A gung ho spirit and business acumen: The Parsi Community

Parsis are said to have come to the city during the reign of 3rd and 4th Nizam

Apart from the delectable cuisine that includes ‘Patra ni machi’ the other cultural element for which the Parsi community is known for is the ‘gara work’.

By Syeda Farida | The Hindu

HY16PARSI1_956778eToday, the traditional embroidery is lapped up by fashionistas in the city much as they like the ‘Dhansak dal’ in place of the Hyderabadi ‘Dalcha’.

Navroz

Come March 21, and Navroz at Zoroastrian Club will be an occasion to experience some ‘mehmaan nawazi’, the Parsi way.

“We have two important celebrations. One is the Navroz when Jamshedji was crowned, on March 21. It is a spring festival like other such festivals held in East Asia. The Parsi Navroz or the New Year is in August. The Parsi calendar changes from September,” says Rohinton Noria, president of the Zoroastrian Club.

Community feast

Touted as one of the most inexpensive clubs, with its members paying a monthly membership fee of just Rs. 10, the club has over 500 members. Navroz is an occasion when the Parsi community of the city assembles here to take part in the big feast. “After a long time we are staging a Parsi play this year,” adds Mr. Noria.

The club also has a cricket pitch and other sports facilities for members. Hyderabad, which recently hosted the silver jubilee edition of the J.J. Irani Challenge Cup All India Parsee Cricket Tournament, has produced sport stars such as the spinner Nausheer Mehta. Basketball player Dinyar Irani went on to represent India in the Olympics. Fitness trainer Dinaz Vervatwala has created several records and participated in world fitness fora.

“When you talk about Parsis who made a mark in the city, you have K. Pestonji who set the retail trend with Chermas. Then you have the Chenoys who have been associated with the nobles in the city for generations,” says Parvez Baria of Baria Foods.

Philanthropic activity

The Parsis in Hyderabad are said to have come to the city during the reign of the 3rd and 4th Nizam.

Apart from business acumen, the community has been known for its philanthropic activities.

The Anjuman, situated in Secunderabad, looks after philanthropic activities such as subsidized housing.

Fire temples

Apart from this the three fire temples in the twin cities are important places of worship for the community.

“We visit the temple in the morning on Navroz and go to the Zoroastrian Club in the evening. It is an occasion for us to meet other families as we don’t get to see them during the year,” says Sashika, a Nasr School student.

Unlike the preferred family business vocation, the gennext is taking to IT, mass communication and other professions. “But the culture is intact,” affirms Mr. Noria as he gears up with his team for the big feast.