Russian Fun

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-kasaks. 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 bala...

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Posted in Russian Fun Traditions in Russia 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

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

Unique Amber Objects

Fans and fanatics of amber! Take a look at some very unique amber objects!

(Not including amber jewelry or common carved amber art objects such as amber statuettes)

1. Amber Dice

Not too practical, considering amber's ability to scratch or break easily when thrown around... but pretty cool nonetheless. (Found on Etsy)

Dice made from Amber

2. Amber Tea Cups

Again, not too practical, but definitely wonderful!

Amber Tea Cup

3. Amber Model Ship

An amber model of the Vasa (or Wasa), a Swedish warship that sank during its maiden voyage in 162...

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Posted in Russian Fun Amber Jewelry by Lindsey Mae

Top 10 Gifts for Mom on Mother's Day

1. The Nesting Doll

The nesting doll is perfect for any mom. Really! They are so much fun no matter what age you are, and get this -nesting dolls (nested dolls, Russian dolls, matryoshka dolls, babushka dolls) are the epitome of mothers – matryoshka actually translates to mother.

One fun idea is to get a mother of four children, a five piece nesting doll, to signify herself and her children. Or get any number of pieces, and put a surprise in one of the smaller dolls!

2. The Amber Heart

Show your lov...

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Posted in Russian Fun by Lindsey Mae

For some people, "Russia" is synonymous with "vodka," so here is a quick post about it.

Vodka 101

Vodka can be distilled from virtually any ferment-able ingredients… potatoes, corn, and wheat are among the top three used for making delicious vodka.

Popular Russian vodka brands: Beluga Vodka, Kauffman Vodka, Stolichnaya Vodka, Moskovskaya Russian, and many more… there are over 3000 brands of Russian vodka…

"Voda" is the Russian word for "water."

Matryoshka Design Vodka BottleA matryoshka vodka bottle design

Vodka FYI

Smirnoff claims...

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Posted in Russian Fun by Lindsey Mae

Favorite Russian Images

This post highlights some of our most popular, fun, interesting, and unique shares that took place on The Russian Store’s Facebook page. Now you can see some of the greatest Russian things all in one little post, instead of scrolling through years of posts.

Nine fantastic Russian themed photos:

1. Hot-Air Matryoshka

A magnificent hot air balloon shaped just like a traditional Red Roses matryoshka nesting doll from Russia! Everyone loves this photo! :)

Matryoshka Nesting Doll Shaped Hot Air Balloon


2. Do you Google?

This beautiful illustration w...

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Posted in Russian Fun by Lindsey Mae

What is it again? The Russian folk instrument known for its triangular shape. It generally has three strings and comes in prima (most common), secunda, alto, bass, contrabass, and piccolo (rare). It ranges in size from small (about 23 inches) to really big (over 6 feet).

Large BalalaikaA large balalaika

The balalaika consists of three major parts:

  1. The case or body. Segments of wood (6 or 7) are glued front to back.
  2. The neck. Contains frets.
  3. The head. Top of instrument where you can tune.

Interesting Tidbits on...

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Posted in Russian Fun by Lindsey Mae

Can you dance the Squat Dance?

Russian Folk Dancing

The Russian squat dance… aka the "kazachok" or "Kozachok dance," "Cossack dance," "Gopak dance," "Hopak dance," and that "dance where you kick your feet out while your arms are crossed," is not only fun, but interesting and a great way to get in shape!

Did you know it is believed that the dance originated as a way of fighting? It is true… men practiced the squat dance to enhance their muscles and endurance. Cossacks, soldiers, sailors, officers, and fist fighters danced this d...

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Posted in Russian Fun by Lindsey Mae
Nesting Doll

A Lil’ Nesting Doll Poem

There once was a Russian nesting doll.
She was 4 inches wide and 9 inches tall.
She was made by hand of linden wood,
and then painted on – really, really good.

Red roses decorated her shawl,
and bright, happy colors covered her all.
Her cheeks were round, pink, and plump.
She was most certainly happy, not a grump!

She came apart at the middle one day,
because someone human wanted to play.
Out came 9 more beautiful dolls,
each one wearing a famous Russian shawl.

The human counted ever...

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Posted in Russian Fun by Lindsey Mae

Everyone loves a good joke, and the "in Soviet Russia" jokes are adaptable to just about anything, making them popular and fun.

But where did this Russian style joke come from?

Yakov Naumovich Pokhis, a.k.a. Yakov "Soviet Russia" Smirnoff is the comedian who conjured up this Russian reversal joke.

In America, you can always find a party.
In Soviet Russia, Party always find you!

Yakov Smirnoff was born in the USSR 1951. In 1977 he came to the United States and on July 4th 1986 he became a US citizen. ...

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Posted in Russian Fun by Lindsey Mae

Google Honors Yuri Gargarin

The First Man in Space

April 12, 2011 marks a historic event for humanity. 50 years ago, the former Soviet Union sent the first human being beyond the Earth’s atmosphere into space. After the fall of Nazi Germany and the end of WWII, the United States and the Soviet Union remained as the world’s most powerful nations. The two countries entered into fierce competition with each other in order to obtain the rank of world’s most powerful nation. The Cold War began, and with it so too did the first i...

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Posted in Russian Fun by Arina Anashkina
How is Amber Formed Cartoon Comic Illustration


Amber has a humble roots – literally! It comes from an organic source: trees! This is why you may have heard the term "organic gemstone" thrown around when discussing amber. (However unlike other things that have an organic label, we’re not going to charge an arm and a leg for it :) ) Amber is actually formed from the resin of trees; this resin becomes fossilized over millions of years if the right conditions are met. Most often amber comes from pine trees. In this picture Tim the tree is just...

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Posted in Russian Fun by Arina Anashkina

Massive Gemstone Unearthed in Russia

No, not amber... a very rare colored diamond!

When you think of diamonds, what part of the world do you think about? Alaska? Canada? Africa?

Well, from approximately 1969 until 1999, Australia was the world leader in terms of amount of diamonds being mined within the country. During these years Botswana and Russia were second and third respectively in terms of diamond production. In 1998 all of the known Australian deposits had been all but depleted, while new deposits were being discovered at a r...

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Posted in Russian Fun Amber Jewelry Gemstone Jewelry by Arina Anashkina

Mirrors of Matryoshka

Dress up as a Russian Nesting Doll!

Check out these look-alike Russian dolls! Great ideas for your very own nesting doll Halloween costume or matryoshka themed party.

Nesting Doll Costume

I adore the over-pronounced eyes seen on the picture to the left. Big eyes is a must when becoming a proud Russian doll, as traditionally they have big eyes. Unfortunately, I was unable to find the original source for this wonderful picture. It's very cute how she matches her the nested doll; it looks like she may have painted her ow...

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Posted in Russian Fun by Lindsey Mae

2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi

Yay! Russia will host thier first Winter Olympics (and Paralympics) in 2014 in beautiful Sochi, located in Krasnodar Krai and nestled next to the Black Sea. This resort town olympic site will be divided into two major areas: the coastal cluster and the mountain cluster; each one having about 6 different arenas. The coastal Olympic village will have Ice hockey, curling, figure skating and speed skating. The mountain will have the biathlon, ski races, alpine skiing, ski jumping, luge, bobsleigh, f...

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Posted in Russian Fun by Arina Anashkina

Moscow Zoo Reveiw

If you are planning a visit to Moscow (with your children), there are quite a few opportunities both for you and for your children. And Moscow Zoo is one of them.

The Moscow Zoological garden was founded by the All-Russia Emperor Society for Acclimatization of Plants and Animals in the middle of XIX century. Throughout its more than 100-year history the zoo experienced its ups and downs, it was almost destroyed after the Revolution, and after the collapse of the Soviet Union and economic crisis o...

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Posted in Russian Fun by Arina Anashkina

Fun & Quick Facts About Russia

On Russia being the biggest country in the world:

Russia highlighted on a globe
  • Russia is so big, it spans 9 time zones. (reduced from 12)
  • There are 80 nightclubs in Moscow alone.
  • Vodka accounts for 10% of the government’s income.
  • Russia has 12 seas!
  • Russia covers 1/7th of the total land of planet Earth.

Russian Factoids about arts & culture:

  • Many famous writers come from Russia. Alexander Pushkin, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and Nikolai Gogol, just to name a few.
  • Does the name Anna Pavlova mean anything to you? She was one of the most famous ballet dancers of her time.
  • Russia launched the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin.
  • Religious icons are very important to Russian people; many houses have at least one.
  • Tea and bread are always offered to guests… Russians are #1 for hospitality!

More "facts" and "toids" on Russia:

  • Russia has the most beautiful women in the world.
  • Tetris was...
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Posted in Russian Fun by Arina Anashkina

Nesting Doll Cartoon Comics

Nesting Dolls Just Want You to Open Up

Nesting Dolls always want to share their feelings, and talk, and sometimes that causes relationship problems when they’re with other dolls.

Comic Illustration: Nesting Doll and Rag Doll Fight


Tell me about your Matryoshka

Nesting Dolls occasionally need some psychological assistance.

Comic Illustration: Nesting Doll Psychology


Consider the impact of Nesting Dolls on Philosophy

The Tao of Matryoshka

Comic Illustration: Nesting Doll Philosophy


Nesting Dolls in Space: Ground Control to Matryoshka Tom

Everyone knows that Yuri Gagarin was the first man in space, and Neil Armstrong was the f...

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Posted in Nesting Dolls Russian Fun by Arina Anashkina

The Other Russian Dolls

When someone says "Russian Dolls" do you automatically think of nesting dolls? Well, there are more Russian dolls out there that don’t nest, stack, or come apart at the middle.

Porcelain Princesses

Take a look at these Russian porcelain dolls. They are made with porcelain hands and a hand-painted porcelain face. Their traditional Russian dress was all hand crafted in with excellent detail. They wear a kokoshnik, or headpiece that is inspired by what Russian royalty wore throughout history. These l...

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Posted in Russian Fun by Lindsey Mae
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