Galveston, Texas – Lock In

ZAH Z Adult Class Galveston Lock In – Summary and Photo Album

Following is  forwarded courtesy of Erv Soli Dastur — correspondent for the North American Mobeds’ Council.
ZAH Adult Z Class Lock in In Galveston, Texas – 9/4 – 9/7/2009
Sarosh Collector, ZAH Adult Z Class Instructor, attended our NAMC Seminar in Houston on 4/11/2009 in which I presented a discussion on our scripture: Visperad. I also attended Sarosh’s Adult Z Class next day and after the class he informed me that he wants me to come back and help his class in understanding our rituals. I casually said: “No Problem”!
And lo and behold! The Adult Class leader, Bahrom Firozgary, the tallest 6′ 8″ 18-year-old Ervad, sent the following invitation to me:
“On behalf of the Youth Group here in Houston, we all would very much appreciate your presence at our Labor Day weekend Lock-In. From Friday, September 4th through Monday, September 7th, Sarosh Uncle and our Youth Group are hoping to learn from your famous Jashan Ceremony presentations; we are hoping that you can  help us fully understand not only the “basics” of the ceremony (the “what” questions and “how” questions) but also the more advanced and meaningful questions (the “why” questions). Below are just a few questions that we all are hoping you can answer and expand on:
-When and where can Jashans be performed? What items needed and why are those items needed?
-What are the prayers that Mobeds pray during the Jashan and what do they mean?
-Why do the Mobeds perform the rituals they do during Jashans and what does it symbolize?”
Friday September 4, 2009
So, Jo Ann and I were picked up at the Hobby Houston airport on Friday September 4th by Sarosh and he drove us to Comfort Inn in Galveston. After dinner with Pearline, Sarosh and his sons Kayaan and Rayomand and his girl friend, we gathered at the meeting room of M/M Elavia’s condo and I discussed the agenda for the week end and gave the youths a project to work on: “What were the surroundings and conditions of the Parsis/Iranians 300 years ago in India and Iran?” All participants were not there yet and we adjourned for the Saturday morning session.
Saturday September 5, 2009
On Saturday, we had over 25 young adults, including 7 Ervads and one to be, plus about 10 parents. After a short introduction by Sarosh and Behroze Daruwalla, Ervad Soli repeated the project given to the group mentioned above so all were aware of it. Sarosh also gave a second project to them: a short summary of what was accomplished in this lock in which will be published in the next FEZANA Spring 2010 Journal.
Ervad Soli then presented a PowerPoint Presentation  (PPP) on the meaning of Jashan Ceremony, what it contains, how it is to be performed, and the different types of Jashans. The lunch break was at the Elavia’s condo after which Ervad Dastur instructed two young Ervads (with 4 others participating) in how to conduct a Jashan Ceremony. After a tea break, Ervad Dastur presented a PPP about the meaning of the various prayers recited in Jashan. 26 different Behdins read the English translations of the selected paras of the Jashan ceremony including Dibaache, 3 Kardaas, 3 Aafrins, and Doa Tandoorasti. The session ended and the young ones went to the beach and the old ones just stayed behind to recuperate until the dinner which was held again at the Elavia’s condo meeting room.
Sunday September 6, 2009
The Sunday morning we learnt that most of the parents wanted to take their children home (school starts early in Texas, and lots of homework to be done) and so we had to shorten our presentations. Ervad Dastur started with a PPP discussing some of the tips for conducting the Jashan ceremony, the Satum Ceremony – its meaning and its performance, the Buoy Ceremony – its meaning and its actual performance.
The last item was a question and answer between the youth and the adults. The youth had a number of burning issues that they wanted to discuss:
– the separation of Iranis and Parsis in ZAH,
– inter marriages and the treatment of such families by the other ZAH people,
– the concern for the new project of building a Dar-e-Meher which will allowed ONLY the people born by both Zoroastrian parents and would not allow the family of inter marriages.
After this Soli Uncle was made an honorary Texan, the whole group presented gifts to Jo Ann and Soli and the group dispersed.
It was a wonderful experience, for the young and the old for learning, and all went away with a positive feeling for their religion and their faith.
A sample of comments:
Roshan and Percy Behramsha: “It was indeed a great weekend at Galveston. Our Thanks to everyone! (Sarosh, could you please forward to Arni and Piloo Elavia, we all appreciate their generosity). Our youth have a lot of ideas and we parents shall support them in getting more engaged in the Zoro activities.”
Farrokh Firozgary: “Thanks for the pics Percy. Soli uncle is really levitating and thus we can’t see his legs in one of the pics. Thank you Soli Uncle and Miss Jo Ann for spending time with us and enlightening the youth and us adults on several aspects of our religion. Especially on your expense, much appreciated. Thank you very much Sarosh, Behroze and Tanaz for making it a good lock-in. Also a big thanks to the Elavia’s for their generosity including a full stacked condo and two meals. Let’s make it a fun and learning filled year for our kids; happy to help where needed.”
Tanaz S.I echo Farokhs words!!! It was a thoroughly a unique experience, where the kids could come together and learn about our customs and culture; many sincere thanks to Soli and Jo Ann. Not only did the kids learn only about that, but the kids got to know each other. I noticed after the retreat was over… all the kids were much closer and bonded together. That is something that is so very important to have unity amongst our kids which they can carry  into the future. As a youth group mom, I enjoyed every second of it with all you kids. They made me feel young and a part of them! Thanks parents for trusting me with them. I certainly look forward to lend a helping hand in all future events. Thanks to the Elavia’s for their generosity; and thanks to Sarosh and Behroze for thinking of such a memorable event. Till next time! Make our community proud! Your Youth Mom, Tanaz”
Jo Ann and I are humbled by this wonderful experience and want to thank Sarosh, Behroze and the whole ZAH community for inviting us to this wonderful Z youth lock in!
I have already created an album and uploaded all my photos in the weblink, including those we received from Roshan and Percy Behramsha, Farrokh Firouzgary, and Jasmine and Vispi Katrak:
Love and Tandoorasti, Jo Ann and Soli
Courtesy : Behram Pastakia

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