Key chains, mugs, t-shirts and miniatures of famous places are all good examples of souvenirs we usually buy to remember a place we have been too. But every once in a while you can come across souvenirs that are outstandingly different, ones that have a creative design or use. Here are 7 examples that I have dug up from different parts of the world:
#1 The Russian doll, also known as the Matryoshka or Babushka doll: a very famous souvenir, this is a beautifully painted set of wooden dolls which decrease in size and are placed inside each other. They come in many designs, my favourite are the ones with the traditional peasant Russian dress. A great decoration for a coffee or side table.
#2 The Mexican Molinillo: This is a wooden whisk (also found in Columbia) that is used to prepare hot chocolate. The object is held between the palms and rotated into the drink to give you a frothy hot chocolate. Now who wouldn’t want that in their kitchen??
#3 Papyrus from Egypt: The oldest form of paper in history, this is a unique something to take back home. You can get the papyrus sheets in various sizes with different paintings or your own customized design. For artists who prefer a DIY piece, you can take home blank sheets and craft a painting on them yourself.
#4 Castanets from Spain: Musical instruments like drums, flutes and string instruments come in different forms across different countries, but the Spanish castanets stand out as a rather different musical item. The wooden hand held instrument is famously used by flamenco dancers to complement their dance routine, something you can also do :), otherwise the wooden vintage ones also look great hanging on a coloured wall.
#5 The Japanese Daruma dolls: At first glance, the Daruma dolls look like any other traditional spherical dolls. They are indeed a representation of the founder of Zen Buddhism, but not just that. Looking closer, you’ll find that these dolls are sold without the eyes drawn on them. Once bought, the owner draws the first eye when making a wish and draws the second only after the wish is fulfilled. How about that as a lucky charm or a motivating amulet to make those dreams come true?
#6 The Moroccan Rosewater Sprinkler: This is a liquid container that unscrews from the top to be filled with rosewater (that’s traditionally but can be replaced with eau de toilette and the likes). It can come as a fully silver plated one, but more beautiful is the one with a mix of coloured glass and silver. It serves as a very attractive antique piece, or if you want to bring on a traditional twist the next time guests come over, use it to sprinkle rosewater in their hands as a welcome gesture or place it next to your bathroom sink as a refresher after washing hands.
#7 Hammocks from Nicaragua: Yes you can actually take home one of those dreamy hammocks you find hanging across a Caribbean beach or in the middle of a jungle. Nicaraguan hammocks are cotton hand woven ones and come in attractive colours and can be easily transported and assembled back home. With the right size and hanging angles, hammocks are known to give a good comfortable sleep. Something we all need!
So….. did any of those make it to your must-have list?