By Inna Kabysheva
The world’s register of ‘long-livers’ cannot help but be rather inaccurate, since documentary proof is required, and this is not always available of course. At other times, it appears that those who compile the register are perhaps simply uninformed.
Belarus’ Maria Shikut, who now resides in the village of Tesnovaya in the Minsk Region’s Stolbtsy District, in fact celebrates her 117th birthday this summer. She has witnessed wars, occupation and changes of power, raising five children, 14 grandchildren and over 20 great-grandchildren.
In 2010, Japanese Kama Chinen, 114, was named the oldest woman on the planet, while a 130 year old woman was found in a Georgian village. The Georgian authorities presented Antisa Khvichava’s documents to the Guinness Book of Records (stating her birth as July 8th, 1880) and she was acknowledged as the oldest living person on Earth. We wonder if our Belarusian centenarians will ever appear in the world ratings…
Svetlana Yermakovich, the Head of the Ministry for Labour and Social Protection’s Department for Veterans and Elderly People:
633 people currently reside in our country aged 100 and over, including two (in Minsk and in the Minsk Region) who are aged 115, according to their passports. Documents proving their age were lost during the war but were later restored by specially created commissions to determine age. A special procedure was even elaborated for this purpose. Sadly, we can’t apply for the status of ‘oldest woman on the planet’ due to the absence of original records.