A Ban on Matrioshka – It’s Time to Be Original
When you come to the souvenir market as a tourist, it may seem that Russia is still somewhere in the end of the eighteenth century. If it’s your first time in Russia it is not a problem to buy a bunch of souvenirs. Without putting too much thought into it people buy matrioshka dolls, balalaikas, and bottles of industrially made vodka as Russian souvenirs. But we believe you could do better. There is no harm in bringing your friends a trivial set of pearlike dolls filling each other, but there are plenty of options that are truly original.
If you plan on surprising the adults, think about the crafted alcohol. Russian Vodka is a cliche, and it’s nothing special anymore – one can buy it at any local supermarket (unless of course, you live in a country with a no alcohol law, then that’s risky exotics). Meanwhile, there are plenty of traditional drinks that are unique to local regions and that can become a great present from Russia.
Among all characteristic types of alcohol, we advise paying attention to Medovukha. It is similar to mead and is honey based as well. Medovukha was popular in these lands long before the Christianity came, so you won’t fail with this sort of a souvenir – the technology is very refined by now.
If you want to bring a gift for someone who likes whisky, choose a bottle of Tarasun. It’s a unique drink crafted by people in Siberia. If you had to describe it in two words, they would be “milk whisky”. The actual milk of mares is used to make it.
Modern Clothes With Ethnic Ornaments
You could bring bright red flowered headscarves for all your female coworkers, but we guarantee, that they’d put them deep down into the drawers. There was a short period when “a-la Russe” style was in trend and you could see the Pavlovski Posad scarves on the catwalks, but that fashion trend is over and is not expected to come back within next 20 years. So if you want to bring some clothes as a souvenir from Russia we’d advise to choose a modern sweatshirt or a hoodie ornamented with Gzhel, Palekh or Khokhloma. There are many brands that offer this kind of clothes. Another reason to buy it is that you don’t need to know the exact clothes size of your friend to choose one – they are usually loose fit.
A Toy With a Character
Matrioshkas are great, they symbolize Russia and represent an idea for smuggling (just in case you needed one). But due to the fact that everyone is bringing them as a souvenir, there is hardly a household beyond Russia where there is no wooden doll stuffed with wooden dolls. You should know that there is an underestimated unique Russian toy that could be an exclusive Russian souvenir with a story. Its name is Cheburashka and there is no animal species in the world he could be related to. He is a lovely fellow with enormous ears and kids will really love him. If you are bringing a Russian souvenir to Japan – buy a couple of them without a doubt, a country that gave Pokemons to the world adores these little buddies too.
So if you want to buy souvenirs during your trip in Russia there are options to be original and to bring valuable and practical gifts to your friends and family. No need to force them into playing balalaikas, seriously.
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