Pippi Longstocking is a fictional girl created by the legendary Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren; she is regularly voted as the world’s favourite children’s book character.
The events which are open to the public include an exhibition on Pippi’s colourful world, a play by 'Joy of Drama' and will continue with a fun series of activities for children, including a special reading corner to explore Pippi's books; trying their hand at puzzles, games and colouring; dressing up as Pippi; and a storytelling session.
Hyderabad: On Monday, the Embassy of Sweden inaugurated a series of events at the IKEA store in Hyderabad to mark the 77th anniversary of Pippi Longstocking, a famous fictional character created by the legendary Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren. Since 1945, the multi-dimensional character has been a great influence and an unconventional role model for girls both in Sweden and internationally, subtly and effortlessly supporting the idea of gender equality, which the Swedish government strongly backs.
The events included an exhibition, bringing to viewers the colourful world of Pippi, and creative performance, titled "The Pippi Longstocking Show." The play, based on the chapter 'Pippi is visited by thieves', was performed by a group of children trained by 'Joy of Drama'. It was cherished by all in the audience, including the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Sustainability Officer of IKEA India, Ms Susanne Pulverer, who was present for the occasion. "I am very pleased to be here and celebrate such an important character with you. As a young girl, I always wanted to be more like Pippi. She is a role model for the strength and willpower of girls. I believe we can all learn something from her fearless and forward-thinking attitude", she said.
Moreover, the exhibition, allowing children a peep into Pippi's adventurous life, will continue to be showcased in the store from May 2 till May 15. The exhibition has been designed to match the spirit of Pippi, comprising a special reading corner where children can enjoy reading and exploring more about their favourite characters. They also have the opportunity to try their hand at puzzles, games, and colouring, and even dress up as Pippi.
Mr Gautam Bhattacharyya, Chargé d’affairesa.i. Embassy of Sweden, said: "It is time to celebrate Pippi, the girl who won hearts across the entire globe. For seventy-seven years, she has been teaching us, both young and old, how to be strong, brave, independent, rebellious, adventurous, and kind-hearted. By creating this unconventional character, Swedish author Astrid Lindgren made an impact far beyond the world of children's books. To this date, Pippi plays a significant role in promoting childlike imagination, breaking norms, and putting across the strong message of gender parity. I hope that her free-spirited character will continue to inspire many more for generations to come."
It was a momentous event for both the attendees as well as the organisers, as such an event was held after two years of the COVID-19 hiatus. This exhibition transported people to the magical and colourful world of Pippi. Apart from the exhibition, the Embassy also launched a virtual campaign called "Congrats Pippi" to commemorate the 77 glorious years of Pippi, who not only entertained, astonished, questioned, and provoked children, but was also held up as a role model and a symbol of independence.
Sharing the information about the play, Vaishali Chakravarty, Founder & Director, Joy Of Drama, said, "PippiLongstocking is unconventional, independent, and fearless. She does what she thinks is right for her and her friends. Performing such a character gives a much-needed moment of opening up to the teenage female students of the Kamala Rani Sanghi School, who come from the villages on the outskirts of Hyderabad."
"At Joy of Drama, we usually work with children from big cities who have access to international literature, but I am doubly happy to see my young actors here finding a new friend in her. Pippi Longstocking truly transcends the boundaries of language and culture. I am grateful to the Embassy of Sweden for giving us the opportunity to perform PipiLongstocking at the IKEA store in Hyderabad, and I hope to take this play to more audiences and children," she added.
The event, celebrating a strong, kind, curious, and playful girl, will also conclude in Lindgren's style with a storytelling session. The session will be conducted by a well-known Indian author, theatre artist, and storyteller, Janaki Sabesh, on Sunday, May 15 at 4 PM at the IKEA store in Hyderabad.