For most, getting married and having children is a logical step in life’s journey. The decision may not be easy, but the endless rewards will be their own family and the love of their loved ones.
All over the world, marriages are performed in completely different ways. In some countries, the husband and wife do not see each other until the wedding day. In some cultures, men are allowed to have more than one wife. It all depends on what one believes.
Faith led this man from India to a very unusual choice. His name is Zayona. He is 67 years old and has the largest family in the world…
For most people, marriage is hard work, even though they are married to just one person. For a man from a small Indian village, marriage is so easy and simple that he can’t stop. He has 39 wives, 94 children, and 33 grandchildren!
His name is Zayona. His huge family lives under one roof! He was born in 1945 and grew up in a not-so-ordinary family: his father was the founder of a religious organization called Chana Pawl.
This organization was founded in 1942. Today it has more than two thousand followers. They are known for their woodworking skills, but even more so for the fact that they are allowed polygamy.
They take polygamy very seriously, and Zayona and his wives set a great example. In the past year alone, he has married more than ten women! No one has forced them into this marriage. On the contrary, many are happy to accept his proposal because they grew up in poor families.
Though their relationship is a bit unusual, Zayona has dated each of his wives like everyone else. One of his wives says he proposed to her after seeing her in the village one day.
“He’s the most charming man in the village,” the woman says.
At 67 years old, Zayona has become famous for having the world’s largest family living under one roof. Just look at this photo, it’s hard to believe!
For many people, even the thought of raising so many children and looking after them drives them crazy. But that doesn’t scare Zayona .
“I feel like a special son of God. He gave me so many people to take care of!” the man says.
“I consider myself very lucky to be the husband of 39 wives and to be the head of the largest family in the world,” he continues.
At the same time, such a family is a real challenge, and military tactics have to be employed to maintain order.
Zayona relies on her first wife for help. Every day she gives each wife a certain task around the house. The woman is 70 years old, but she is full of energy and always busy. So no one sits idle.
Because the family is huge, everyone gets up very early. The day begins with prayer, and no later than 6:00 a.m. everyone gets to work. That’s how it is every day. Everyone works all day long with breaks for food-just like in a normal family.
Can you imagine what it costs to prepare a meal for such a group! At one time the family eats almost 45 kilograms of rice, 20 kilograms of vegetables, and 35 kilograms of meat.
When a family is this big, an ordinary house won’t do. Zayona built a house on the mountainside with plenty of room for everyone. It has more than a hundred rooms, including huge shared bedrooms for all his wives.
The women sleep together in huge rooms. But the head of the family has his own room with a big bed. The wives take turns living with him, sharing a room and a bed with their husband for a week at a time. It sounds strange, but the women say they are not jealous of each other.
“Every wife spends a week in Zayona’s room taking care of him during that time,” says his eighteenth wife.
“Even those who are already menopausal. After all, they need love, too!”
To make life easier for himself, Zayona has placed the younger wives in the bedroom closer to his room, while the older ones live farther away. This resembles discrimination, but Zayona insists that all his wives love and respect each other
The older women, who can no longer bear children, babysit the younger wives’ babies. The family is constantly growing, so it is wonderful that they take care of each other.
“We don’t need doctors or nannies during childbirth,” Zayona’s son says proudly. “Our women have enough experience, and none of them have suffered from complications during or after childbirth.”
The family prides itself on being self-sufficient. They grow their own food and work on the farm themselves. They even have their own school, where the children get a good education.
One would assume that Zayona would finally stop. But although he’s 67, the man hasn’t ruled out adding more wives and children to his huge family.
“I would even go to America to get married and make my family bigger,” he says.
At this point, he has not voiced who will govern everything after he is gone. His family union will probably survive the loss of the patriarch and continue to live with faith and harmony even after he leaves Earth.
Some may find this choice of Zayona uncomfortable. But he doesn’t care, because his huge family is happy!