Neatorama reader Özi wrote to tell us about this videoclip showing an interview with (then) the world's oldest human being, a 131-year-old Russian lady from Dagestan [wiki].
Here's the translation, courtesy of Ozi's Russian friend Anastasia:
"Who is the oldest man in the world? How old is he and where does he live?
Now long ago we found out that there was an 126 year-old-man in Cuba, but now he is dead.
But the Dagestan people assured us that he was not the oldest one, because one 131-year-old lady lives in their country, and she was 42 years when 1917 Revolution happened. Her name is Grandmother Sarhat.
Grandmother Sarhat is always happy when her 2 years-old neighbour Nadin gets in her window. They drink tea and eat candies together.
Saahrad says that this child could have been her granddaughter in 7th generation.
Sarhat Rashidova is 131 years old. The proof for this is her passport, which shows the date of birth of 1875. Locals found this fact out during a passport exchange (we had that some years ago), but they believed it only after their own investigation.
The old lady doesn't have any relatives, her husband died in the 50s and they did not have any children. Sarhat has been living in this clay house all the time. There is only one lamp at the ceiling and no socket in her tiny 2 by 2 meters room.
She was born during the reign of Alexander II, lived in 3 centuries and speaks only in Azerbaijan language:
'There are not many families in this village now. But I remember the time when there were a lot of people. I lived all the generations over. I have seen tzar's, Nicolay's and Soviet times. When my husband died I promissed not to get married again and I kept my word.'
The only memory of her husband that is left is his shirt. Sarhat once sewed it into a pillow-case and sleeps on it for 50 years now.
Despite of her age Sarhat runs the household, watches hens, and feeds the geese. When she saw our camera, she was always asking for a mirror, worried if she looked good. She was glad afterwards.
'Longevity secret - old lady laughes - there is no such a secret. To live long you should be kind, you should respect the elders, you should work and do only good. Why do women live longer? Because man gives her all his power! My husband cared for me, brought water himself. If a man treats his woman good, the woman will live long.'
People love Sarhat for her kindness. Her neighbour, 70 years old Mardan, remembers how she gave him milk, eggs and flate cakes in his childhood. He helped her while he had the strength and now his son is helping Sarhat.
Mardan - 'She is a good person, we help her to chop firewood, bring water'
I'm glad with my life, says Sarhat, everything worked out in my life.
She is going to live even more years.
Note: Sarhat Rashidova [wiki] died early this year (January 16, 2007). She was 131 at the time of her death.