Friday, 26 December 2008

Bhutan : 109-year-old man receives Centenary Citizen award

December 26: Recognized as the oldest person alive in Bhutan, Agay Lethro, a 109-year-old man in Sarpang received the Centenary Citizen award from the Citizens' Initiative for Coronation and Centenary Celebrations (CICCC).

The award includes a cash prize of Nu 25,000 and a certificate.

Like many senior citizens of Bhutan, Agay Lethro is a kidu recipient of His Majesty the King. His award was received by the Office of the Gyapoi Zimpon on his behalf on December 17.

The Office of the Gyalpoi Zimpon handed over the award to the Sarpang Dzongkhag and the Sarpang Dzongda Sangay Thinley delivered it to Agay Lethro at his residence in Jigmechoeling yesterday. The Sarpang Dzongda was accompanied by Dzongkhag officials and representatives of the Office of the Gyalpoi Zimpon.

In a voice shaking with emotion, Agay Lethro thanked His Majesty the King for the award.

Agay Lethro lives with his paternal grand son, Tenzin Wangdi- as he has no child of his own. He weaves bamboo baskets, local hats made from bamboo and other products.

Despite his age, Agay Lethro keeps himself busy in the kitchen garden.

Agay Lethro is the eldest of seven children. As a young man he married a woman from Berti village in Zhemgang. Unfortunately they did not have any children. His wife passed away at the age of 70.

Agay Lethro vividly remembers how he traveled on foot to Thimphu where he worked on the construction of the Tashichhodzong and the construction of Thimphu-Phuentsholing highway.

When asked about the secret to his longevity, Agay Lethro said as a young man he never touched alcohol or tobacco. That and a physically active life have allowed him to live a long health life.

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