Ziona

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Ziona
Born
Zionnghaka

(1945-07-21)21 July 1945
Baktawng village, Assam Province, British India
Died13 June 2021(2021-06-13) (aged 75)
Aizawl, Mizoram, India
Known forFathering the largest living family
Spouse(s)39
Children94

Ziona (born Zionnghaka; 21 July 1945 – 13 June 2021)[1] was the leader of Lalpa Kohhran Thar (meaning "The Lord's New Church"), informally referred to as Chana Pâwl or Chhuanthar Kohhran ("The Church of New Generation"), a polygamy-practising Christian sect in Mizoram, India.[2][3] He was often attributed to as a world record holder for being the head of the "world's largest existing family"[4][5] or the "world's biggest family".[6] In 2011, as officials of the Guinness World Records made verification, he refused the world record title as he shunned publicity.[7] His was nonetheless listed as the "Biggest Family" in the world in 2011 by the World Record Academy,[8] and The Wall Street Journal in 2011,[9] and then by the London World Records in 2019.[10]

The religious sect he led was formed by his uncle Khuangtuaha in 1942 as a millennialist denomination, which survives in Serchhip district in Mizoram state of India, sharing borders with Bangladesh and Myanmar.[11] After migration from Hmawngkawn village, the sect settled in Baktawng village Mizoram, India.[12] In 1997, Ziona succeeded his father Chana, who in turn had succeeded Khuangtuaha in 1966. He had 39 wives, 94 children, 14 daughters-in-law, 33 grandchildren and one great grandchild; 181 family members in total and counting. His family and their four-storeyed residence are one of the major tourist attractions in Mizoram.[13][14] He was featured in Ripley's Believe It or Not! top 11 strangest stories for the year 2011,[15] and in 2013's Ripley Believe It or Not book 9.[16][17][18]

Life and family[edit]

Ziona was born Zionnghaka[19] on 21 July 1945 at Hmawngkawn village in Serchhip district, which is 100 kilometres (62 mi) to the south of Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram. He is popularly known among the Mizo natives as Pu Ziona,[20][21][13] and commonly misnamed in the non-native media as Ziona Chana.[2][22][12] His father was Challianchana, leader of the Christian sect, Chana Pâwl.[23] He married his first wife Zaṭhiangi, who is older than him by three years, at the age of 17.[5] Zaṭhiangi is the head wife and directs the household chores of the family with strict discipline.[16] After Chana's death on 27 February 1997, Ziona was elected as the successor.[24] The sect called him by the title "Hotupa" (literally meaning leader or master).[25] By the time he took up the leadership, he already had more wives than his father.[24] He married ten of his wives in the span of one year.[17]

Ziona built a four-storied mansion, which appears like a boarding house, to accommodate his large family.[16] The house is called the "Chhuan Thar Run" (meaning the House of the New Generation) and is located in the mountainous village of Baktawng.[12] There is also a "Khualbuk" (a guesthouse) to accommodate visitors coming to the village.[22] Ziona had a double bedroom in the ground floor of this mansion and his wives took turns to sleep with him according to a roster. His younger wives stayed close to his room on the same floor and there were always seven to eight wives attending to his needs during the day. All older wives live in the dormitories on the first floor of the mansion, while his younger wives live on the ground floor. His wives claim that there is no rivalry among them.[16][11][12] Of his 39 wives, 22 are below the age of 40 and they got a week to spend with him.[26] He has 26 sons-in-law and his daughters live separately with their families. He said that he has named all his children and grandchildren and he remembered the names of every member of his family.[26] He married his last wife in 2004.[14] It is not known exactly how many wives he had had in his lifetime. By 2005, three were dead and some abandoned him.[23]

Ziona's family is self-reliant, growing crops for their food requirements. He has also established a school for his children, and his younger brother looks after its functioning. Though teaching in the school is based on a curriculum prescribed by the government, he has added some subjects specific to his Chana sect. He did not seek any assistance from the government.[27]

Ziona's wives do the cooking, and his daughters attend to cleaning of the house and take care of washing laundry. Men of the family attend to livestock rearing, agriculture (jhum cultivation), small cottage industries of wood furniture (carpentry), aluminum utensil making, and so forth.[22][11][26]

Ziona's 68th birthday was celebrated on 21 July 2013 with 150 guests.[22]

Later life and death[edit]

At age 75, Ziona was diagnosed with hypertension and diabetes mellitus.[28][29] On 7 June 2021, he became seriously ill and became unconscious on 11 June. Doctors at Baktawng found that he had anaemia.[1] In critical condition, he was brought to Trinity Hospital at Aizawl in the afternoon of 13 June (Sunday).[30] He was already unconscious when they reached the hospital at around 2:30 p.m., and was revived briefly using CPR.[31] The doctors pronounced him dead at 3:00 p.m., 10 minutes after he was admitted. He is survived by 38 wives, 89 children and 33 grandchildren.[1]

Announcing his death, Chief Minister of Mizoram, Zoramthanga, posted on Twitter, and said:

With heavy heart, Mizoram bid farewell to Mr. Zion-a (76), believed to head the world's largest family, with 38 wives and 89 children. Mizoram and his village at Baktawng Tlangnuam has become a major tourist attraction in the state because of the family. Rest in Peace Sir![2][32]

As his body was brought home in the night of 13 June, his pulse regained.[14] Oximeter showed stable pulse and his body remained warm the following day.[33] The family declared the pulse stopped at 9:00 p.m. on Monday.[34][35] After two days of preparation, the official funeral and burial were done on 17 June 2021.[36][37]

Religious faith[edit]

Ziona was chief of the group known as Chana Pâwl (Pâwl means sect, group, or organization), a Christian sect that practices polygamy.[11][17] His uncle (father's elder brother,[32][38] or grandfather, according to some sources[39][40][41]), Khuangtuaha founded the sect on 12 June 1942 at Hmawngkawn village, and was named Lalpa Kohhran Thar ("The Lord's New Church");[37][42] but was more popular as Khuangtuaha Pâwl.[43] At the time the mainstream Christian church in Mizoram objected to the use of pagan practices in Christian worship, including the use of a traditional drum called khuang.[44] Khuangtuaha Pawl believed that the drum was harmless and adopted it as one of the key instruments for worship. The sect also advocated millennialism by accepting the literal event of Bible's Revelation Chapter 20 to "Kum Sang Rorel" or the rule of 1,000 years by Jesus Christ on Earth.[45] Khuangtuaha also decreed that a man may marry as many wives as he can support.[46]

The Presbyterian Church excommunicated them[46] for propagating a theology considered "wrong and dangerous".[45] A popular account that the Chief of Hmawngkawn banished them in 1942,[45][47] with the support of British officers,[48][46] is false. Khuangtuaha died in 1955 at Hmawngkawn and is interred at Hmawngkawn cemetery.[49] After Khuangtuaha's death, his brother Chana inherited the sect leadership.[31][44] The sect then became popularly known as Chana Pâwl,[50][51] but they also used a formal name "Lalpa Kohhran" (meaning "The Lord's Church") for their denomination.[44][52] It was only in 1967, following political trumoil in Mizoram due to the Mizo National Front uprising, that the government relocate them along with hundreds of small villages.[53] The sect were allowed settled in Baktawng. After Ziona led the sect, they assumed a new name for their community as Chhuanthar (meaning the "New Generation"),[35][54] and the sect became sometime referred to as Chhuanthar Kohhran ("The Church of New Generation").[50][51] The sect celebrate their founding day as "Bawkte Kut" (literally meaning "Festival of the Hut") on 12 June every year.[42] As of 2021, the sect has over 2,000 followers in 433 families, who all reside in the Baktawng Tlangnuam village.[33][37]

World record[edit]

Although it is popularly reported that Ziona is the world record holder as heading the biggest family in the Guinness World Records,[55][24] even in government sources,[21][13] it is not included in the Guinness.[7] (Guinness has no record for biggest/largest human family.[2][56]) By 2005, with 15 wives and more than 100 children, he could have been eligible for the Guinness record.[23] In 2007, he was proposed for entry into the Guinness, but as the officials visited him, he refused to have his photograph taken.[52] In 2011, he explained to a CNN reporter, the reason he declined the record was that "he doesn't want the publicity."[7]

Ziona's family is recorded by the World Record Academy as setting the world record for the "Biggest Family". At the time of the record entry in 2011, Ziona had 39 wives, 94 children, 14-daughters-in-laws and 33 grandchildren.[8] The same year, The Wall Street Journal listed the family as "The Biggest Family in the World".[9] Ziona was listed as "head of the world’s biggest family" in the London World Records in 2019.[10]

In 2011, Ripley's Believe It or Not!, while recording Ziona's family as the largest living family in the world, observed: "It's a safe bet that Ziona Chana would not be impressed watching 19 Kids and Counting or Sister Wives. The 75-year-old Indian man had 39 wives, 94 children and 33 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild."[15] Ziona and his family was included in 2013's Ripley Believe It or Not book 9.[17][18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Nath, Hemanta Kumar (13 June 2021). "Mizoram's Ziona Chana, head of world's largest family, passes away at 76". India Today. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d "Ziona Chana: Head of 'world's largest family' dies in India's Mizoram state". BBC News. 14 June 2021. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  3. ^ Gupta, Swati; Rahim, Zamira (14 June 2021). "The head of the 'world's biggest family' has died at age 76". CNN. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  4. ^ Panwar, Sanya (3 March 2016). "Travelling to Mizoram: Why you must make plans (Like right now!)". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  5. ^ a b Delhi, Amrit Dhillon (14 June 2021). "Ziona Chana, head of 'world's largest family', dies — leaving 38 widows". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  6. ^ McCoy, Terrence (14 April 2014). "Indian politicians court man with 'world's biggest family:' 39 wives, 127 offspring". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  7. ^ a b c Udas, Sumnima (31 October 2011). "Is 160 enough? One Indian man's family". CNN. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  8. ^ a b "Biggest family: Ziona Chana has 39 wifes and 94 children: a world record (Video)". www.worldrecordacademy.com. 21 February 2011. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  9. ^ a b Abidi, Adnan (21 October 2011). "The Biggest Family in the World". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  10. ^ a b Kumar, Naveen (13 March 2019). "The world's biggest family: The man with 39 wives, 94 children and 33 grandchildren". London World Records. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  11. ^ a b c d "Man has 39 wives, nearly 100 children". Reuters. 22 February 2011. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  12. ^ a b c d "Family: Ziona Chana has 39 wifes and 94 children: a world record (Video)". Worldrecord Academy. Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  13. ^ a b c "Places of Interest | Serchhip District, Government of Mizoram | India". Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  14. ^ a b c Chaturvedi, Amit (15 June 2021). "Family of Mizoram's Ziona claims he's still alive, refuses to perform last rites". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  15. ^ a b "Indian with 39 wives, 94 kids is the strangest story of 2011". The Hindu. 16 December 2011. Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  16. ^ a b c d Gregory, Andrew (21 October 2011). "World's largest family with 181 members live in 100-room, four-storey house in India". Daily Mirror. Archived from the original on 21 June 2018. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  17. ^ a b c d Ripley's Entertainment Inc. (27 August 2013). Ripley's Special Edition 2014. Scholastic. pp. 42–. ISBN 978-0-545-62260-8.
  18. ^ a b "Reviews in Brief". Ripley's Believe It or Not. Ripley Entertainment Inc. 11 November 2012. Archived from the original on 20 February 2014. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  19. ^ Mazumdar, Jaideep (13 January 2013). "One giant family in Mizoram - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  20. ^ "Pu Ziona, Father Of World's Largest Family Dies At 76". Ukhrul Times. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  21. ^ a b "World's Biggest Family in Mizoram". Mizoram Tourism. 22 October 2016. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  22. ^ a b c d "Mizoram man with 39 wives raring to marry again". The Times of India. 23 July 2013. Archived from the original on 3 October 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  23. ^ a b c WalesOnline (21 November 2005). "Cult leader'sclaims of 100 children". WalesOnline. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  24. ^ a b c ToMZ (7 August 2017). "World's Largest Family - Ziona, who is believed to head the world's largest family in the world". Times of Mizoram. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  25. ^ "Man with 160-member family in Mizoram". Deccan Herald. 9 November 2011. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  26. ^ a b c Koh, Maureen (21 February 2012). "Wife No.39 is 'luckiest woman in the world'". Asiaone. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  27. ^ "They eat 100kg of rice a day". Asiaone. Archived from the original on 10 April 2015. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  28. ^ Parasha, Utpal (13 June 2021). "Mizoram man believed to head world's largest family with 38 wives, 89 kids dies". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  29. ^ Taneja, Nidhi (13 June 2021). "Ziona Chana, head of 'world's largest family' with 38 wives and 89 children, dies". www.indiatvnews.com.
  30. ^ "Mizoram man, who headed world's largest family with 39 wives and 94 children, passes away at 76". The New Indian Express. 13 June 2021. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  31. ^ a b Khojol, Henry L. (13 June 2021). "Head of world's largest family with 39 wives, 94 children passes away". EastMojo. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  32. ^ a b "Married to 39, patriarch of world's 'largest family' dies in Mizoram". The Times of India. 14 June 2021. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  33. ^ a b Khojol, Henry L. (14 June 2021). "Mizoram: Zion-a resurrect? World's largest family says patriarch alive, delays funeral". EastMojo. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  34. ^ Vanlalruata, HC (15 June 2021). "Ziona Chana sect members believe Ziona still alive, funeral on hold in Mizoram". The Times of India. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  35. ^ a b Chaturvedi, Amit (15 June 2021). "Family of Mizoram's Ziona claims he's still alive, refuses to perform last rites". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  36. ^ Khojol, Henry L. (17 June 2021). "Ziona, head of world's largest family, finally laid to rest 4 days after death". EastMojo. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  37. ^ a b c "Patriarch of largest family in world laid to rest in Mizoram four days after demise". Outlook. 17 June 2020. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  38. ^ "Largest family in the world?". DNA India. 18 June 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  39. ^ "Patriarch of 'world's largest family' with 38 wives and 89 children dies aged 76". The Independent. 15 June 2021. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  40. ^ "Mizoram man, head of world's largest family, dies at 76". The Tribune. 13 June 2021. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  41. ^ "Head Of World's Largest Family: Man With 39 Wives, 94 Children, 33 Grandchildren Dies At 76". Outlook. 13 June 2021. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  42. ^ a b Halliday, Adam (13 June 2014). "Cause to celebrate with world's largest family". The Indian Express. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  43. ^ "Mizo Man Has 39 Wives, 94 Children, 33 Grandchildren". Outlook. 20 February 2011. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  44. ^ a b c "Lalpa Kohhran The Legacy Continues". Eastern Panorama. 30 November 2017. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  45. ^ a b c "Mizo man has 39 wives, 94 children, 33 grandchildren". DNA India. 20 February 2011. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  46. ^ a b c "Man with 160-member family in Mizoram". Deccan Herald. 9 November 2011. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  47. ^ "Mizoram: Man with 38 wives, 90 children, celebrates his 74th Birthday". northeastindia24.com. 23 July 2018. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  48. ^ "Man with 160-member family in Mizoram". Assam Tribune. 15 September 2010. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  49. ^ Vanlalchhuanga (1984). An Zirtirnate [Their Teachings] (in Mizo). Aizawl (India): Gosen Press. pp. 51–54.
  50. ^ a b Lalnunmawii (27 October 2017). "Tourism Minister-in Pu Chana piancham vawi 105 na hmanpui" [Tourism Minister graced Pu Chana's 105th birth anniversary]. dipr.mizoram.gov.in (in Mizo). Directorate of Information & Public Relations, Government of Mizoram. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  51. ^ a b "Sect donates utensils, window frames to families ravaged by fires". The Times of India. 27 February 2012. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  52. ^ a b "A Mizo village of one man, 50 wives, over 100 kids". Hindustan Times. 1 January 2007. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  53. ^ Goswami, Namrata (2009). "The Indian Experience of Conflict Resolution in Mizoram". Strategic Analysis. 33 (4): 579–589. doi:10.1080/09700160902907118. ISSN 0970-0161.
  54. ^ Khojol, Henry L (15 June 2021). "Mizoram: World's largest family 'finally declares' patriarch Ziona dead". EastMojo. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  55. ^ "Mizoram News | Ziona Chana head of the world's largest family with 38 wives and 89 children passes away | The head of the world's largest family dies, 38 wives and 89 children in the family". Latest India News Today. 13 June 2021. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  56. ^ Bhattacharjya, Samhati (12 July 2018). "Largest family on Earth? Ukrainian man with 346 living relatives applies for Guinness World Record". International Business Times. Retrieved 14 June 2021.

External links[edit]