Shouxing, China is rumored to have the longest living citizens in the world. Supposedly located off the coast of the East China Sea, citizens of Shouxing are said to easily live past 100 years old. Shouxing, China was said to have been first inhabited by people during the Song Dynasty. It is said that the people were blessed by the God of Long Life, Shouxing, and that is where the name of their city originated. Shouxing is reported to have 540,000 inhabitants with 12% currently in their late 90s. The longevity of the people of Shouxing is mystery. Some people say that their long lives are associated with their daily habits of living. Their are stories that depict the people of Shouxing eating a diet of very little meat but a great deal of vegetables and bean curd. Their also rumors of an enchanted tea that is picked from a rare tree in the high mountains. Lastly visitors of Shouxing observed that many elderly people still are very independent, and can participate in daily activities on their own. The visitors watched people in their 80s do farmwork, visit with friends, cook, and play mahjong, an ancient Chinese game that is said to slow the effects of Alzheimer's disease and dimentia on the brain. According to surveys, the most popular attractions for visitors include the Temple of Longevity God Shouxing. Visitors report seeing many elderly people making daily pilgramages to the temple. The Wan Wei Herb Shop is said to also be a gathering point for tourists and locals alike. Wan Wei Herb Shop is rumored to have the widest variety of Chinese herbs in the world. The herbs sold here are claimed to be able to cure all types of sickness including cancer, septecemia, heart and lung issues, and many others. The owner of the shop, Dr. Chen Yongkang is documented to be 105 years old today. Shouxing is said to have little reliance on western medicine. Chinese herbs apparently do the job in keeping the citizens of Shouxing healthy. There is also said to be no need for a structured healthcare system. Everyone simply flocks to Chinese herbal stores to get their hands on ancient Chinese remedies. 

One popular tradition that people of Shouxing supposedly observe is having a "Big Birthday Party" The "Big Birthday Party" is said to occur every 10 years. When a man turns 60, 70, 80 etc, and when a woman turns 61, 71, 81 etc. The "Big Birthday Party" is supposed to ensure a long life of blissfulness and good health after the celebrator becomes a senior citizen. 

When asked what the secret to a long life is, some of the citizens say that the key is to be happy with yourself and enjoy whatever it is you are doing. One of the most famous stories of Shouxing is the life of Meng Li. Meng Li was rumored to be the happiest person China had ever seen. It is said that she was a school teacher her whole life and taught kindergarten all the way into her 90s. She loved children and seeing their bright faces made her smile. Reports claim that she retired at the age of 97 and lived another 11 years taking care of her great grand children until her passing at the miraculous age of 108 in 1992. Her lifestory is supposedly one of the examples of how people in Shouxing live such a long and happy life. 


Alexander Yee

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