When I was a girl my parents traveled to Switzerland and brought me back a small embroidered heart which hung on my bedroom doorknob for as long as I can remember. I took it to college with me, but that's where the trail ends, as I have no idea where it is now.
Having just returned from several weeks in Switzerland I was continually struck by the reoccuring "theme" of hearts in so many clever and creative ways. We started taking pictures of the most unusual and pretty ones we encountered.
I asked guides and other locals we spoke with about why the Swiss love hearts and each time was met with a bewildered look? "Don't Americans like hearts," one woman said to me? "Well, ah, yes,"I replied, "but usually at Valentine's Day or on things for children." She shrugged, as did most I asked this question. They don't even see how often it's used as a decorative item.
Nevertheless, we enjoyed spotting them. And we brought home a few souvenirs with hearts which I will treasure.