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In the village of Baktawng in Mizoram, India; On top of a hill rests a purple, five storied house with a roof top veranda. Clothes, blankets and underwear are drying in the breeze. Above the front door of the house reads the letters “CTR” as negative space in the brickwork. The letters are short for “Chhuan thar run” or “The new Generation of Jesus”.

This is the house of Mr. Ziona Chana and his family. 161 family members are living under one roof, the youngest only 5 months old, the oldest 72 years. Mr.Ziona has 39 wives and 86 children and is the leader of the christian, religious movement of the village. The people look upon him as chosen by God, and therefore, a holy man.

The wives share a husband and a home. They watch each others children and grandchildren and spend most of their time in the house, doing their chores,living their daily lives. They work, pray, eat, watch TV, sleep, and have personal time. Much like other families, except this one is really big, and outnumbered by women. This is a story about the extraordinary world of Mr.Ziona and his 39 wives, who after all, in their own words, live just another normal life.


Story by Ingrid Aas