Even though SodaBottleOpenerwala is only a couple of weeks old, it seems that most foodies are clued into the existence of this new “Parsi/Irani/Mumbai street food” joint in Gurgaon, adjacent to the Capital. The set-up and decor transport you to the Irani restaurants of Mumbai—the black and white faded tiles on the floor, plastic-covered floral-print sofas, the payment counter with old-fashioned biscuit glass jars, a carom table, even a billiards table.
Parsi perennials like dhanshak were missing from the menu and it was a real pity that on the day of our visit, Parsi Bheeda Par Eeda or Tomatar Papeta Par Eeda were not being served. All the prices on the menu, which is still evolving, are introductory. Some dishes have been inspired by iconic Mumbai eateries like Britania & Co. (the Berry Pulaos), Haji Ali Juice Centre and Amar Juice Centre (the sandwiches) and Bademiya (the Kheema Baida Roti).
Parsis: myth, ethics, the arts and pride informs every fibre of their material pursuit. A SOAS exhibition says little.
It means well, but fails to do justice to its subject. A new exhibition at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies is an ambitious but flawed attempt to understand Zoroastrianism, which claims to be the world’s first monotheistic faith and the state religion of the first global superpower, ancient Persia. Both claims are shrouded in antiquity, but deeply embedded in the psyche of India’s tiniest and most successful minority, the Parsis.
Sometimes called ‘the Jews of the East’, the Parsis too have a history of a very creative diaspora. Having migrated from Persia to Gujarat during the 8th to 10th centuries AD, one of their founding myths in India was that they were refugees from Muslim persecution after the Arab conquest of Zoroastrian Persia. But historical evidence shows that their migrations were motivated as much by trade as by religious dissent.
The London exhibition offers little sense of how well the Parsis have assimilated into Indian life. The most telling example might have been Parsi cuisine, with its unique blend of sweet Persian fruit and nut flavours with more fiery Indian spices. But exhibitions have to make do with artefacts; and the most beautiful on display here are the embroidered Gara silks and Tanchoi brocades which the Parsis imported into India as part of their booming 19th century trade with China. It was typical of the pragmatism of Bombay’s Parsi merchant princes that they made their fortunes selling opium to the Chinese, but spent much of those profits endowing the philanthropic and educational trusts for which they are renowned, and from which many non-Parsi Indians still benefit.
Click Here for the entire article in Outlook Magazine
This small exhibition at the British Museum (Great Russell Street, London) from 24 October 2013 – 27 April 2014, will explain Zoroastrianism, an ancient but living religion named after the Prophet Zarathustra, through objects and coins from Persia (Iran) and beyond.
The display will feature a variety of ancient and modern objects and coins, and will highlight the importance of Zoroastrian traditions in other religions. It will touch on the concept and imagery of the Three Kings of the Christian tradition, who are described in the New Testament (Matthew 2.2) as Magi from the east – Zoroastrian priests in the Persian tradition. Magnificent Islamic coins from Mughal India which follow the Iranian Zoroastrian calendar adopted by the emperor Akbar (1556–1605) will also be on display.
Modern objects will show the ongoing legacy of this ancient Iranian religion and its significance as a symbol of national identity for Zoroastrian and non-Zoroastrian Iranians in modern Persia and beyond.
He’s been accused of corruption, high-handedness and more in his almost two decade long “career” at the Bombay Parsi Punchayet, but it’s been water off a duck’s back for veteran trustee Dinshaw Mehta (inset). Currently the BPP chairman, Mehta is notorious for his rough manner and street-fighter aggression — an aberration for a most refined and genteel Parsis which he has exploited with devastating effect. In 2006, his browbeating resulted in four former BPP trustees including eminent economist Minu Shroff and legal eagle Burjor Antia putting in their resignations citing Mehta’s “frequent misrepresentation, manipulation and manoeuvring”.
The Swedish Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels celebrated Zarathustra and Zoroastrian Culture last night the +27th November. The large Swedish community in Belgium and many European personalities from different countries of EU attended this unforgettable night. The speech was presented by Dr. khosro Khazai Pardis and was followed by a lively and warm debate.
Conference in English on +27 November 2013, 6.30 pm at
the Permanent Swedish Representation to European Union
Zarathustra: The Man Who Created
the Concept of Happiness
Everybody knows the famous Thus Spake Zarathustra of Nietzsche but few know that behind this name is hiding one of the most astonishing figures of the whole history of religions and philosophies.
Zarathustra (or Zoroaster) is the great forgotten name in history. Inventor of monotheism 3700 years ago, his writings gave birth to the religion and existential philosophy of successive Persian empires that reigned over a large part of the world for 1200 years until the advent of Islam.
We had to wait until the nineteenth century to see finally deciphered the original writings of Zarathustra, the Gathas, from an Aryan language forgotten for over 2000 years. The message of these hymns of great poetry is proving surprisingly modern. Apostle of Righteousness and the Good thought, the first two attributes of this single God that he called Ahura Mazda, Zarathustra wants to lead men and women towards a happy life, denouncing the corruption of the political and religious elites, the false gods and the bloody sacrifices.
The greatest Greek philosophers such as Pythagoras and Plato claim to him, while Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism and Humanism have drawn from the same source the fundamental concepts of their religions and philosophy.
Date and time : +27 November 2013, 6.30 pm. Place: Permanent Representation of Sweden, square de Meeûs 30, 1000 Brussels. Participation fee: 5€ for members and 8€ for non-members, wine included. Registrations must be made firstname.lastname@example.org before 23 November 2013.
Khosro Khazaiis the director of the European Centre for Zoroastrian Studies.
Doctor in history of civilizations, archaeology and linguistics, he is the author of nine books and more than 200 articles on the Zoroastrian Existential Philosophy. His writings and translation of “the Gathas, the Sublime Book of Zarathustra” were published first in Persian, then in English and French.
Here is a video of the Zoroastrian Day celebrated last week 23rdNovember at Huston.
Bahrom Firozgary also fondly called the “6ft 9inch gentle giant” by a former FEZANA Pesident, plays for the Rice University, Huston. He is the grandson of Mobed Mehraban Firozgary of Tehran, Iran, and it was he who was instrumental in organising this grand show enlightening the local populace and others about Zoroastrianism.
Should the World Zoroastrian Congress be cancelled owing to infighting within the BPP ?
By a vote of four to three the Bombay Parsi Punchayet trustees have cancelled the Tenth World Zoroastrian Congress to be held in Bombay this December. The four have filed a complaint before the Charity Commissioner to remove Dinshaw Mehta from the board of trustees. Dinshaw Mehta has refuted the charges and is willing to face the law.
By a vote of four to three the Bombay Parsi Punchayet trustees have cancelled the Tenth World Zoroastrian Congress to be held in Bombay this December. The four have filed a complaint before the Charity Commissioner to remove Dinshaw Mehta from the board of trustees. [Parsiana]