From Rasputin to Putin: Meet Russia’s Oldest Lady Who Has Seen it All
A resident of the Krasnoyarsk region, Tanzilya Bisembeeva, hit the Russian Book of Records as the oldest person on the planet – on March 14, 2016 she turned 120 years old.
Grandmother Tanzilya is a known personality in her village where she has lived all her life. She was born in 1896 in Czarist Russia. She has gone through a revolution, the Great Patriotic War, the Soviet collapse, defaults and various other historical crises.In a more personal look at her life, Tanzilya currently lives surrounded by her three sons, ten grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren. Her age difference with the youngest member of her family is 119 years!
“During her life my mother has seen a lot. She has lived from Rasputin to Putin. She has worked all of her life in the fields and on plantations,” her son, Shintas Bisembeev, told online publication RG in an interview.
According to her relatives, Tanzilya deserves the title Veteran of Labor. After all, she has worked for over half a century.
However, back in the day, there was no record keeping labor books where her work years could have been officially recorded. Now officials demand documented evidence or confirmation of her work but it is difficult to obtain that sort of confirmation when the witnesses have already passed away.
Looking back at Tanzilya’s rich life her story is far from ordinary. She got married before the war. But her happiness was short-lived. Her husband was called to the war front and never returned. Their first-born died in infancy. When the war ended, she was 49 and still had neither family nor any children. But, as it turned out, her best years were yet to come.
Soon after, an elderly Kazakh proposed to the widow. After the war only a handful of young men returned to the village, so Tanzilya agreed. At 53 she gave birth to a son.
A year later her second one was born and at 57 years she became a mother once again.
Nowadays, all three of her sons have retired and they all live nearby. They have a big happy family and are proud of their mother.
When asked about Tanzilya’s secret to longevity, her sons answered, “She is very kind and always looks at life positively.”
“They further said that their mother always sees only the good in people. She also maintains a healthy lifestyle. She never sits still, does not smoke and eats only natural food products,” RG reported.
Surprisingly, grandmother Tanzilya did not go to the doctors until she turned a century old. She even gave birth at home. Only after she turned 100 years old did her eyesight start to deteriorate causing her to have eye surgery.
According to Kazakh traditions the woman lives in the family of her youngest son. Her daughter-in-law takes care of her. Nowadays, Tanzilya does not come out of the house but she moves around the house and take cares of herself without assistance.
Tanzilya very often sings songs in her native language and her grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-grandchildren believe that their grandmother is a magician!
Despite being adults, her sons still believe that their mother’s kiss heals them when they are ill and is better than any medicine.
According to official data, there are 71 local residents in the Astrakhan region who have crossed the century mark. Most of them live in rural areas. Amongst these people there were only six men who have lived for over a hundred years, the rest were all women.
According to the Russian Book of Records, Tanzilya Bisembeeva became the second person in the world to live to 120 years of age. The World record for ‘most elderly people of all times’ belongs to Jeanne Louise Calment, she lived 122 years and 164 days and died in 1997.