Parsi community caught in contradiction


February 5, 2008

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Paris community is caught in a contradiction, a community whose numbers are fast dwindling but is adamant on shutting its doors on the children of mixed marriages. It is an old debate that has resurfaced with a group of liberals trying yet again to coax orthodox Parsis to allow the children of intermarriages to practice the Zoroastrian religion.

About 40,000 Parsis are concentrated in Mumbai. It is a community that has developed a unique and colourful identity since the first Parsis came to India more than a thousand years ago, probably the reason why orthodox Parsis zealously keep the faith.

”I don’t think inter-caste marriage is the answer to decreasing numbers. In fact I feel that it would lead to loss of ethnicity of the religion,” said Noshir H Darawala, Executive Secretary, Centre for Advancement of Philanthrophy.

Challenging this notion, liberals recently built a special prayer room in Mumbai, where the spouses and children from mixed marriages can worship, something they hope will pull them back from a point of no return.

Original article here