It's A small World | Bangkok Post: lifestyle

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It's A small World

The recently opened KidZania takes role-playing to another level

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Sometime around 2pm, Baramee Punyabukkana was called from his editorial desk to the scene of a fire. Equipped with the latest-model digital cameras (the office's property, of course), he and his fellow journalists ran to the location amid the sound of sirens. The town's only hotel was on fire and seven firefighters were strenuously manoeuvring the water hose trying to extinguish the flames. 

The fire was successfully put out as Baramee finished taking photos. As quick as a breaking news reporter could be, he ran back to his computer, chose the best shot, wrote up the story, gave a headline and signed off that day's print with his name. Even though it was the first time Baramee has ever published a news story, his attempt to be a good journalist didn't go unrewarded. Like the firefighters and all "employed" citizens (dentists, shopkeepers, pilots, paramedics, auto mechanics, police officers, crime scene investigators, makeup artists, sushi chefs, actors, construction workers and judges) in this 80-occupation, child-dominated town, the second-grader was paid well for his endeavour.

Providing children with the opportunity to act like grown-ups through role-playing various careers in an awe-inspiring scaled-down replica of a city, KidZania has been the world's most popular "edutainment" theme park brand since its debut in Mexico City 14 years ago. There are now 11 more branches including ones in Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Dubai and Portugal.

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