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6 unofficial symbols of Russia of foreign origin: From samovar to kokoshnik
6 unofficial symbols of Russia of foreign origin: From samovar to kokoshnik
Anonim

If you ask foreigners a question about what they associate Russia with, then many will immediately name balalaika, Russian vodka and matryoshka. Someone will remember other unofficial, but the most recognizable symbols of our country. At the same time, not even all Russians are aware of the fact that many objects that foreign citizens associate with Russia are in fact of foreign origin.

Samovar

Samovar

The homeland of this device for boiling water is not Russia. Ancient Chinese and Japanese hot water devices combined a vessel for water, a charcoal brazier, and a pipe that passed directly through the vessel.

Hogo, Chinese samovar

They were known in Iran and Azerbaijan. At least during archaeological excavations in the Azerbaijani village of Dashust, a clay samovar was discovered, which, according to scientists, was at least 3600 years old. In Russia, the first samovar was made in the Urals in 1740.

Matryoshka

Matryoshka

The Russian painted doll was also invented abroad. The artist Sergei Malyutin, who developed the very first sketches of the nesting doll, was inspired by a Japanese toy called daruma. She personifies the deity that brings happiness, and has no arms and legs. A wooden detachable doll was brought to Russia by the wife of the famous philanthropist Savva Mamontov, in whose house the artist saw her. The second version claims that the figurines of the Buddhist sage Fukuruma, brought by the same Mamontovs at the end of the 19th century, became the prototype of the matryoshka.

Matryoshka prototypes

The wooden doll, created by Sergei Malyutin, was painted in the Russian style and depicted a peasant girl in a traditional dress and a flowered scarf, and in her hands was a black rooster. The name of the toy was given the most common at that time - Matryona. A classic set of nesting dolls usually contains seven dolls, and the Guinness Book of Records holder has the largest nesting doll, which includes fifty-one dolls.

Vodka

Vodka

Encyclopedia Britannica claims that vodka was invented in Russia in the XIV century. But its prototype was actually made back in the 11th century by the Persian physician Ar-Razi, who isolated ethanol by distillation. This liquid was used exclusively for medical purposes and for the manufacture of perfumes. Vodka came to Russia in 1386 thanks to the Genoese government, which introduced aqua vitae - living water - to Prince Dmitry Donskoy. At first, the very word vodka (which occurred, most likely, as a derivative of the word "water") meant exclusively medicinal alcoholic herbal tincture. But the concept of the drink took shape already in the 19th century, when certain requirements were imposed on vodka and production standards were introduced, rounding the degrees from 38 initial to 40 modern ones.

Ushanka

Ushanka

One of the versions of the origin of the popular headdress claims that the Mongolian malachai was the prototype of the headdress. This transforming cap was made of sheepskin and protected nomads from strong winds and stray arrows. In severe frosts, the Mongols tied the ears of the cap under the chin, and when it got warmer, on the back of the head. The second version assumes the origin of the earflaps from the tsibaki hat, common among the Finno-Ugric peoples. Fur pomor helmets, complemented by long ears that went down to the very waist, were called "slaps in the face".They were worn by fishermen, who wrapped their ears like a scarf when going fishing in the White Sea. In 1919, the cap with earflaps became part of the White Army uniform and was named "Kolchak" after General Kolchak, and in 1940 the earflaps received official status in the Red Army uniform.

Balalaika

Balalaika

In fact, no deep research has been carried out about the history of this musical instrument, but one of the versions says that the balalaika is of Turkic origin. In Turkic, “bala” is a child, that is, by playing the balalaika, they calmed the child. Perhaps, during the time of the Tatar-Mongol yoke, the ancient ancestors of the Russian folk instrument became widespread. Moreover, in Central Asia there was a domra, very similar to the balalaika "plywood with strings", though round, not angular.

Domra, a possible ancestor of the balalaika

The instrument very quickly became popular among buffoons who traveled around the country, and all attempts by Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich to ban the balalaika were unsuccessful. Legend has it that the balalaikas, rounded at that time, were burned by order of the king, and the musicians were beaten with batogs. It was then that the shape of the instrument changed. Rounded ones were prohibited, but triangular ones were not. The balalaika gained popularity in the second half of the 19th century.

Kokoshnik

Russian beauty. Author: Konstantin Makovsky

According to one version, this Russian headdress was originally borrowed from the outfits of the daughters of Byzantine nobles who were not yet married. Allegedly, the fashion for him appeared with the development of trade between countries, and the daughters of Russian princes began to wear a high headdress. Two other versions speak of Mongolian and Mordovian origin. Its name comes from the word "kokosh" (rooster) and was first mentioned in the 17th century, although a description of the headdress was found in the Novgorod chronicles of the 10th century.

Kokoshnik has become entrenched in the minds of modern people as the main accessory of the Russian folk costume. However, in the 18th-19th centuries, this headdress was mandatory in the wardrobe of women from the highest circles, including Russian empresses. And at the beginning of the 20th century kokoshnik migrated to Europe and America and appeared in the form of tiaras in the wardrobes of many foreign beauties and queens.

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