BEIJING

JANUARY 12 2009 10:03h

Would-Be Chinese Bride, 107, Seeks First Husband

A bride

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`I`m already 107 and I still haven`t got married,` the Chongqing Commercial Times quoted her saying.

A 107-year-old Chinese woman who was afraid to marry when she was young has decided to look for her first husband and hopes to find a fellow centenarian so they will have something to talk about, a Chinese paper reported.

Wang Guiying is worried she is becoming a burden to her aging nieces and nephews since breaking her leg when she was 102 and had to stop doing chores like washing her clothes.

"I'm already 107 and I still haven't got married," the Chongqing Commercial Times quoted her saying. "What will happen if I don't hurry up and find a husband?"

Born in southern Guizhou province the child of a salt merchant, Wang grew up watching her uncles and other men scold and beat their wives and often found her aunt crying in the woodshed after an attack, the paper said.

"All the married people around there lived like that. Getting married was too frightening," she said of an era when Chinese women had few rights and low social standing.

Many also had their feet bound in an excruciating process aimed at making them look more dainty and marriageable.

After Wang's father, mother and older sister died, she still shied away from marriage. Instead she moved to the countryside and survived as a farmer until she was 74 years old and no longer strong enough to work in the fields, the report said.

Her nephew in the booming city of Chongqing then took Wang in, but she is worried he and her other nephews and nieces are too old to take care of her now even the youngest is 60.

"My nephews and nieces are getting older and their children are already tied up with their own families and I am becoming more and more of a burden," she said.

Local officials have said they are happy to help Wang search for a 100-year old groom, and suggested her family get in touch with old people's homes to find candidates, the paper said.