Is the European Union kaputt?

 by Laura Vilaça

I moved to Germany – more specifically to Hamburg – little over a month ago. And you know what I realized? I haven’t been able to prove a single stereotype I got about Germany from the media in my Southern European country. And along with me, many others agreed on this. So why does the media from my country – and that of the other PIGS (acronym for Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain, the European countries in financial trouble) – insist otherwise?

I’ve realized that people are foolishly patriotic. And more than being that, they’re patriots who choose to trust ignorance instead of facts. And the question is: why? Because they are not necessarily given the facts. The media, much like the average citizen, has proven to have little knowledge of economy and, being so, is not capable of translating the heavy economic jargon. And this interests the heads of state, because blaming someone else is always less of a hassle than having citizens mad at you. They vote, they choose who gets what (or at least they are led to believe so) – and this misinterpretation of the political play helps supporting floating promises and inflamed speeches about Europe. The European political scene is a circus – and everyone juggles it the best they can.

merkel

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KidZania: A mania of the minds

by Laura Vilaça

We all played make-believe when we were kids. Either playing ‘doctor’ or ‘house’, we spent our time enjoying a little role-play. Nowadays, this common childish activity has taken a turn and is now made into a business.

KidZania is a theme park built to scale for children, where kids are trained to be small entrepreneurs, little business people, ‘mommy’s capitalist’. In this play city, kids from four to twelve can choose whatever trade they prefer,  having to perform that role during the time they’re playing make believe. There is a city flag, its own currency, a registry for nationality and a passport is given, celebrating “the day kids became independent as adults”. They celebrate bank holidays and hold a congress, where kids gather to make decisions concerning the city. The management describes their activities as based on the concept of ‘edutainment’, seeking to teach children values and rules of citizenship and helping them live a healthier societal life.

Hey, kids? He already looks pretty dead.

Hey, kids? He already looks pretty dead.

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