Last year, my souvenir of the year was a beautiful batik picture I bought at the Sultan’s palace in Jogjakarta, Indonesia.
This year, I was given a lovely model ship from Stikom, Surabaya when I returned to Indonesia, and the gift of a wonderful day out from John Foliot when I visited San Jose for OSCON.
But souvenir of the year has to be something I purchased myself, and this year I bought it in a market at Dasaswamedh Ghat in Varanasi, India. It cost 120 Rupees (about £2) and it’s an automatic mantra chanter.
When plugged in, the portrait of the Shiva, Parvati and Ganesh is bejewelled with flashing lights while and a recorded voice sings a devotional chant. Pressing the button changes the chant; there are twenty different songs.
You may experience its glory through the power of YouTube.
Buy "Calling For The Moon", my debut album of songs I wrote while living in Thailand, India, Turkey. (Only £2, on Bandcamp.)