Russian Matryoshka

In Fun
Relationship: Child of im/migrant
Russian Nesting Doll, taken in 2018
Russian Nesting Doll, taken in 2018

When I was three years old, my maternal grandmother, whom I called Babushka, gave me a small blue and white matryoshka with a beautifully painted face, the most prominent feature being her pretty bow lips. Her sarafan, a traditional full-body Russian dress, was covered with gorgeous white flowers, She was rounder than most matryoshkas around the middle, and I loved to hold her because of this unique shape, as it’s very comfortable in your hand. You could easily pull the middle open and reveal an oak wood interior with darker coffee colored rings. Matryoshkas are originally from Russia, and my grandmother, I believe, brought it from the Soviet Union with her. In Russia, these dolls were seen as signs of fertility and family. I scarcely remember her giving it to me, but I still have it today on my screen porch, with multiple other matryoshkas I have since collected ringed around the original. Inside her, unlike most matryoshkas, are no other dolls. She is the only one. We don’t know why, but it just is. On rainy nights, I’ll gaze upon that doll and remember my wonderful babushka, my mom’s world and hers. I’ll place her gently near her counterparts on my wooden shelf, wondering about the stories behind the others. 

Place(s): Russia, New York

– Becky

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant