Chana páwl (sect)

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How the world’s largest household functions

[ Meet Mizoram’s Ziona Chana, the Patriarch of the Largest Family in the World

By INSIDENE On Oct 2, 2019

Chana’s gigantic four-storey mansion
From: [ Meet Mizoram’s Ziona Chana, the Patriarch of the Largest Family in the World

Aizawl, October 2, 2019:

Ziona Chana, a 74-year-old from Mizoram, is the patriarch of the biggest family in the world! Ziona is the leader of Chana páwl, a Christian sect formed in June 1942, which survives in the mountains of Mizoram state of India, sharing borders with Bangladesh and Myanmar.

This particular sect, ‘the Chanas’ allows its male members to be polygamous. Around 400 families are members of this sect. The sect believes that it will one day rule the world, with Jesus Christ.

This venerable septuagenarian is husband to 39 wives, and has sired 94 children. The family numbers 180 in total, and counting. According to reports, Ziona Chana has married as many as ten women during a single calendar year, and is apparently still looking to marry new wives. Zathiangi, his oldest wife, however, has been given the distinction of handing out chores to the younger women.

According to reports, the family can, somewhat bafflingly, consume as much as 100 kilos of rice, and 70 kilos of potatoes in a single day.

The family is now living in Baktawng village, Mizoram, India and they all live in a gigantic mansion that can be seen from far and wide.

The four-storey mansion of the Chanas, in fact, has become quite the tourist attraction in the State and tourists come from far an wide to view the spectacle that is the Chana family.

Localites close to the family told Inside Northeast that his 39 wives sleep in the dormitory and they are a close-knit family. Household chores are also divided among the womenfolk of the family. 
=Courted by politicians= By Terrence McCoy, April 14, 2014: The Washington Post

At last count, Ziona Chana has 39 wives, 94 children and 33 grandchildren. They all live with him in his 100-room, four-story house perched among the hills of Baktwang village in the Indian state of Mizoram.

“We were witnessing a rush of politicians seeking votes in the last few days,” Chana told Agence France Presse this weekend, while seated at his estate. “During every election we are much in demand as the winning margins of politicians in this state are slim, so even 100-odd votes matter to them,” the 70-year-old explained.

The Indian elections is expected to the be the biggest exercise in democracy in history. In all, 815 million people are eligible to vote between April 7 and May 12. More than 930,000 polling stations are expected to be set up and manned with roughly 11 million workers, the Post’s Adam Taylor reports.

But in the remote northeastern state of Mizoram, Chana, who claims he’s the head of the “world’s largest family,” may be a kingmaker. With him goes his brood. And with his brood may go the fate of that state’s election.

His state, which began its vote, has a population of 1.1 million — 700,000 of whom are eligible to vote. More than 160 of these people belong to Clan Chana. “When we go to vote, we always cast our ballots for the same candidate or party. That means more than 160-odd votes are assured from one family,” one of Chana’s wives, Rinkmini, told reporters.

What does Chana, who’s in charge of a religious sect of 4,000 members and spreads his time evenly among his harem, want in return for his vote?

“All we want is good governance and the well-being of the state instead of personal gains for our family from the politicians,” says Chana, who in one year married 10 women.

In 2011, the Daily Mail reported the family was organized with “military discipline,” so it’s not inconceivable they’d all vote together.

“I consider myself a lucky man to be the husband of 39 women and the head of the world’s largest family,” Chana said.

The governor comes visiting

Nov 15, 2017: The Hindu

Governor meets largest family in Mizoram

Press Trust of India

One of the largest families in the world today received a guest in the Mizoram Governor, Mr Vakkom Purushothaman, at their home in Baktawng Tlangnuam village.

Mr Purushothaman and his wife had a photo session with Ziona Chana, his 39 wives and children and grandchildren altogether numbering over 160 but staying under one roof.

Ziona, head of the family, which is considered one of the largest in the world, is also the chief of the Chana religious sect.

C. Lalrinthanga, a leader of the sect, said Ziona also invited the Governor for a typical Mizo tea session and organised a cultural show performed by the members of the sect and students of the village. “The Governor was in the village for around two and half hours and seemed to enjoy the visit to this picturesque village, known throughout the world due to Ziona,” an official accompanying Mr Purushothaman said.

The Governor was at Baktawng Tlangnuam during the last leg of his travel through Serchhip district of the State.

Ziona (1944-2021)

PTI, Feb 20, 2011: India TV

Aizawl, Feb 20 :  Believe it or not, a man in Mizoram has 39 wives, 94 children and 33 grandchildren -- all living together under one roof in a picturesque village about 100 km from Baktawng in the north of the state.

The head of the family and leader of the "Chana" sect -- which allows polygamy -- is 66-year-old Ziona Chana who lives with his family in a 100-room, four-storyed house named 'Chhuan That Run' or the House of the New Generation, reports PTI.

Though all of Ziona's family members live in different rooms in the building, they all share the kitchen where they cook for the entire family.

"Today I feel like God's special child. He's given me so many people to look after. I consider myself a lucky man to be the husband of 39 women and head of the world's largest family," says Ziona.

 The family is organised with almost military discipline, with the oldest wife Zathiangi organising her fellow partners to perform household chores such as cleaning, washing and preparing meals.

One evening meal can see them pluck 30 chickens, peel 132lb of potatoes and boil up to 220lb of rice.

Chana even married ten women in one year, when he was at his most prolific, and enjoys his own double bed while his wives have to make do with communal dormitories.

He keeps the youngest women near to his bedroom with the older members of the family sleeping further away - and there is a rotation system for who visits Chana's bedroom.

Rinkmini, one of  Chana's wives who is 35 years old, said: 'We stay around him as he is the most important person in the house. He is the most handsome person in the village. She says  Chana noticed her on a morning walk in the village 18 years ago and wrote her a letter asking for her hand in marriage.

Another of his wives, Huntharnghanki, said the entire family gets along well.

The family system is reportedly based on 'mutual love and respect' And  Chana, whose religious sect has 4,00 members, says he has not stopped looking for new wives.

 'To expand my sect, I am willing to go even to the U.S. to marry,' he said. One of his sons insisted that Chana, whose grandfather also had many wives, marries the poor women from the village so he can look after them.

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