The Fali Chothia Charitable Trust is accepting applications for its 23rd annual scholarship awards. Scholarships are open to Zoroastrian students in North America enrolled in four-year or graduate-level programs. Awards are based on financial need, academic achievement, extracurricular activity and community service. They are given as outright gifts or no- and low-interest loans.
The Fali Chothia Charitable Trust was established in 1988 under the Zoroastrian Association of Metropolitan Washington, Inc. (ZAMWI). The Trust provides scholarships to deserving Zoroastrian students enrolled in universities in North America, regardless of their country of origin. Applications may be downloaded from: http://www.zamwi.org/about/2001FCCT.pdf
North American Zoroastrian Religious Tele – Class – Sunday September 23rd 2012 11 AM EDST – Ervad Soli P. Dastur
A Zoroastrian Religion Class was held by Telephone onSeptember 23rd 2012 by Jo Ann Dastur & Ervad Soli P. Dastur. Usually, this class is conducted from their home, Hira Villa, in Sarasota, Florida. The last Tele Class, at the kind invitation of our own Dinyar Mehta, Perzid Ichhaporia and other Orlando Z friends, the class was conducted from a conference room of Dinyar’s Wingate Hotel in Orlando.
This time, at the kind invitation of our friends in ZAF, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale/Boca Raton and surrounding areas, the Tele Class was broadcasted from a conference room in Quality Inn, Sawgrass Conference Center, 1711 N University Drive, Plantation, FL 33322.
There were about 25 ZAF friends in the conference room. Also, about 40+ people joined in by calling a Tele-meeting phone number. The people were from both Canada and USA, from NY to Dallas, Montreal to Miami. The class material was a PowerPoint Presentation sent ahead of time to all participants in PDF format.
This Tele Class covered the details of the Parsi and Irani Wedding Ceremonies. Ervad Dastur pointed out in the first slide that this whole month is auspicious in the sense that all our 3 Zoroastrian Calendars have same Roj (Day)! Reference books for Parsi and Irani weddings were covered. A new book on Persian Wedding by Bijan Moridani was found and acquired by Soli through Internet. The book covers very detailed descriptions of current customs and ceremonies of the Zoroastrian Irani weddings in Iran as well as those in the ancient times. He then pointed out that the oldest reference in our scriptures about weddings is given in his own poetic verses by none other than our own Asho Zarathushtra in his Vahishtoishti Gatha Yasna 53.3 – 7 at the auspicious occasion of the wedding of his youngest daughter Pouruchisti to Jamaspa Hvogava! He then covered details of Parsi wedding customs and ceremonies using Roshan Bharucha and late Mrs. Perin Hormusji’s Gujarati booklet translated by Mrs. Sharda Deshmukh on behalf of the FKS Foundation, available from the Parsiana Book Club.
The Customs and Ceremonies of the Irani Weddings were then discussed. He was greatly helped by respected Dasturji Mobed Mehraban Firouzgary of Tehran and his nephew Mobed Ramin Shahzadi and his wife Mobedyar Parva Namiranian. Dasturji has been helping Soli over a long period in many subjects related to our religious practices in current Iran. He gave a detailed description of the Irani wedding and Ramin and Parva sent photos and video clips of their wedding performed by Mobed Mehraban. I am deeply indebted to them for helping me in this Tele Class. Ashirwad Prayers of Parsi and Irani wedding ceremonies were described and their meaning in English were also covered.
Finally, as it is becoming our custom, the permanent question: “We do not understand what we are praying in our daily prayers” was answered by suggesting some alternatives. Before we all recited the prayer, Soli presented the first part of the Atash Nyayesh performed by our own Mobed Ervad Kobad Jamshed in his sonorous voice together with the pealing of the bell! The final prayer in English, from Dr. Dhalla’s book: Homage Unto Ahura Mazda: “Ashirvad sanctifies the union of two hearts”, was recited by all together ending with our signature Zoroastrian greeting of: “Hamaa Zor, Hamaa Asho Bade” (May we be united in righteousness) performed by all attending the Class, a cyber Hamaa Zor all over North America! Continue reading 20120923 All NA Z Tele Class 10 – Parsi Irani Weddings on YouTube
Oozing with confidence, this model-turned-actor is chirpy as ever. Jennifer Kotwal, who started her career as a model at the age of 15, has over the years gained a name for herself.
Best known for her lead role in Kannada film, Jogi, this talented damsel is also well known for her role as Saloni in the popular TV show Just Mohabbat.
Born in a Parsi family, Jennifer never thought she would be a model or an actress.
She says, “I never thought or wanted to be an actor as back in school I was just a normal chubby kid with braces. But I don’t know what changed when I came to 10th grade, the braces went off and I guess I transformed into a swan.” She adds, “But I’ve always been fond of posing for the cameras, the moment the camera comes out I pose. It’s almost like a natural instinct.”
It gives me great pleasure to put up two new books on the Ilm-e-Khshnoom SkyDrive today. Vividh Vani, part 1 and part 2 by Meherbai Jamshedji Wadia has been a classic reference book for thousands of Parsi ladies over one hundred years.
First published at the turn of the 20th century, this mammoth book of two parts totaling 1500 pages carries over 2000 recipes, ranging from traditional Parsi to continental and Indian cuisines. Written in an era where all cooking was done on a wood stove and without fancy gadgets, no running water and no refrigeration, Vividh Vani offers us an in-depth look at the hard life of the traditional Parsi lady of those times. By itself, the book is very valuable. But what makes it even more interesting to students of religion and Parsi history is the sad story it presents of a time when the medical sciences had not developed, and when contagious diseases could ravage entire cities in a few months.
My article “Adoption not yet legal for Parsis” published in the JJW of 16th September 2012 evoked a mixed response. A Parsi lady called me up the same afternoon to say that my article is, “misleading”. She went on to ask me if I have cared to read the Juvenile Justice Act (JJA)! A former trustee of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet drew my attention to the Judgment delivered by Justice Rebello some years ago. In response to these reactions that I have received, a clarification from my side becomes necessary.
To begin with, let’s be candid and accept the fact that efforts over the past several decades by the government of India to pass a comprehensive secular law on adoption has failed on account of stiff opposition from non-Hindu communities, particularly Muslims and Parsis.
At the annual festival of Wilson College last year, a writer for the Parsi Times, a local community pullout, decided to have a bit of fun. A ‘PRS Bike Race’ was being held as part of the festival, sponsored by the Performance Racing Store. The next edition of the newspaper carried a front-page piece on how the “Parsi Racing Society” had “sponsored” this event and that “full credit should be given to Parsis for organising a racing event”. “If there’s any community that happens to be more jovial, quirky, contrarian and unpredictable, I’ll be extremely surprised,” says a man who enjoys the company of his many Parsi friends.
Mumbai’s history is interwoven with the history of Parsis: a bulk of the minuscule community still lives in this metropolis. Some of the largest plots, real estate and businesses belong to Parsis. In several historical accounts of Parsis, there are references to how the British found Parsis easy to deal with and even a bit like them in manner, education, even eccentricities. Later, the British came to see them as efficient at work, honest and reliable.
Arun Kejriwal, director of Kejriwal Research and Information Services, recalls a Parsi trying to buy a house in Mumbai some years back. The builder refused to sell the property unless part of the payment was made in cash. The Parsi withdrew the required sum from a bank and wrote down the date, the builder’s name and other details on the counterfoil. Later, when the income-tax department questioned him about the transaction, he explained the circumstances and produced the counterfoil in evidence. They readily believed him. “Given the goodwill the community enjoys, they accepted his word and let him off. Later, it was the builder who was questioned,” says Kejriwal.
The music maestro who composed the Parsi anthem Chhaiye Ame Jarthosti
to the tune of Good Bye My Blue Bell
Marzban Jamshedji Giara
How many of us know that he also composed the popular songs such as Khudavind O Khavind, Saras sau thee kharo rahebar, Bhale lidho janm jagpar. He was born in 1846 at Navsari. He studied at ElphinstoneInstitution. He served as a cashier in G.I.P. Railway. He used to sing and teach music in various public societies. From childhood his hobby was to compose Gujarati poems and songs.