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Sweden sparks kids’ imagination

Swedish stories and inventions are set to awaken Korean kids’ imagination thanks to an exhibition in Seoul.

Stories of innovations from the zipper to dynamite are being told at the newly-opened “Hello? Sweden” exhibition at the National Library of Children and Young Adults. Even the iconic Coca-Cola bottle is revealed as a Swedish design at the exhibition in Gangnam, which will run until Feb. 15.

Other inventions of Swedish origin including the pacemaker, safety matches, adjustable wrench, three-point safety belt and airbag sensor are also covered at the event designed to link imagination with innovation.

The exhibition will also introduce Swedish children’s books such as Pippi Longstocking, which have been translated into Korean, showing how Swedish creativity has led to innovations that have made people’s lives longer, better or more convenient. 
A Swedish girl in a Lucia Train outfit holds a Swedish book translated into Korean at the National Library of Children and Young Adults in Seoul on Thursday. (Kirsty Taylor/The Korea Herald)
A Swedish girl in a Lucia Train outfit holds a Swedish book translated into Korean at the National Library of Children and Young Adults in Seoul on Thursday. (Kirsty Taylor/The Korea Herald)

“Childhood is perhaps the most important stage in the life of a human being. This is a time when our future is formed, telling how we will act as grown ups and what contribution we will make to society,” Swedish Ambassador to Korea Lars Danielsson said.

“Through books children will not only learn their language but also open a door to a world where anything can happen ― where fantasy can become reality and happiness and sadness live side by side.

“Books will also make children inventive. Today’s children are tomorrow’s inventors. Invention starts with playing around with ideas which eventually becomes something complete.

“This is how the zipper was developed in the early 1900s in a Swedish sewing studio and this is also how a Swedish blacksmith invented the adjustable wrench in the 1800s.

“The exhibition we are opening today is very important to show how children’s books and invention come together in Sweden, to show how fantasy and imagination in our part of the world come together to create inventions that we can use in our daily lives.”

Chief Executive of National Library of Korea Jin Yung-woo said: “I hope Korean children will learn more about Swedish invention and creativity through this exhibition and by reading more Swedish stories and can make more Swedish friends.”

Swedish children performed their December tradition of the Lucia Train on Thursday, to open the exhibition.

As part of the “Hello? Sweden” event, special activities including Christmas arts, crafts and games will be held on Dec. 27, 29 in the NLCYA auditorium. Health yoga classes for children and antique book-making sessions will also be held in the same place on Dec. 22 as well as Jan. 3, 5, 10 and 12 as part of the Tetra Pak Little Champ Well-Being School.

For more information go to www.nlcy.go.kr.

By Kirsty Taylor (kirstyt@heraldcorp.com)
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