From ArticleWorld

The term Souvenir is derived from a French word meaning ‘memory’. It is used to describe any object that is treasured for the memories attached with it. It is equivalent to the emotional manipulation of what is known as classical conditioning.

A good example of this would be as follows : if a person goes for holiday or a memorable journey, he buys objects related to the place- objects having some significance. Most probably, whenever he looks at the souvenir, he will be reminded of the good times and experiences of that vacation. In this manner, the memories remain alive and he is also urged to go for holidays again.

The term souvenir is used for any items brought home from the place visited while on vacation. Sometimes, such souvenirs are engraved or marked with the name of the place (“A Souvenir from Sentosa”) as an indication that its value is sentimental as opposed to practical.

Souvenirs today, include a vast array of items. They may include decorative pieces like wall hangings, vases etc. They may also be items of daily use like mugs, ashtrays, bowls, spoons, notepads etc. Clothing has also become very popular as a souvenir. T-shirts and caps with captions including the name of the place (like “I love NY” and “Bangkok Rocks!”) appeal to the younger generation.

A Broadway play about Florence Foster Jenkins is also called Souvenir.


The term ‘memorabilia’ (comes from a Latin word meaning ‘memorable) is sometimes used as a substitute to ‘souvenir’. However, there is a difference between the two. Both are treasured for the sentimental value but memorabilia are valued for their connection to historical events, entertainment and culture. Some examples are cigarette cards, posters, entertainment merchandise, publicity photographs etc.