& Belonging: Molding
Social Clichés

The meaning of national or social identity develops along the border that separates groups and is made up by both the content of group membership and the nature of interrelations with the other. Usually, the meaning of a given national or social identity contains several components. These components include traditions and values, culture, language, member characteristics, history and various ideologies.
Identity is a description or, in other words, the definition of the existence and belongingness. The identity consists of two pillars: identifier and identified. [1]

The beginning of anthropology it’s the effect of the fascination with the different; the other. The focus is not as much on the contemporary way of living as it is on the historical past. Exoticism is the perception of the difference, or the ‘otherness’. It is rooted in the Greek word exo (‘outside’) and it means literally ‘from outside’. The term was coined during the European’s Age of Discovery, and it meant complex philosophical, historical and representational issue. Scholar Alden Jones defines exoticism in art and literature as the representation of one culture for consumption by another. It is important to remember that 19th century exoticism worked on representation of the subject according to a tendency in a specific historical, intellectual and economic setting. It rarely gives the truth about a foreign culture, but a subjective observations produced in a specific historical context. [2]

The 19th century is the time when “national” tourism start to exist in it’s modern form that we know today. The exotic becomes a fundamental element for the tourist on how he/she experiences the country. It it’s closely related with the knowledge about the other.

Tourism is no longer related only to commercial purposes, but also to the newly emerged forms of entertainment. The individual is on his way to explore the unknown. То see, even for a brief moment, the different in other cultures, as well as in his own.
Crossing beyond political, cultural borders and encounters with people, who have different ways of living, provokes the tourist to recreate the story of the different. A story in which they represent their own observations completing them with many personal interpretations. [3]

The souvenir is a material object, which serves the purpose of capturing a certain place or concept. Like a country, region, nation, city, mountain, sea, religion, language, culture, history, etc. It can be any object that can be collected or purchased by the traveler as a memento of their visit. Throughout the world the souvenir trade is an important part of the tourism industry serving dual role, first to improve the local economy, and second to encourage visitors to promote the local to other tourists. Modern tourism has always been organised around the stereotypical understandings of the different; the authentic. The souvenir then serves as a representation of certain ‘truth’ about the country constructed in a specific historical period. [3]

To conclude here with the idea about the authentic in a world of globalisation. Having interaction and integration among people, companies and government worldwide has become a main part of politics, economics, electronics, arts, tourism, fashion, etc. The tourist then comes as a good example of the urge for the idea of the authentic in a world of globalisation.

1.Karina V. Korostelina History Education in the Formation of Social Identity pp 73-100| Meaning of National Identity
2.Julia Kuehn, Exoticism in 19th-century literature, 15 May 2014, https://www.bl.uk/romantics-and-victorians/articles/exoticism-in-19th-century-literature
3.Николай Папучиев, Антропология на вещта и симлволните форми