Every city has its tacky souvenirs – its snow globes, the key to the city or license nameplates. I came across this collection of kitsch souvenirs in a small shop outside Marienplatz. There’s no shortage of Munich images here – the Frauenkirchen Church, the Munich Kindl, and of course the bold tribute to Octoberfest. What you likely didn’t know is that the world Kitsch apparently has origins in Munich. It’s a Yidish word that generally means art of questionable or commercial quality, and it is widely believed that the word originated in Munich art markets of the 1860s and ’70s, used to describe cheap, hotly marketable pictures or sketches. Kitsch appealed to the crass tastes of the newly moneyed Munich bourgeoisie who allegedly thought they could achieve the status they envied in the traditional class of cultural elites by aping, however clumsily, the most apparent features of their cultural habits. Hmmm…you learn something new every day!