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Oldest couple impart secrets of love and longevity

(Xinhua)

14:31, December 16, 2011

GUIYANG, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- People use the word "silver" to describe a 25-year-old marriage, "golden" for a 50-year-old one and "diamond" for 60 years of marriage.

However, there may be no precious metal or stone in existence that can truly commemorate the marriage of Yang Shengzhong and Jin Jifen, who celebrated their 90th year of matrimony this year in southwest China's Guizhou province.

Yang, 109, and his wife Jin, 106, have a combined age of 215 and were recently recognized as the oldest living couple in the country by the Gerontological Society of China.

Residing in a mountainous village in Pingtang County, Yang and Jin were born in the final days of China's last feudal dynasty. The two have witnessed the wars, famine and political upheaval that have marked the last century of Chinese history.

"I narrowly escaped being captured and forced into war when I was young, and I still remember the starvation in years past," said Yang.

Young and Jin now lead a peaceful life with their youngest son. Hale and hearty, the couple still tend to their patch of farmland, where they produce food for the family's dinner table.

"People live to work, and life cannot go on without labor," Jin said while preparing their lunch. Their daily diet consists of rice, vegetables and preserved pork.

Yang said the greatest adventure they have embarked on together was a train ride to visit their daughter, who lives in north China's Hebei province.

"The train chugged on for a day and a night, but we were still in the same province. Amazing, indeed!" Yang said when he recalled the trip.

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