The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.

12:22pm on Monday, 25th April, 2005:

Local Importance


In 1988, we went on a touring holiday of Spain and Portugal. In Portugal, all the souvenir shops contained this brightly-coloured cockerel that is the national symbol of Portugal. They were obviously very proud of it. The thing is, though, that prior to visiting the souvenir shops I had no idea that the cockerel was in any way culturally significant. It didn't register anywhere I saw in Portugal except the souvenir shops.

I was reminded of this in Sweden last week, where every souvenir shop boasted a display of Grannas horses.

Although these objects may well be dear to Swedish hearts, they're not known all over the world. The only places you see them are souvenir shops. If you were to buy one, all you'd be buying would be a souvenir of Sweden's souvenir shops.

I did buy a souvenir of Sweden while I was there, but I suspect it's a memory that won't last very long.

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Copyright © 2005 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).