The 2016 Zoroastrian Return To Roots Trip started today in Mumbai. 15 Fellows from six countries will spend the next 13 days experiencing Parsi Zoroastrian India. Participants from USA, Canada, UK, Australia, Pakistan, Iran and India will spend the first three days in Mumbai. Highlights include visits to the Atashbehrams, an open deck bus tour, visits to the Esplanade House, Doongerwadi, Parsi General Hospital and the true highlight….a one hour meeting with Ratan N. Tata.
From Mumbai they will make their way to Nargol, Sanjan, Udvada, Navsari and Surat. Highlights include visiting the archeological digs of the oldest known Dakhma in the Indian Sub-continent, dating back to the 1400’s; Varoli River bank, meeting the Vada Dasturji of Udvada, a Machi at the Iranshah, visits to Meherjirana Library, Kusti Weaving Demonstrations in Navsari, and visits to the Surat Parsi Orphanages and the Dotiwala Bakery.
From there the group heads to New Delhi to be special invitees of the Ministry of Minority Affairs of India, for the opening of the Everlasting Flame Exhibition and two other mega exhibitions about Zoroastrians. Navroze celebrations will be with the Delhi Parsi Anjuman on the lawns of the National Gallery with an Astad Deboo dance performance.
To follow the trip realtime check out the facebook page.
I have been very fortunate to have been associated with the Return To Roots program since inception. On this my third trip with a new group of Zarathushti youth from around the world, there is a deep sense of knowing that what started as an idea in 2012 has over the years become a fascinating program. Alumni from previous trips have returned to help organize and participate in this one, and the true essence of what the program wants to do is alive and kicking. To empower the Zarathushti youth of tomorrow with the knowledge and experiences of their rich and varied religion and culture is what the Return To Roots set out to do, and in the third trip it is bearing fruition.
If you know youth between the ages of 22 and 35, ask them to join us the next time. We promise a life-transformative experience.