valenki»).
For sure, almost everyone knows what the vodka is. It’s traditional alcoholic drink for number of countries including Russia (40% abv). There are a lot of brands producing vodka. You can choose the right one with help of sales assistant.
For those who are not much into strong alcohol there is sweet honey-based drink called Medovukha. It has from 5 to 16% abv. You can find Medovukha to fit every taste: classic or with addition of juniper, ginger, cinnamon, dog-rose, pepper and others.
#7 Chocolate and sweets (tastes great!)
It can be useless to describe here Russian sweets and chocolate. You should go and buy some to make sure that the title above is not lying!
Another piece of wear and another Soviet symbol. Telnyashka is also used as military uniform (Russian Navy and Russian Airborne Troops). The main attribute here is stripes (white and black/dark blue/green).
#9 Cheburashka (Topple)
It is a really cute little creature from children book by Soviet writer Eduard Uspensky. According to the book Cheburashka lives in a tropical forest and is unknown to science. And one day he was accidentally delivered with oranges to a grocery store in Russia. There is a number of animated films about Cheburashka. This adorable creature was official mascot for the Russian Olympic Team in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2012. Kids will definitely like Cheburashka as a toy and so will you!
#10 Table-glass with Podstakannik
Table-glass («granyonyi stakan» in Russian) is a classic Soviet glass which is also can be a symbol of Soviet Age (so many symbols…). This glass is done from really thick glass and has 14-facets form. It can be used for vodka as well as for tea. And now you maybe have a reasonable thought: how to drink hot tea from the glass without any handle? Soviet people know the answer – glass-holder («podstakannik» in Russian).
«Podstakannik» is usually made from metal and now is some kind of works of art. It is not usually used at homes nowadays but it’s widely used on the Russian Railways. Table-glass and/or glass-holder can be useful gift in Russian Soviet style.