Matryoshka, a traditional Russian souvenir, or nesting doll, is known all over the world. However, at the moment the Russian nesting dolls are not the rosy-cheeked beauties with traditional Russian ornaments painted on them.
The factory in the Russian city of Semyoov in the Nizhniy Novgorod region (one of the companies that makes the dolls) began ornamenting the iconic wooden souvenirs with skulls instead of human faces. Such nesting dolls are in great demand now. Besides, large batches of the Russian souvenirs with such outrageous imagery are currently shipped to Japan, where they will be used to exorcise evil spirits.
Due to the crisis, the demand on traditional nesting dolls has fallen by 70 percent in Russia. However, the factory management found a way out of a difficult financial situation. The company started working for export, namely for Japan. The orders from Japanese customers shock the artists who paint the Matryoshkas. The Japanese customers order the nesting dolls painted like skeletons, turtles and samurais.
A Japanese design studio ordered a batch of nesting dolls painted like human skulls. The sketch of a “creative” souvenir was made by the Japanese company designing clothes, footwear and accessories.
The Japanese have a popular belief that such dolls can frighten off evil spirits, that’s why the company will present each employee with a Goth nesting doll.
Recently, another Japanese company made another order for non-traditional nesting dolls painted like turtles. Each doll consists of 25 smaller turtles, nesting in one another. The customer is a major TV company NHK, which has been broadcasting a cartoon serial film about Ninja Turtles for 25 years already.
Matryoshka is still an exotic souvenir for many foreigners. However, no Russian company has decided to order anything that unusual.
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