A souvenir is an object that reminds you of something, some place or someone. It could be anything. A magnet, a mug, a t-shirt, a glass, a clock, or even a table, a chair, a wall hanging, a cushion … the list of what a souvenir could be, is rather endless. What distinguishes a souvenir from any other object is the special memory it represents and the emotional connection we forge with it.
We buy things for our homes and offices all the time. While we may well remember where we buy these things from, what makes the memory of a memento special is the feeling it brings along. It could be happiness or nostalgia or any other state of mind we deemed special at the time. If it were a keepsake, apart from having utility value, we would have more to talk about, to reminisce over and celebrate. So, souvenirs would ideally be objects of joy. They are symbolic of experiences we wish to cherish and recall.
Souvenir is said to be a French word that refers to the act of remembering, or something that acts as a reminder; something to have in your memory. It is said to have first been used in the 1700s. Other terms commonly used for souvenirs are memorabilia, mementos and keepsakes.
Apart from its use as a memory-kindling object, it is also a great gifting option because these objects usually carry unique designs and make good gifts for yourself as well as your dear ones.
While the idea of memorabilia is an old one, and is a thriving part of the tourism industry in many countries, India does not have a quarter of them that the country ought to, given the depth and diversity it enjoys. Chennai is no exception. In 2009, there was hardly a smattering of popular categories of memorabilia dedicated to the city. That is, there were hardly any t-shirts, magnets and mugs kind of offerings which are the sort of souvenirs that are popular across the globe. That is why this brand Chennaigaga was created, to fill the gap in providing a pure celebration of the city formerly known as Madras.
Proud, local Chennaiites, visitors to Chennai, NRIs, erstwhile Chennaiites, expats, foreigners… across all age groups connect with the city through at least one of the creative designs we have brought forth. Since we are the first souvenir brand for Chennai, conceptualised in 2009 and launched in 2010, we have also enjoyed many firsts.
More on that soon.