Dikmadugodage Johnihamy (103): Centenarian’s secret to longevity | Sunday Observer

Dikmadugodage Johnihamy (103): Centenarian’s secret to longevity

“Village life, clean air, household chores and home grown food is what has helped me live for so long,” said Dikmadugodage Johnihamy who celebrated her 103rd birthday on July 9, 2017. She was born in the little village of Algiriya, Theliijawila in 1914.

“My mother married my father Dikmadugodage Dinoris, who was her neighbour, as well as childhood love, at the age of 27,” said son Jinadasa Dikmadugoda.

“My father was a simple village cultivator and farmer, and it was my mother who helped him in the fields, while performing household chores and taking care of six children, including me.

“I remember, she used to carry my father’s meals to the field and help reap the harvest and even help carry it home. It was she who dried, threshed and winnowed the rice paddy as there were no mills at the time.

In addition, my mother did all the household chores including, pounding of grain, grinding, collecting firewood, sweeping, washing and numerous other things which kept her busy all day. It was she who drew water from the well and carried it home in a pitcher.

“We used to help our parents in whatever way we could, as we grew up. I believe it is the simple village life my mother led, the clean air and home grown food, that has kept my mother healthy to celebrate her 103rd birthday,” he added.

Even at 103, centenarian Johnihamy can get about unaided, and being a devout Buddhist she used to walk to the village temple which was about half a mile away, to observe ‘sil’ every poya day since childhood, until the chief incumbent monk forbade her a few years ago, and requested her to perform religious observances at home.

A large number of well-wishers, including Johnihamy’s six children, 45 grandchildren and even great grandchildren attended the religious ceremony to celebrate her 103rd birthday.