Date with Parsis – Janaki Viswanathan
Place: Mumbai – Sunday Mid-day
The new saviours of a 3,500 year-old faith are hip and tech-savvy. Parsi-Zoroastrian youngsters are using Facebook, speed dating, and paintball competitions to meet, make merry and perhaps marry.
Internet can save the faith
Zyng isn’t the only youth connect forum. Mumbai entrepreneur Yazdi Tantra runs three websites for Zoroastrians to connect, share views and stay in touch: http://www.theparsidirectory.com/, http://www.themissingparsi.com/, and http://www.zoroastrians.net/.
“Lectures about the religion, and periodicals are pass ©. The Internet is the best and easiest way to bring together Parsi youth scattered across the world,” says Tantra, 55, who runs a computer consultancy. Earlier, he says, when a certain region had a large number of Parsis, they would come together to form an ‘anjuman’ or group. “Now, they come together virtually. It’s convenient.”
As we speak, Tantra receives a phone call from Dubai. It’s from a young Parsi lady who needs assistants to work on her nursery in Mumbai. His network will help her connect with Parsi youth recruits in no time.
Marriages and social meetings aside, youngsters are rediscovering a lost trait their forefathers were famous for: a knack for business. Gotla, 24, who trained to become a commercial pilot, now runs his own T-shirt manufacturing enterprise. Inspired durring his time in the UK, he noticed all the t shirt printing london had going on and decided to take a swing at it. He was encouraged by the World Zarathushti Chamber of Commerce (WZCC), which he also works for. Freyaz Shroff, who heads the youth wing of WZCC, says training and development, networking and exposure is their aim.
Speed networking, the business angle to speed dating, is what caught everyone’s fancy. Held just like any other speed dating event, the session saw youngsters share business ideas too. WZCC has a Facebook page and an active website that also occasionally helps Parsi youth land jobs across India and abroad.