On the occasion of the celebration of the 75th birthday of Pippi Longstocking, the Embassy of Sweden, with the support and donations of 12 Swedish companies, opened the Pippi Playground in Novi Sad, which is adapted for children with special needs.
Novi Sad was chosen because, 36 years ago, the author of the novel about Pippi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren, received the charter from Zmaj’s Children’s Games in this city, during her visit. Thanks to her visit and participation in Zmaj’s Children’s Games, Novi Sad was officially mentioned in the documents relating to Astrid Lindgren’s work and legacy, which Sweden continues to promote.
“We are glad to be able to open the Pippi playground as a gift from Swedish companies to the children of Novi Sad. Together, we have provided playground equipment that is adapted for children with special needs. I think Pippi would be happy to hear that. Pippi is a symbol of a strong child who protects both herself and others and has her own idea of fairness which she puts into practice, even though she comes from a difficult family situation. Pippi’s story draws the society’s attention to the fact that children should be protected and have rights,“ said the Swedish Ambassador to Serbia, H.E. Jan Lundin. He added that he was happy that a new Law on the Family and the Rights of the Child was being drafted which bans corporal punishment of children. “It will be a positive contribution to the rights of children in Serbia,” said Ambassador Lundin.
Pippi Longstocking is one of the most famous heroines in children’s literature worldwide, and thanks to her, the writer Astrid Lindgren became the most popular author of children’s books. The stories about Pippi have been published in 106 languages in 165 million copies and are considered a turning point in contemporary children’s literature, as well as the most influential children’s book of all time. Critics say Pippi inspires children to grow into people who will think for themselves and fight for a better life.
The mayor of Novi Sad, Miloš Vučević, said that there was a continuity in cooperation with the Swedish embassy through various projects, and that the opening of the Pippi Playground in the year in which Pippi turns 75 was the crowning achievement of that cooperation. “The playground is located in a rapidly developing part of the city and I’m sure kids will enjoy it. We are grateful to the Swedish companies that gave their contribution in the implementation of this project,“ said the Mayor of Novi Sad, Miloš Vučević.
Swedish companies AstraZeneca, Pejkom, Brovex, Husqvarna, Ikea, Securitas, SystemAir, Atlas Copco, Catena Media, Tetra Pak, Paroco and Unimet provided equipment for the Pippi playground.
The conference “Children’s rights during a pandemic – examples of good practice” will be held in Novi Sad tomorrow, with the Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Sweden, Juakim Vern, the Vojvodinian Ombudsman, Dr Zoran Pavlović, as well as the Swedish Ombudsman for children, Elisabet Dalin, in attendance.