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Shanghai discovers its most ancient treasures
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Shanghai yesterday named 10 star seniors, including a sprightly 109-year-old woman, who will go on to compete nationally to be named one of China's ''longevity stars.''

Li Suqing, born in 1899 and still enjoying good health, will head the Shanghai contingent. Born in Liaoning Province, Li came to Shanghai in 1975. She now lives in Pudong New Area.

Li said yesterday she had two secrets to living a long life - dutiful children and healthy living.

"My daughter has a different menu every day, ensuring the balance of nutrition," she said. "And I drink a cup of milk every day to make up for calcium and protein."

The eldest man named on the Shanghai list is Huang Rongcai. The 105-year-old said he worked as a chef on a foreign cruise ship in the 1930s, and was quick to accept Western-style culture while maintaining his Chinese roots.

"I love Western-style snacks and Earl Grey tea," Huang said. "But I love to adjust my physical condition with traditional Chinese medicine."

Huang said he cared more about the quality of his life than money.

He also said he was a keen fisherman and didn't give up the hobby until he was 90.

The Shanghai Seniors' Studies Association said yesterday the "longevity stars" were selected according to age and health factors.

At the end of last year, the city had 758 seniors aged more than 100 years.

Jing'an District had the highest collection of people who had lived for more than a century, with 15 people, according to the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau.

The city yesterday also selected 10 "ambitious senior stars" to mark the coming Chongyang Festival on October 7.

The festival, which falls on the ninth day of the ninth month of the Chinese lunar calendar, is also known as the Double Ninth Festival. It is a day to celebrate seniors.

The 10 ambitious seniors, including a singer called Cao Peng, were awarded for contributing to society in retirement, said the bureau.

(Shanghai Daily September 25, 2008)

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