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Today was the first time I spoke Swedish in public (in Swedish class), and since the given topic affected me directly, I was the only one who actually spoke and didn’t read from a piece of paper: Astrid Lindgren. I never thought that I would live in this woman’s country, learn her language, try to read her books in the original, but here I am. It’s cool to learn a language with a very personal incentive.

An imaginary circle of friends

Once I read Barbara Sher‘s advice to create an imaginary circle of friends who are close in spirit, to whom you can turn mentally in case of need. I actually have Barbara Sher, Astrid Lindgren, Laurie Anderson, and a few other women there with the same values, and thinking about having them makes me want to cry, because I can always reach out to them and ask for advice, even if it’s only mentally.

The youngest of them was never real at all, but she also shares values with us: Pippi Longstocking, the girl who decided to never grow up. Freedom, independence, justice, honesty (yes, despite the rich imagination and great humor), altruism, nonconformism, and most importantly – authenticity.

A book that will make you read

As a child, I refused to eat unless Pippi was read to me, until I was told I could read by myself. It was my “Harry Potter” – the book that made me read. If I read the story about Harry eight times, then the story about Pippi, probably over a hundred times. Now it’s time for my six-year-old to be fascinated by this story, and he will be able to read it immediately in the original, although I hope that he will get to the beautiful Ukrainian translation as well.

What if kids will start behaving like Pippi?

When Pippi was published, the public was worried that children would start behaving in the same way: do what they want, be disobedient to adults, in short, enjoy life – how can children possibly enjoy life, right? And for some reason, no one worried that children would want to be kind, resourceful, independent, strong, authentic, inquisitive and change the world. Interestingly enough, the book was first not accepted by a publisher.

Yesterday I told my son to brush his teeth before going to bed, and he said that he wanted to be like Pippi, and Pippi, you see, does what she wants, so he won’t do it. Did you see her teeth? – I asked my son. She has perfectly healthy teeth because Pippi takes very good care of herself and doesn’t want bacteria to eat her teeth at all. And my son ran to brush his teeth)

What makes Astrid Lindgren herself?

Astrid Lindgren had a happy childhood, and when she grew up she noticed that this had happened not to everyone. For many, something went wrong. Otherwise, why do people beat their children, work at jobs they hate, abuse animals? Why can’t you say out loud everything you think?
At the age of 19, Astrid became pregnant out of wedlock by her much older boss, which was a shock to Swedish society at the time and caused a scandal, as a result of which she had to move out of town. The social service took her son away from her, not anywhere, but all the way to Denmark *the sound of a broken heart is heard*. A year later, Astrid was able to take her son back. No wonder there is so much pain in her books. By the way, Astrid did get married later, to another boss)

Do not hit the child

Thanks to Astrid, Sweden became the first country in the world to adopt a law prohibiting violence against children (1979). She also fought for the protection of animals and freedom of speech. And she lived an incredibly long and full life (94 years). How incredibly cool it is to be able to influence the world so much that the entire royal family comes to your funeral, and some fourteen-year-old girl from Ukraine cried for you as if you had known and loved each other entire life, considering your book as her personal Bible.

By the way, the Swedes “threw out of the song” the words that Pippi’s father was a negro king. But Pippi and I know, and we don’t look for a bug where there isn’t one, instead we tell – what actually caused a bug and what is it about a white person who rules over black people, and why some people don’t like being called “black” (in the book , by the way, he was elected democratically, and Astrid herself was a bright social democrat – what Sweden is officially today).

Read also:

The history of upbringing

Seven pediatricians on a child’s side

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