Longevity stars reveal their secrets

Updated 2017-10-26 10:33:02 Shanghai Daily
Wu Zhicheng (left) and Chen Zhongbo, both 107, attend a ceremony in Shanghai. They represented the residents honored as the city’s longevity stars yesterday. (Dong Jun)

Wu Zhicheng (left) and Chen Zhongbo, both 107, attend a ceremony in Shanghai. They represented the residents honored as the city's longevity stars yesterday. (Dong Jun)

A 110-year-old woman living in Shanghai's Hongkou District is the oldest resident in a city with more than 2,000 people over the age of 100.

The centenarians put their longevity down to factors which include good food, love and family.

Song Honggen, 108, is the city's oldest man and a resident of Jiading District.

The city also boasts three centenarian couples, with 104-year-old Xu Yunxiang and his wife Zhao Damei, 106, the oldest of them. They live in the Pudong New Area.

The centenarians were honored at a ceremony yesterday as "longevity stars" ahead of Saturday's Chongyang Festival, which falls on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month and is a day when respects are paid to the country's senior citizens.

Wu Zhicheng and Chen Zhongbo, both 107, attended the ceremony.

Wu, who lives in Jing'an District, has 13 children. She was born in Suzhou, in neighboring Jiangsu Province, and was a worker at a silk factory.

She is skilled at using the computer and is addicted to WeChat, where she founded a family group with 42 members from five generations.

"I talk with them on the WeChat group every day, and I often sing songs for them because I like singing red songs!" she said.

"I remember the birthdays of each child in the group, and I am always the first person to wish them happy birthday via WeChat each time on their birth date," she said.

She watches the news every day and closely followed the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and every foreign visit of President Xi Jinping.

Wu has a number of hobbies including singing, listening to Suzhou pingtan — a traditional narrative originated in Suzhou — and reading Chinese wuxia (martial arts heroes' adventure) novels.

She likes to eat hairy crab and buys a welfare lottery ticket every week. She picks the numbers herself.

"If I win a big prize, I will donate the money to the needy," she said.

"My mother likes eating chicken skin and duck skin, fatty meat and even chicken butt," said Wu's daughter Bian Wenqing, who is 73 years old.

"She is always broad-minded, kind-hearted and mild-tempered, which is believed to be her longevity secret," Bian said.

Wu broke three ribs in 1997, but recovered quickly. In 2004, she broke her nose but also quickly recovered with no ill effects.

Chen Zhongbo, another 107-year-old who was at the ceremony, likes playing mahjong.

He lives in a senior home in Minhang District and worked at a banknote printing factory before retirement.

He is in excellent health and likes walking and watching television.

Chen prefers fatty meat and has a healthy appetite. He can eat eight wonton, an egg and a cup of milk at each meal.

Luo Shimin, Shanghai's oldest resident, lives on Shanyin Road in Hongkou District. She was a proofreader at The Commercial Press.

"My mother likes study very much and wrote poems when she was young," said Huang Gaoqin, Luo's daughter, who is in her 90s.

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