FEZANA Scholarships Applications Open


FEZANA is happy to announce that the application cycle for the FEZANA scholarships for 2017 is open.

FEZANA Offers the following Scholarships

ACADEMIC Scholarships

  • Mehraban and Morvorid Kheradi Endowment Scholarship for Academic Excellence: The FEZANA  Scholar
  • FEZANA 25th Anniversary Endowment  Scholarship For Academic Excellence
  • Morvarid Guiv Endowment Scholarships
  • Purvez and Aban  Rustomji Endowment Scholarship
  • Banoobai and Maneckshaw Kapadia Endowment Scholarship  for Financial Assistance
  • Dr Minocher Rustom Vesuna and Dowlat Minocher Vesuna WZO Canada Endowed Scholarships
  • Sheroo Darabsha Kolsawala Endowed Scholarship

To read the eligibility criteria and apply click here

PERFORMING AND CREATIVE ARTS Scholarship

The FEZANA Performing and Creative Arts Scholarship (P&CAS) provides financial support to Zarathustis who are performing artists in music, drama, etc. or practice other creative art forms like literature, poetry, fine arts, sculpture, painting, etc.

To read the eligibility criteria and apply click here

EXCELLENCE IN SPORTS Scholarship

The Excellence in Sports Scholarship is to provide financial support to young Zarathushtis who are performing exceptionally and at highly recognized levels in any sport.

To read the eligibility criteria and apply click here

Statement by President Donald J. Trump on Nowruz


The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
March 22, 2017
 This week, I would like to send my best wishes to all those around the world celebrating the wonderful ancient holiday of Nowruz.  Many millions of people of Iranian, Iraqi, Turkish, South Asian, and Central Asian heritage will come together with their families during this time to commemorate the arrival of spring.
Nowruz means “new day” in Persian.  It is an occasion to celebrate new beginnings, a sentiment that is particularly meaningful for so many Iranians who have come to our country in recent decades to make a new start in a free land.
For many years, I have greatly enjoyed wonderful friendships with Iranian-Americans, one of the most successful immigrant groups in our country’s contemporary history. They come from diverse religious backgrounds—including Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Zoroastrian, and Baha’i—but all share an affection for their ancestral heritage.
Cyrus the Great, a leader of the ancient Persian Empire, famously said that “[f]reedom, dignity, and wealth together constitute the greatest happiness of humanity. If you bequeath all three to your people, their love for you will never die.”
 To the Iranian people and all those around the world celebrating Nowruz: On behalf of the American people, I wish you freedom, dignity, and wealth. Nowruz Pirouz (Happy Nowruz).

Shazneen Arethna – Dance Alone


Shazneen Arethna is one of the first female rock singers as part of the 90’s and early 2k’s brewing scene when the country was realizing the real potential of independent music in India. Her erstwhile band with a literal name “3 Guys and a Girl” consisted of her fronting the band with guitar player Warren Mendonsa aka Blackstratblues, drummer Sidd Coutto and bassist Johan Pais. Arethna, has recently released her new single “Dance Alone” after a long hiatus and promises to bring back more music with an EP and going live. Here are some excerpts from our conversation:

 

RSJ:  It’s such a pleasure to see you back to singing and making music again! Where have you been and what have you been up to all these years?

SA: I’ve been working on to striking just the right balance between motherhood and my passion for singing. I have 2 wonderful daughters who capitalize on my time, but music has been a constant part of our lives. Live performances and studio sessions and song writing never really stopped, but releasing my own music, kinda took a back seat until now.

 

RSJ: You have seen the independent music scene change since 3 guys and a girl. What do you think about the current scenario!

SA: I think the indie scene is totally thriving right now. Our Indian Indie audience is more appreciative and receptive than it ever was.  It’s such a pleasure to see numerous bands and acts emerging from every part of the country. They’re not afraid to experiment and merge genres. I think it’s a great time to be an Indie artist in India especially with music festivals mushrooming all over.

 

RSJ: Your cover of “intehaa ho gayi” got tweeted by Amitabh Bachchan! How come you did that cover?

SA: Chandresh Kudwa and I had worked together on a Bollywood gig recently where we did our own versions of Bollywood hits. We thought of putting something down in the studio, and that’s how our version of  “Inteha Ho Gayi ” came to be. It turned out pretty well, as Amitabh Bachchan appreciated it and shared it on Social media as well.

RSJ:  Tell us about the new single! What is your new music about? Tell us about the writing process. How did it start and what are the plans? Are you going live anytime soon?

SA: You know time has a wonderful way of showing what really matters. I’ve been writing songs for a long time, but never been brave enough to release them until now. Now at this point in my life, I feel the need to share my music. It’s probably the best way of expressing what music means to me, as a singer song-writer, singing straight from the heart, trusting my soul for direction. I decided to start by putting out an EP of 4 songs and when Warren Mendonsa aka Blackstratblues came on board as producer, everything just fell into place. I knew my songs were in the best hands.  With Nathan Thomas on bass and JJ on drums, Warren has spun his magic on my songs and i was delighted with the outcome. ‘Dance Alone’ is my first release from the EP. It’s a song that’s very close to my heart , it’s one of those songs that you write start to finish in the shortest time, and you have a good feeling about. It’s about living, loving, losing … and learning to live and love all over again. And yes! I’m definitely looking forward to performing live. I’ve put my heart and soul into it and would love for it to reach as many people as possible.

 

RSJ:  You also are an active part of making the music video yourself. How did that happen? How come you took that role too?

SA: Since ‘Dance Alone’ was my song, I wanted to be involved in making the video. I was contemplating ideas for the video and shot some footage on my phone. One thing led to the other and finally ended up shooting and editing the entire video. Though there’s an overtly amateur vibe to it, there’s a rawness that I intended for. I have to admit thoroughly enjoying the process.

 

Watch & listen to Arethna’s “Dance Alone” below:

 

http://rsjonline.com/buzz/shazneen-arethna-releases-new-single-dance-alone-listen-.html

Persiart7


Persiart7 is an initiative undertaken to create awareness amongst community members about various important and interesting aspects of our history and religion.

Persiart7 latest project highlights the key miracles and legends of Zoroastrianism; brought to life in the form of a desk calendar containing short illustrated stories. With the miracles and legends right from the prehistoric times to the present day Zoroastrian rituals; these scenarios have been depicted as paintings for the first time by our very own talented digital artist Yohan Mody.

This was possible with the valuable insights and guidance provided to us by eminent scholars like Er. Dr. Rooyintan Peer, Er. Dr. Ramiyar Karanjia and Er. Dr. Parvez Bajan.

A few of the well known stories covered are, Zarathustra explaining the religion to King Vistasp, Dastur Meherji Rana in the court of King Akbar, saintly Homaji the emblem of truth and innocence, Dastur Kukadaru’s life and parsi taro thabario.

The other lesser known but interesting stories covered are Kae Khusraw and the divine Adar Gushnasp fire, the ordeal of Sasanian High Priest Adarbad Mahrespand, the journey of High Priest Ardaviraf’s soul to heaven and hell, divine help to princess Nikbanu from the pursuing Arab attackers.

These stories have been narrated in simple language, to ensure understanding across age groups. Additionally, the calendar contains a monthly planner where the user can maintain brief notes.

We are attaching a few images of the paintings as well for circulation.

The cost of the calendar in India is Rs. 350

We can arrange for domestic and International couriers at an additional cost.

Contact us to book the calendars –

Email – Persiart7@gmail.com

Mobile – +91 9819392939

Whats App – +91 9819001422

Please feel free to circulate this amongst your friends.

Thanks and kind regards,

Porusp Faramroze Tarapore

Navroze in Udvada, Where The Sacred Fire Never Goes Out


Can you spot Boman Irani and Ratan Tata?

All pictures by Shantanu Das

About 206km north of Mumbai on the NH8 to Agra is the sleepy town of Udvada on Gujarat’s palm-fringed southwest coast. It is to Zoroastrians what Vatican City is to Catholics. The holiest of holies. Not the town itself as much as the Iranshah Atashbehram which stands monument-like at the heart of Udvada. It is one of the oldest and most important spiritual centres for Zoroastrians in the world. They are a fire-worshipping people. And the Iranshah is a fire temple. It is where the holy fire that was consecrated in 1742 when the Zoroastrians came to India to escape religious persecution in Persia is still burning. I understand that Zoroastrians living in Yezd and Homuz in Iran make pilgrimages to Udvada to pay homage at the Iranshah even today.

I visited Udvada one Navroze out of curiosity. Navroze is the dawn of the spring equinox, when the sun crosses the celestial equator, signifying the passage of winter and onset of summer. It always falls in March. This year the festival is being celebrated today, starting at 3.58 o’clock and 40 seconds. Not just by the Zoroastrians of India, but also those of the faith in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Udvada is a four-hour drive from Mumbai, most of it on appalling, bone-jarring roads. Finding a place to stay is easier. The pilgrims can choose from a number of inexpensive dharamshalas in the coastal town. These are all located in the Udvada village that is huddled around the Iranshah.

A lack of money and soul has reduced it to a decrepit pilgrim centre Zoroastrians visit only occasionally. But yet it has a certain charm…

I stayed at a friend’s bungalow on Udvada beach. It is a dirty beach with a dark and forbidding sea on whose waves, I am told, smugglers come riding at night with liquor from the duty free union territory of Daman a few nautical miles away. Udvada, like the rest of Gujarat, is under prohibition. But the Zoroastrians there down their Parsi pegs at night with grateful thanks to the friendly neighbourhood smuggler. If Narendra Modi did not change the prohibition rule when he was Chief Minister of Gujarat for two terms, he won’t do it now as Prime Minister. Visitors who are non-Zoroastrian and who do not enjoy local patronage like I did, can stay at Percy Sidhwa’s Globe Hotel, the Mek Hotel or Ashsisvang Hotel, all of which are simple and friendly.

The weekend I was there, Navroze fell on a Sunday. I explored the entire town the Saturday before in one hour flat. Udvada is in a sorry state of neglect. A lack of money and soul has reduced it to a decrepit pilgrim centre Zoroastrians visit only occasionally. But yet it has a certain charm, with its crumbling old houses. Some have been sold, others pulled down and replaced by modern structures that look incongruous in the old township with their modern, indifferent architecture. It appears nobody wants to stay in Udvada anymore. Except the old and original residents who have nowhere else to go. They are a quaint people whose children left them to go to colleges in cities and jobs abroad. And now their grandchildren come visiting Udvada like the rest of the Zoroastrians do, on an annual pilgrimage.

Click Here for an interesting essay with some exotic pics!

Udwada’s life style on 14th December 2010. Udwda is the holy place of Parsi religion.

Boman Irani in Udvada