The History of Nesting Dolls

Traditional Russian Matryoshka Traditional Russian Matryoshka

Known by many names: nesting dolls, matryoshka dolls, babushka dolls, nested dolls, stacking dolls, Russian Nesting Dolls have captured the attention of children, adults, doll enthusiasts, and art collectors across the globe. From their introduction to the world at the Paris World Exhibition in 1900, to the modern day, the almost deceptively simple concept of a set of smaller dolls nestled within larger dolls has endured not...

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Posted in Nesting Dolls by Arina Anashkina

The history of Russian balalaika

The history of Russian balalaika The history of Russian balalaika

The history of balalaika dates back into the depth of centuries. Some people believe, that it was created by Russian people, some suppose, that it occurred from another instrument. That instrument is called dombra and was made by kirgiz-kaisaks. There is one more version: maybe balalaika was invented during the Tatar rule. So, now, we can’t describe the origin year, when that invention was made.

The time was passing and bal...

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Posted in Russian Fun Traditions in Russia by Viktoria Kuzmenko

Have Fun with Your Nesting Dolls

Children play with nesting dolls Children play with nesting dolls

We will share with you 4 fun activities to do with nesting dolls.

Do you have a collection of Russian nesting dolls? Or has someone recently gifted you a set? Don 't let them just sit there on the shelf. There are millions of fun things you can do with your nesting dolls. Some things sharpen your creativity, some help your children learn and some are quite simply fun to do.

1. Have Loads of Fun… One by One

The best part about nes...

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Posted in Nesting Dolls by Arina Anashkina
B-2 Russian Rock Group B-2 Russian Rock Group

One of the coolest and most famous Russian rock group was grounded in 1988 in Bobruisk. Two simple musicians decided to start creating some rock. Those musicians were Alexander Uman, known as "Shura" and Egor Botnik – "Leva". In 1988-1989 the guys were looking for their unique style. In 1989 the band got her name "B-2". The first musical performance was made on the rock festival in Mogilevsk.

In 1991 two friends decided to move to th...

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Posted in Russian Famous People by Viktoria Kuzmenko
Russian Bears Russian Bears

One of the first things that gets in your mind while thinking of Russia is bears. But why does it happen every time? The main reason is that Russians themselves made that kind of reputation. How the other countries can get such information? Only from some Russian resources. And the main resource is people, of course.

People always want to learn something new about foreign countries. And what is the better way to get some new information than ...

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Posted in Russian Fun by Viktoria Kuzmenko

Travelling is a lot of fun because it gives a chance to observe and experience different cultures. Culture is a unique way that a particular group of people exercise their everyday activities, it is a unique mindset and worldview that they share. Observing foreign cultures gives me a chance to discover the uniqueness of my own culture. Appreciate it. Admire it. And at times laugh at it.

So I would like to invite you to a short fun overview trip to the Russian way of dealing with life. Couple of f...

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Posted in Traditions in Russia by Arina Anashkina
Michael Glinka: The founder of Russian classic music Michael Glinka: The founder of Russian classic music

Russian Empire was a country with very strict laws. All musicians of that time had a life full of different troubles. Everyone, who was born as a bondman had to serve his master, but if someone got lucky and was born, as a free man, he met a very big threat from European musicians. People had no way to make music their main employment. As you can see there were a very big amount of factors, which deteriorated an evolution of classic...

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Posted in Russian Famous People by Viktoria Kuzmenko

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (Russian: Антон Павлович Чехов)

Anton Chekhov Anton Chekhov

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860 - 1904), was a Russian playwright and master of the modern short story. His best plays and short stories have very simple plots, but this simplicity reveals deep emotions and hidden thoughts of the characters creating an unforgettable impression on the readers. Chekhov is regarded as the outstanding representative of the late 19th-century ...

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Posted in Russian Famous People by Arina Anshkina
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Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (Russian: Лев Николаевич Толстой)

Leo Tolstoy Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy or Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (September 9, 1828 - November 20, 1910) is widely seen as one of the greatest European novelists of all time. His "War and Peace" has been called the greatest novel ever written.

Leo Tolstoy was born in Yasnaya Polyana, his family estate in the region of Tula in Central European Ru...

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Posted in Russian Famous People by Arina Anashkina
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Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov (Russian: Михаил Юрьевич Лермонтов)

Mikhail Lermontov Mikhail Lermontov

Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov (October 15, 1814 - July 27, 1841) left a unique legacy in Russian literature and his poetic reputation is second in his native country only to Pushkin's. He was born in Moscow. His father was an impoverished army officer, while his mother was a wealthy young heiress from a prominent aristocra...

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Posted in Russian Famous People by Arina Anashkina

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky (Russian: Федор Михайлович Достоевский)

Fyodor Dostoyevsky Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky (October 30, 1821 - January 28, 1881) was the second of seven children born in the family of a doctor at Moscow's Mariinskaya Hospital (now a medical research institution). His father was a very strict and authoritative man who was often cruel to the children and other people. Fyodor's mother taught him how to read and writ...

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Posted in Russian Famous People by Arina Anashkina

Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin (Russian: Александр Сергеевич Пушкин)

Alexander Pushkin Alexander Pushkin

Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin (June 6, 1799 - February 10, 1837) was a Russian poet, playwright and novelist who is considered now the founder of modern Russian literature. He was born in a wealthy aristocratic family in Moscow and received the best possible education. Pushkin's first poem was published when he was only 15 years old, so by the time he finished school as part of ...

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Posted in Russian Famous People by Arina Anashkina

The allure and beauty of amber is obvious, its charm is unmistakable, and it’s been that way for thousands of years. But what makes amber so dramatically different from other precious stones? Is amber even considered a stone? Let's answer some questions about amber to find out!

What is amber?

It seems unbelievable, but scientists actually argued a lot about it! Some thought it was some kind of a mineral or ancient honey that solidified with time. In the 19th century the scientists finally found ou...

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Posted in Amber Jewelry by Arina Anashkina

The Legends of Amber

Though scientists argued about the origin of amber for years, ordinary people were sure it was all about magic. There are quite a few legends that tell us interesting stories about how amber could appear. I will share some of them with you.

Amber: the legend

Legend about Phaeton

We can read about Phaeton's life and death in Ovid's Metamorphosis. Here is a brief story. Phaeton was the son of Helios, the god of Sun. Once he asked Helios to let him ride his chariot for a day. His father tried to persu...

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Posted in Amber Jewelry by Arina Anashkina

Amber Colors

There are over 300 different shades of amber. We catalog all of our amber into 6 major colors: Honey, green, cherry, cognac, citrine, and butterscotch.

The Six Colors of Amber

1. Honey Amber

Honey amber is by far the most common color. This orange hue can be either dark or light, and have many inclusions or none. Some of our honey amber is so dark in color that people sometimes mistake it for cherry or cognac amber. Conversely, some of our honey amber is so light and bright that people mistake it f...

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Posted in Amber Jewelry by Arina Anashkina

History of Khokhloma

Khokhloma golden swan dish Golden khokhloma swan dish

The Timeless Golden Art

It is instantly recognizable, its design featuring a barrage of berries, swirls of golden leaves, and an assortment of birds, complemented by freehand brushstrokes; Its the art of Russian Khokhloma, and it’s popularity as a Russian craft is only rivaled by the Nesting Doll.

The start

The birthplace of Khokhloma is widely credited to be the town of Semyonov, in the Nizhni Novogorod region, a little over 300 miles no...

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Posted in Khokhloma by Arina Anashkina

Amber jewelry has long been collected and worn by women all over the world. The beautiful color variations and shapes make each piece of amber jewelry a beautiful piece of art to be enjoyed, but what makes Russian amber in particular so in demand?

What exactly is Amber?

Amber is a wholly-organic material derived from the resin of living trees. More specifically, amber is the fossilized resin from ancient forests. Amber is not produced from tree sap, but rather from tree resin. This aromatic resin ...

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Posted in Amber Jewelry by Arina Anashkina

Did you know that they celebrate Valentine’s Day is Russia? They do, they also have another wonderful holiday, which is typically celebrated with romantic gestures and gifts such as flowers, candlelight dinners and beautiful heart-themed jewelry. The holiday is called International Women’s Day. Learn more about this special day by reading a few fun facts below.

What is International Women’s Day?

International Women’s Day is a public holiday in Russia. Most financial institutions, official building...

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Posted in Traditions in Russia by Arina Anashkina

Russian can be a very complex language. However, many parents are very interested in helping their children learn the Russian language. Why? First of all, the Russian culture is very interesting and rich, and those who can speak the language will be able to appreciate it even more. Also, learning more than one way to communicate helps develop an child’s cognitive abilities, strengthens their focus, and builds more neurological pathways within the brain. But more than anything, Russian is a very ...

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Posted in Russian Fun by Arina Anashkina

One of the joys of traveling is finding unusual treasures that you typically can’t buy at home. Whether your travels take you to other states in the U.S. or traveling internationally, the chance to find unique, one-of-a-kind gifts is exhilarating. Traveling to Russia is no exception. Below is a list of the seven most popular gifts brought back from Russia (including a few you can buy in the U.S.)

1. Samovar

The samovar is somewhat related to what we’d call an electric kettle. It was designed to ke...

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Posted in Russian Souvenirs by Arina Anashkina
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