Small yet big


March 21, 2006

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Culture | Customs | Events

The Parsi community in the city will soon usher in its New Year by celebrating Jamshedi Navroz.

JAMSHEDI Navroz is knocking at the doors of Parsis in the city, and with it, the community will welcome its New Year with its typical affability and zest for life.

Navroz is a time for Parsis to take out their traditional clothes, stir up an ethnic fare and come together to celebrate life.

But, like every year, some of the issues that stare at the community are erosion of its cultural and religious values and a dwindling population.

No doubt, Parsis have been a set of universal people, happy being passive observers and appreciators of other religions and cultures, but there’s a dichotomy among them regarding their belief systems.

For instance, while puritans believe that Parsi women marrying in another community will have to bequeath their communal identity, liberals feel that they needn’t do so…

Property consultant, Sarosh Parakh, a young member of the community, says, “Changes are inadvertent for a community that’s evolving fast.

Even though many young Parsis are in sync with the modern culture, they still want to retain their cultural values.” Many young Parsis are known for frequenting some of the city’s most happening pubs and hangouts.

Former air marshal, Manik Madan says, “Many young Parsis all over the world are feeling the urge to get back to their roots.

During a recent trip to a famous Parsi pilgrimage spot, I saw many young men and women of the community seeking knowledge about their religion from priests there.”

Madan feels that the community’s dwindling population needs to increase. He says, “The death rate in the community is twice the birth rate in it…

To increase the Parsi population, there are many monetary incentives being given to couples for raising more than two children.”

But many Parsis feel proud that despite its small population, the community has contributed a lot to the nation.

Some of the many Parsis who have made the country proud are industrialist JRD Tata, freedom fighter Dadabhai Naoroji, scientist Homi Jehangir Bhaba, music director Zubin Mehta, field marshal, KS Rustamji and photographer and writer Sooni Taraporevala.

Parsis in the city are not only proud of being what they are, but they are also making concerted efforts to stay together, evolve and develop.

Some of the Parsi organisations here are Zoroastrian stree mandal, zorastrian club, Parsi dharamshala and Parsi anujuman. The city also has three Parsi fire temples and two towers of silence.

Original article