The oldest Begum

Bangladesh’s newly re-designed Daily Star newspaper ran the following article today;

World’s ‘oldest’ woman dies in Sujanagar
BSS, Pabna

Begum Poirunessa, presumed to be the oldest woman in the world, died Saturday night at her Chargobindapur residence under Sujanagar Upazila here at the age of 151.

Family sources said Poirunessa was born in 1852. She married Ketu Sheikh of Chardulai village of the same upazila at the age of 10. But she lost her first husband after six years following the birth of her first child.

Later, she knotted tie with Abdul Pramanik of Chargobindapur village.

She had 167 grandsons and granddaughters and her youngest granddaughter died last year at the age of 95.

Earlier, Begum Poirunessa shoot into prominence when newspapers and electronic media made exclusive reports on her.

Hundreds of local people went to the residence of the deceased as soon as her death news spread. She was buried at a local graveyard yesterday after namaj-e-Janaza at Chargobindapur government primary school.

Well, sadly, she won’t be knotting ties anymore. The Guinness Book of Records wont have it though and states,

The oldest living woman in the world whose date of birth can be fully authenticated is Kamato Hongo, born September 16, 1887, on Tokunoshima Island, Kagoshima, Japan…

Guinness also reveals that France is where the world’s oldest ever woman came from,

The oldest fully authenticated age to which any human has ever lived is 122 years and 164 days, by Jeanne-Louise Calment. She was born in France on February 21, 1875, and died at a nursing home in Arles, southern France on August 4, 1997.

and adds some details about what this irrepressible woman got upto…

President Jacques Chirac once said Jean Calment was a little bit like a grandmother to everyone in France. She was 14 when the Eiffel Tower was completed in 1889. She led an extremely active life, taking up fencing at 85 years old, and was still riding a bicycle at 100. She portrayed herself at the age of 114 in the film Vincent And Me, to become the oldest actress in film.

Also in 1852, (the alledged year of Begum Poirunessa’s birth),

  • The Duke of Wellington/Arthur Wellesley inventor of the boot died, (I think he had something to do with defeating Napolean at some point).
  • The Countess Lovelace/Ada Byron inventor of scientific computing also died that year, (her dad was that naughty poet Lord Byron).
  • Paper money was first issued in the United States on March 10, 1852, and became legal tender by an act of Congress seven days later (and more or less the world’s now)
  • The first public toilets for men opened in London’s Fleet Street in early 1852. Toilets for women opened nearby on this day in the same year, but only 82 people used them during the next 12 months (well a penny was a lot of money in those days)

    [update: I found, via Rezwanul, the World Toilet Organisation… well that’s a relief]

  • Thank andi bradley for the last two

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