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Friday, April 10, 2009

130-Year Old Woman?

A new national census in Kazakhstan discovered a woman who claims to be 130 years old -- and has the documentation to prove it!  Sohan Dosova claims to remember when the tsars ruled Russia and Lenin died.  Her passport, issued in the 1980s, says she was born in Karaganda in March, 1879!

Sohan can still walk (though with a cane) and see, but she has trouble hearing and only has one tooth.  Her favorite snack is tea-soaked bread and she says her "secret" is adding butter to the tea.  She has lived her entire life in the small village of Aul, in the Karaganda region.

Aside from her passport and historic claims, there is no real way to prove Sohan's age.  Few rural Kazakhstans were registered in the time she claims to have been born and many of them literally made up their birthdays.  Yet, Kazakhstans are satisfied that Sohan Dosova is the real deal: She is the oldest human being alive and the oldest human being on record.

But, though she has achieved minor fame -- fame her daughter hoped would help improve her living conditions -- Sohan continues to live a meager existence in her little, fifth-floor walk-up.  Her large family (which she calls "a small tribe" -- with good reason: Sohan had 10 children, three of whom are still alive, and she has 35 grandchildren) hopes a generous benefactor will hear of her story and provide her with a better life.

While there are persistent rumors of people at 121 and 134 years of age, Sohan is the only verifiable "oldest person alive."  Before this, Tomoji Tanabe of Japan was thought to be the oldest person alive at 113.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

1 comment:

  1. City officials rushed to congratulate Sakhan Dosova and paid their respects by granting her plush, new living accommodations.

    Ironically, she slipped, fell, and broke her hip in her new home and never recovered. She died Monday.

    * As with many foreign names, different articles provide different spellings of her name. I kept the name provided in her obituary for completeness; the articles on which this post was originally based all agreed on the spelling of her name as included.