Cuba’s oldest lady turned 127 last week
Last week, what appears to be Cuba’s, and maybe even the world’s, oldest lady turned 127 years old. Celebrated during a full week of festivities with children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren and even a local school class, the birthday celebrant did not seem to tire. Juana Bautista de la Candelaria Rodriguez was born on February 2, 1885, in the farmlands of Santa Rosa around the village of Ceiba Hueca, in the Cuban province of Granma, where she has lived over 100 years. During her celebrations she was joined by no less than 15 great-grandchildren and 6 great-great-grandchildren, and her own youngest son, 82 years old, who said that: ‘I never thought she’d reach this age.’ Having seen the birth of two centuries Juana is now blind since 6 years back, and she has some trouble walking, but that doesn’t seem to dampen her strong spirit. A true example to follow.
See below a video news coverage of Juana’s story in Spanish. The story told is the same as I’ve told above, but I attach the video to let the pictures tell their own story, even if you don’t understand the language:
Out of curiosity, digging a little further into the topic of who actually is the oldest registered woman to have lived according to the almighty Guinness World Book of Records they seem to state that she is only 122 years old, something that would make Juana the oldest woman to have walked this earth. But she seems to have good competition from a Dominican lady that turned 128 years old in 2003. The problem with both the Dominican lady, and it seems, maybe also with Juana, is that it’s been hard for some reason for Guinness book of records to fully confirm the authenticity of their birth certificates. Until that is done, I guess we’ll just have to keep it a blog family secret (and let BBC and The Telegraph into the family too, since they seem to believe it as well). And with all due respect to Guinness meticulousness, chances are that there are more people than Juana and the Dominican lady (who’s name is Elisabeth by the way) that are even older, but don’t have the means, nor the interest to prove it through any national civil registration system.
When my mum’s husband was studying yoga in India in his youth word had it that there were yogis around that were as old as 150 years. But it was generally not something that you spoke about. And not important either, what was important was only the yoga philosophy, not worldly matters such as age, birth place and background. No wonder such communities don’t bother proving any records to an Irish-founded book created to settle a pub fight about which was the fastest game bird around in Europe in the 1950s. Even if it later became the best-selling copy-righted book series of all time.