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Monday, 4 November, 2002, 11:56 GMT
Taiwanese couple have world's longest marriage
Liu Yung-yang, 103-years-old, sits on right with his102-year-old wife Yang Wan, 4 November 2002
The couple have dozens of grandchildren
A Taiwanese man and woman married for 85 years have been certified by the Guinness Book of Records as the world's longest married couple.

The couple have officially out-done the former record holders - an American couple married for 83 years.

Liu Yung-yang, 103, and his wife Yang Wan, 102, held hands as they received the certificate at their home in Taoyuan, northern Taiwan on Monday.

They got married in April 1917, two years earlier than the American couple - William and Claudia Lillian Ritchie of Lexington, Kentucky.

About 40 of the couple's 110 children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren gathered at their home on Monday as they were given the certificate.

Arranged marriage

Mr Liu wore a new brown suit and sang folk songs to celebrate. His wife sat beside him in a wheelchair, wearing a blue satin gown.

Mr Lui has difficulty hearing but is otherwise in good health, relatives said. He worked on the family farm until 20 years ago, said a granddaughter-in-law, Ying-ju.

But Yang Wan has lost her eyesight and suffers from lethargy and osteoporosis.

The couple got married in their late teens, but have been part of each other's lives for even longer.

Following an old custom among poor Taiwanese families, Yang Wan was sent to live with her future husband's family at the age of five, to take care of him and do household chores, relatives said.

See also:

03 Oct 02 | Health
15 Aug 02 | Health
15 Feb 02 | Health
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