Souvenir

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"Memorabilia" redirects here. For other uses, see Memorabilia (disambiguation).
For other uses, see Souvenir (disambiguation).
Eiffel Tower souvenirs
Collecting
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A souvenir stall in London, England

A souvenir (from French, for a remembrance or memory),[1] memento, keepsake, or token of remembrance[1] is an object a person acquires for the memories the owner associates with it. A souvenir can be any object that can be collected or purchased and transported home by the traveler as a memento of a visit. While there is no set minimum or maximum cost that one is required to adhere to when purchasing a souvenir, etiquette would suggest to keep it within a monetary amount that the receiver would not feel uncomfortable with when presented the souvenir. The object itself may have intrinsic value, or simply be a symbol of past experience. Without the owner's input, the symbolic meaning is invisible and cannot be articulated.[2]

Souvenirs as objects[edit]

The tourism industry designates tourism souvenirs as commemorative merchandise associated with a location, often including geographic information and usually produced in a manner that promotes souvenir collecting. Throughout the world, the souvenir trade is an important part of the tourism industry serving a dual role, first to help improve the local economy, and second to allow visitors to take with them a memento of their visit, ultimately to encourage an opportunity for a return visit, or to promote the locale to other tourists as a form of word-of-mouth marketing.[3] Perhaps the most collected souvenirs by tourists are photographs as a medium to document specific events and places for future reference.[2]

Souvenirs as objects include mass-produced merchandise such as clothing: T-shirts and hats; collectables: postcards, refrigerator magnets, miniature figures; household items: mugs, bowls, plates, ashtrays, egg timers, spoons, notepads, plus many others.

Symbol as souvenir from Chefchaouen, Morocco

Souvenirs also include non-mass-produced items like folk art, local artisan handicrafts, objects that represent the traditions and culture of the area, non-commercial, natural objects like sand from a beach, and anything else that a person attaches nostalgic value to and collects among his personal belongings.[4]

A more grisly form of souvenir in the First World War was displayed by a Pathan soldier to an English Territorial. After carefully studying the Tommy's acquisitions (a fragment of shell, a spike and badge from a German helmet), he produced a cord with the ears of enemy soldiers he claimed to have killed. He was keeping them to take back to India for his wife.[5]

Souvenirs as memorabilia[edit]

Similar to souvenirs, memorabilia (Latin for memorable (things), plural of memorābile) are objects treasured for their memories; however, unlike souvenirs, memorabilia are valued for a connection to an event. Examples include sporting events, historical events, culture, and entertainment. Such items include clothing, game equipment, publicity photographs, posters, entertainment-related merchandise, movie memorabilia, and pins amongst other, often-licensed, items that are usually kept in display cases to preserve their conditions.

Souvenir Album of Houston, 1891

Souvenirs as gifts[edit]

In Japan, souvenirs are known as meibutsu (products associated with a particular region); and omiyage, candies or other edibles to be shared with co-workers. Omiyage sales are big business at Japanese tourist sites.[6]

Travelers may buy souvenirs as gifts for those who did not make the trip.

See also[edit]

References[edit]