Soviet leaders matryoshka
During your Moscow tour practically in every gift shop you will certainly find a lot of souvenirs, reminding of Soviet period of Russian history. Famous writer Maxim Gorky said “Without knowing the past, it's impossible to understand the true meaning of the present and the aims of the future”. Your Moscow tour guide invites you to dive into the depth of Soviet history to learn more about some curious things that you can buy while visiting Russia.
Olympic bear and Jury Gagarin's space flight
All the Soviet memorabilia can be divided into several groups. The first type of objects is connected with some important events, which took part in the times of the USSR. A well-known representative of this souvenir group is so-called Misha (Olympic Bear), the mascot of the XXII Summer Olympics, which took place in Moscow in 1980. During the closing ceremony the huge bear (6-meter aerostat), designed by Russian illustrator, waved his hand to the spectators and flew away with a bunch of balloons. Nowadays you can find a lot of ceramic bears with Olympic rings, reminding of this touching Olympic moment.
Souvenirs connected with Yuri Gagarin's first cosmic flight on 12th of April, 1961, are also very popular not only among foreigners, but also among Russian people. Practically in every house you can find different statues, ashtrays and pens, representing the first spaceship “Vostok”.
Famous Soviet Leaders
In Russian souvenir shops you can find images of Soviet leaders. The most popular of them are Joseph Stalin, Vladimir Lenin and Leonid Brezhnev. There is a great variety of portraits – busts, stamp images and even Russian dolls known as “matryoshka”. These souvenirs keep the memory of very strong and controversial personalities of the Soviet period, who made a great contribution to the Soviet history.
If you want to buy such kind of retro souvenirs you will probably be interested in some posters or t-shirts with Soviet symbols - the hammer and sickle. In this pair the hammer stood for workers and the sickle symbolised peasantry. The idea of socialism was to unite proletariat (working class) of different countries and to ensure peaceful labour.
There is a special kind of souvenirs related with the Pioneer Movement, which appeared in Soviet Russia in the first part of the XX century. It united some aspects of scouts' organizations and communist's ideas. Young pioneers had to wear a sort of uniform - a red tie, a special field cap and a pioneer's badge with Soviet symbols. The popularity of this children's organization was shown in one of the series of the famous cartoon about Cheburashka and Crocodile Gena. By the way the toy Cheburashka (nice browny creature with big ears), the hero of Eduard Uspensky's books is extremely popular among tourists from all over the world. White Cheburashka had been the official mascot of the Russian Olympic Team from 2004 up to 2010.
Back to USSR
Some things that you can find in Russian souvenir shops are actually priceless because they reflect the everyday life of Soviet people. The most curious examples are string-bag (in Russian “avos'ka” – kind of shopping bag resembling spider's web), different glass-holders, Rubic's Cube, watch “Poljot”(wristwatch produced by the First Moscow Watch Factory, used during important space flights) and first Soviet-made perfume “Krasnaya Moskva” (Red Moscow). During your three days in Moscow you can buy a lot of interesting things at Izmailovsky Souvenirs' Market. Let your Moscow tour guide accomany you, answer all your questions and help you make a good choice.