My favorite souvenir that I brought home from my recent trip is the Matryoshka Doll. I brought home arm loads of them for all the little girls in the family and also for the not so little girls including myself.
The Matryoshka doll, sometimes called nesting or stacking dolls or Babushka dolls, happens to be the most popular souvenir from Russia.
Variations of the name Matryoshka, Matryona and Matriosha was a very common female name in Russia. The name comes from the Latin root mater and means mother.
The image of a Matryoshka doll is that of a portly and robust “mother” of a big peasant family. It is considered to be a symbol of motherhood and fertility. Hence, the “mother” doll with numerous “children” perfectly expresses the oldest symbol of human culture, Mother and Child.
The brightly painted wooden dolls with progressively smaller dolls nested inside one another are not only a delight to look at, but are fun to play with for kids of all ages.
And I did enjoy spending time playing with all the Matryoshkas that I brought home, before passing them out to the other little girls in the family.