A banquet was put on to celebrate the 134th birthday of Almihan Seyiti, who Chinese officials are calling the world’s oldest woman.
She is said to have been born on June 25, 1886 under the rule of Qing dynasty emperor Guangxu. The supercentenarian was thrown a big birthday bash filled with music and dancing yesterday in the county of Shule, in the northwestern autonomous region of Xinjiang.
The ethnic Uyghur is said to have topped the country’s list of oldest living citizens in 2013 when she was 127. But she became the focus of some international scrutiny as a result of her unverifiable birth records, despite being issued a Chinese identity card listing her date of birth.
Guinness World Records said it had not been invited to independently verify Almihan’s age. However she is accredited by Shanghai China records and Carrying the Flag World Records, which is registered Shanghai, Lijiang, Hong Kong and London.
According to Guinness World Records French woman Jeanne Louise Calment was the oldest person ever, passing away aged 122 in 1997.
Almihan’s birth records may never be fully verified due to the unreliable and lacking census data from the Qing Dynasty’s outlying regions, especially for ethnic minorities.
She could be 27 years older than Guinness’s oldest currently living person, Japan’s Kane Tanaka, who turned 117 in January.
According to Chinese state media, Almihan married aged 17 before her husband passed away in 1976.
She enjoys singing and playing musical instruments and is said to be in good health. Almihan can still hear and see, but is no longer able to walk.
The unverified nature of the Chinese government’s claim has not stopped her from making the most of her birthday celebrations, with family members saying she ‘loves a crowd’.
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