Souvenirs always leave great mementos of a certain place I’ve been to. They remind me of the great time I had there and the beauty I was surrounded by, and they bear national or city symbols. When I travel I always buy this and that – a magnet (Jesus, there’s no space on the fridge door anymore because of my magnets), dust-collecting small and bigger figures and statues occupying my shelves, eternal desk calendars, etc.
There are two small sweet dolls which I really like the most. They are very tiny and colourfully decorated and “come from” Russia and Japan. Do you know which dollies I am talking about? Of course, the Russian Matryoshka and the Japanese Kimmidoll.
As a child from a country of the ex-socialist block I have always liked a matryoshka. Some regard it as a Ukrainian doll but most of the people know it comes from Russia. Its name, матрёшка (matryoshka), is the Russian pet name for матрёна (matryona) and it means “little matron”. By the way, the name is often traced back to the Latin word “mater” that stands for “mother” and that’s why these dolls- in- dolls symbolize fertility and motherhood.
What’s a matryoshka and what is it made of? It is always a hand-made little dolly of wood, colourfully decorated with folk motifs. It depicts a traditional Russian lady from the country dressed in a shapeless jumper dress and sarafan. The most fascinating thing about a matryoshka is that each doll reveals another smaller when opened. Thus the number of nested/nesting dolls can range from 5 to 30 smaller and smaller matryoshka dolls by opening each subsequent one, the last and smallest one being the baby matryoshka that wears a diaper. It’s lovely, isn’t it? You buy only one doll but you get a whole female team of beautifully crafted dolls that could be wonderful gifts for weddings, parties, Mother’s Day or simply they could bring much more cheerfulness on a shelf at home.
In ancient Roman times people worshipped phallic symbols that were supposed to bring them fortune and good luck. The Bulgarians have worn a string of red cotton on their left hand against whammies and misfortune ever since. While the Japanese invented their Kokeshi dolls that gave birth to the famous Kimmidoll. The latter is inspired by Eastern culture and the symbolism of the West, and brings the very simple Life’s True Values philosophy.
Like a Matryoshka, a Kimmidoll is very tiny and made of wood. It’s dressed in the traditional Japanese kimono creatively painted with floral motifs expressing Eastern beauty and elegance. There are a great number of characters in the Kimmidoll family and all of them are heralds of certain messages of joy, love, happiness, respect and many other values of life. When one possesses even a single Kimmidoll, this person is fortune and blessed, for sure, since these lovely messengers really share life’s true values sincerely and purely.