Calcutta Parsees: Christmas Show as Part of Centenary Celebrations


December 23, 2008

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The Calcutta Parsee Club, founded in 1908, will have the last of its centenary celebrations during the Christmas week.

The 100-year-old club will organise a big show on December 25 night, followed by a Parsee Carnival on December 27 and 28, complete with stalls highlighting the community’s cuisine, culture and artefacts.

“This is the first time in recent years that the members of Calcutta Parsee Club are organising a carnival of this scale. We expect at least 2,000 people a day,” says 72-year-old member Bahadur Postwalaa.

The centenary celebrations started on the club’s 99th birthday on November 4 last year with a prayer and dinner. During the course of the year, there were several events to mark the diamond jubilee.

The Centenary House Tournament saw 90 sport enthusiasts participate in eight intra-club-sporting disciplines like hockey, cricket, football, basketball and individual disciplines like table tennis, tennis, carom and badminton. Other events on the calendar included a play by a Parsee theatre group from Surat at GD Birla Sabhaghar in November.

“What’s unique is that we always manage to play sport at every level, whether it’s first division hockey or second division cricket. In the beginning, the teams entirely consisted of Parsees but now there are only 650 Parsees left in Calcutta, most of whom are members. Basketball is a hit with the ladies,” says Cyrus Madan, another life member of the Calcutta Parsee Club.

On any weekend, the club on Mayo Road (behind Judo Club) is brimming with people. On weekdays, elderly people sit in the shade to enjoy the evening breeze. “It’s a community place,” says Madan. With three tennis courts, one basketball court and a gym, the club on the Maidan is a family place. It’s a favourite with the kids, too.

Membership to the Calcutta Parsee Club is as little as Rs 5 a month.