An article “Why We Buy Dumb Souvenirs” written by Rolf Potts made me understand on why I must buy souvenirs while traveling abroad. All along, I just follow what other people said without thinking the real reasons of buying souvenirs. But now I know why..

A souvenir (from French, for memory), memento or keepsake is an object a traveler brings home for the memories associated with it. Souvenirs include clothing such as T-shirts or hats, and household items such as mugs and bowls, ashtrays, egg timers, spoons and notepads. They may be marked to indicate their origin: “A Souvenir from Clacton-on-Sea”.

Almost everybody are telling me to buy souvenirs to serve as a remembrance of a place which I have visited. But do I need that? I think the experience which I have gone through during the trip will always lasts in my memory. I don’t need a statue or a fridge magnet to remind me of the trip. But still I have to bring back something. Maybe, the best explanation to describe why I must buy dumb souvenir is,

If any world culture deserves mention for its souvenir idiosyncrasies, however, it is the Japanese, who have long considered the giving of gifts to be an essential social ritual. Since taking a leisured journey carries a cultural sense of shame at leaving one’s home duties, Japanese travelers reflexively seek out omiyage — small gifts that will be presented as an act of respect to the family members and coworkers they left behind.

Whether traveling locally or abroad, I have always made it compulsory to bring back something for my family after leaving them behind. It is not necessary to be souvenirs but also other thing like packed food and toys as long as I bring back something for them. The gifts will at least make them happy and showing that they are always being remembered by me while I am away.

That’s the reason why I buy dumb souvenirs….

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