One of the biggest decision married couples face is how many children to add to their family. Some may choose one or two kids, while others may want four or more children.
There are pros and cons to both, with money, space, and order being among the major problems of having large families, but some strongly believe that the bigger the family, the more love it has.
Take the 73-year-old man in the remote northeast of India, for instance, who is believed to head the world’s largest family with 39 wives, 94 children, 14 daughters-in-law, and 33 grandchildren – all living under one roof.
Ziona Chana and his whole family live together in a four-storey mansion with 100 rooms in a mountainous village in Mizoram state, sharing borders with Burma and Bangladesh. They call it ‘Chhuan Thar Run’ or New Generation Home which has become a major tourist attraction in the State because of the family.
Ziona is the head of a local Christian religious sect “Chana”, which allows male members to be polygamous. It was founded by his father on June 12, 1942. The sect believes it will soon be ruling the world with Christ and has members of around 400 families.
Ziona himself married as many as ten women in a single year and has still not stopped looking for new wives. He said he’s even willing to go abroad in search of a wife to expand his sect.
For the sleeping arrangements, Ziona has a double-bedded room to himself which he shares with his wives on a rotational basis.
Locals said that he likes to have seven or eight of them by his side at all times, specifically the younger wives. Meanwhile, the older wives share a giant communal dormitory near their husband’s private bedroom.
In order to maintain peace and harmony within the family, the members live a strictly disciplined life. The responsibility of distributing the household chores rests with Zathiangi, the oldest wife of Ziona.
She organizes all the tasks that the other wives need to perform including taking turns in cooking, cleaning, and washing.
It is quite common for the family to consume no less than 30 full chicken, around 200 lb of rice, and more than 130 lb of potatoes in just a single day. The family earns their living by running their own piggery and poultry farms, paddy fields, and a carpentry workshop.
One of Ziona’s wives, Huntharnghanki, claims that the reason the entire family gets along so well is that it is based on mutual love and respect.