Pippi Longstocking in Khmer

Published by SIPAR editions, this is their second classic European children’s prose book after The Little Prince.

The book’s launch will be accompanied by a seminar on children’s literature at the Buddhist Institute:

A seminar on childrens literature, arranged by the International
Library, Sweden, and the Federation for Development of the Book Sector,

Location: The Buddhist Institute, Phnom Penh

Monday 3 November
8:30 -9:00        Registration
9:00 -9:05        National Anthem of Cambodia
9:05 -9:30        Opening of the seminar. Mrs Pal Vannarirak, Mr Larry
9:30 -10:00      Mrs Khlot Vibolla, Director of the National Library in Cambodia: /Libraries in Cambodia /

10:00 -10:45 Mr Larry Lempert: /Libraries for children and promotion of
reading in Sweden/

//10:45 -11:00    Break

11:00 -11:30    Mr Tim Chetra, SVA: /Libraries in the countryside in Cambodia/
11:30 -12:00    Discussion
12:00 -13:30    LUNCH
13:30 – 13: 50: Mrs Pal Vannarirak: /If the flower gets water: some children’s stories of my own /
13:50 – 14:35: Mrs Christina Björk:  /Non-fiction for pleasure/
//14:35 — 14:50 Mr Ven Son: /Experiences of writing/
//14:50 -15:05 Break
15:05 -15:45:/ /Mr Khun Sovannarith, illustrator and teacher at Reyum Art School for children and young people: /Art activities with children and publication of books for children/
//15:45 -16:15 Ms Hjördis Davidson, illustrator: /A small report from a
big school: experiences of working with images together with children in
Cambodia  /(This lecture will be interpreted directly by Anna Mattsson.)
16:15 -17:00    Discussion

I see some names above that have been involved in the Cambodia – Sweden Poetry Association. (Didn’t know there was such a thing? Wake up, it’s the 21st century.)


Meanwhile, auditions are on for the Vagina Monologues.
Which gets me to thinking: the Monologues have been translated into at least 11 languages. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Vagina_Monologues

Should there be a Khmer language version? It’s not the Congo - but there certainly is plenty of gender-based violence in Cambodia. My guessing is they’ll go for the Monaco option, come V-Day 2009. Cambodia has a long tradition of pre-emptive self-censorship.

One could make a stretch to interpret Pippi as an anarchist feminist, due to her consistent mocking of gender roles and pomposity. (Though I doubt she’d choose the label herself.)

One can overanalyze children’s books. But this tale’s stood the test of time, even crossing the Iron Curtain back during the Cold War. And in its own playful way, it shows a world where girls can choose their role, or change it.


One Response to “Pippi Longstocking in Khmer”

  1. Clare says:

    Loved pippi as a kid; loved SIPAR when I worked in Cambodia and interviewed them. I am so excited it has been translated — although wouldn’t it be great if there was a cambodian looking pippi girl drawing??

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