LA Times Newspaper
A woman believed to be the oldest in the world celebrated her 116th birthday
Wednesday in the former Soviet republic of Belarus.
“Ill drink to my own heath with pleasure,” said Hanna Barysevich., who lives outside the
Belarusian capital Minsk.
Barysevich was born on May 5, 1888 in the village of Buda, 37 miles east of Minsk,
according to her passport. Her parents were poor, landless peasants.
“From my early childhood I didn’t know anything but physical labor,” said Barysevich.
She worked on a collective farm until age 95, then moved to the house that she shares
with her 78-year-old daughter Nina.
She attributes her longevity to genes: her parental grandmother was 113 when she
died. As to diet, Barysevich prefers simple village food: homemade sauages, pork, milk
Barysevich moves with difficulty but unaided. She complains of occasional headaches
and worsening vision, “but nothing else bothers me.”
For her birthday, she hopes for a raise in her pension, equal to about $50. and a
chance to go to a Catholic church for confession.
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