How do I live modestly

Oldest person in the world: "Live humbly and don't be afraid"

She is the only person in this world whose year of birth demonstrably begins with an 18: Emma Morano, born on November 29, 1899, is the oldest person on earth. t-online.de was able to ask her a few questions.

When Emma Martina Luigia Morano was born, Giuseppe Verdi was still alive. Opel had just built the first automobile and the Italian radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi had recently succeeded in establishing a wireless telegraph connection across the English Channel.

Little Emma was the first of eight siblings to see the light of day in the Piedmontese town of Civiasco. The parents Giovanni and Matilde originally came from Switzerland. As a teenager she moved with her family to the Ossola Valley and later worked in a factory that made jute sacks. She suffered from anemia and a doctor recommended that she move to Verbania. She has lived on Lake Maggiore, in Pallanza, since 1915.

t-online.de: In your opinion, what was the most sensational invention of the last 100 years?

Emma Morano: The TV!

What is your advice for a happy life?

Live as calmly and humbly as possible, do not be afraid.

What was the most exciting moment of your life?

There have been many exciting times. But the best moment was when they put my son in my arms.

As a young woman, the ensnared Emma fell in love with a mountain hunter who was called to the front during the First World War. "He didn't come back, he died," she said later. "I had to marry someone else." That was in 1926, but the husband turned out to be violent, he hit Morano. In 1937 she became a mother, but little Angelo died after a few months. Then Morano gathered up all her courage and left her husband in 1938 - probably as one of the first women in Italy. Divorces were not provided for by law, and even separations were a rarity.

When you were younger, were there things that worried you - that were no longer relevant as you got older?

My husband was violent. After I left him, there were many men who were interested in me - but I never wanted to commit to anyone again. The most important thing in life is freedom.

To deter men, she even wore a wedding ring. She loved waltzing and was always careful to be elegant.

When a doctor once recommended that she eat three raw eggs a day because of her anemia, she took this advice to heart. Only a few years ago she reduced the number to two. In addition, the elderly woman consumes some minced meat and vegetable broth every day, a banana, homemade grappa to digest and, if the doctor allows, a gianduiotto - a typical Italian nut praline - as the highlight of the day.

You have lived through two world wars. Do you have any advice for today's politicians?

Respect the diversity among people. But above all, you respect democracy. Without democracy there will be no peace.

Whether it is ultimately the eggs, the grappa or something completely different that has given Emma Morano such a long life cannot be scientifically proven. Experts believe the secret can be explained less by eating habits and more genetically. That could be true in the Morano case: Her mother, an aunt and several sisters were over 90 years old, one sister died at the age of 103.

Is there anything special that you absolutely want to do before you die?

No. I've done everything I wanted to do in life. I live in peace with myself and with the people around me.

Mariangela Camocardi asked the questions for t-online.de. The local writer dedicated a special theater production of song, dance, drama, reading and film to Emma Morano in March 2016. Numerous visitors were happy to understand Emma Morano's life in the play "Correva l’anno ..." ("The year passed ...") - written by Mariangela Camocardi and Federico Spinozzi.

Mariangela Camocardi (Source: www.mariangelacamocardi.net)

"Emma Morano knows that she is a world-famous celebrity. She always smiles when she says that even the Pope knows her," says Mariangela Camocardi. "Your nieces Rosemarie and Antoinette take care of her touchingly. She has kept a clear mind, is independent and very amiable."