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Episode 3 of 5

Joanna Robertson explores how shopping for toys in Berlin reveals an attitude to childhood and innocence that is unique to Germany.

Joanna Robertson is a journalist and mother who has lived in five foreign countries, where she has observed that local shopping habits tell you a lot about the place. In these Essays, she argues that when people go shopping, they don't just purchase goods, they also buy into something else. Joanna Robertson takes us shopping with the locals and explores these ulterior motives and what they reveal about the residents of five cities: Rome, New York, Berlin, Tirana and Joanna's current home, Paris.

In this edition, she finds that shopping for toys in Berlin reveals an attitude to childhood and nature that's unique to Germany. Germany's concept of nature is deeply rooted in the concepts of nineteenth-century German Romanticism, which in turn is reflected in German toys, and childhood. The child is the Wanderer, journeying through the boundless realms of creativity and dreams, close to the beauty, teachings and wonders of Nature. It's a childhood of great freedom, and responsibility.

Producer: Arlene Gregorius.

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15 minutes

Photo of food store in Rome's Trastevere area by Felix Semyonov


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