Jashan in the Baug

“Jashan in the Baug”

On June 21, 2015 the Ontario Zoroastrian Community Foundation (OZCF), located on beautiful 10 acres of land, held a huge event of “Jashan in the Baug” on their premises at 1187 Burnhamthorpe Road East Oakville, Ontario. Canada,

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This event was specially organized to recognize the Mobeds who from many years have continued to provide religious services to the Zoroastrian community in North America and also to showcase the Arfarghanyu that has been donated from theZanzibar Agiary to the Ontario Zoroastrian Community Foundation.

 This Arfarghanyu will eventually be housed in the OZCF Agiary.

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The event was held in a well decorated, two huge tents each 100 ft. by 40 ft. with beautiful flowers, tables and chairs set up on the well maintained grass.

The tents were fully packed by a sold-out crowd over 650 Zoroastrians. There was well organized parking guides who efficiently parked well over 330 cars.

 The day started off by 2 youths providing brief explanation of Jashan, religious songs by youths of our Religious Classes and welcome speech by the organizing committee Co-chairs Rumi Jasavala, Kermin Byramjee and the President of OZCF Mr. Percy Dastur.

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FEZANA President Katayun Kapadia and Vice President Homi Gandhi presenting the replica of Cyrus Cylinder from the 6th Century B.C.

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30 priests performing the Jashan (thanksgiving) prayers. A first time on the history of North America

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L to R – Councilor Tom Adams, FEZANA President Katayun Kapadia, Senior Priest Ervad Nozer Kotwal, ZSO President Bina Behboodi and OZCF President Percy Dastur.

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The Priests with the OZCF President

 

The Jashan was performed by 30 mobeds including young and old from Ontario Canada. It was amazing to hear 30 mobeds praying in sinc. It really was a historical moment for North America.

At the end of the Jashan there were speeches by Councillor Tom Adam of Oakville, Katayun Kapadia president of FEZANA, Bina Behbudi, president of ZSO and by the Mr. Percy Dastur, president of OZCF.

After the speeches the mobeds were presented with a beautiful glass award in the shape of a flame. All the Board members and the Jashan organizing committee members were also recognized. At the end of the speeches OZCF was presented with Cyrus’s Cylinder replica by Homi Gandhi, Vice Precedent of FEZANA.

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There was plenty of delicious Parsi food, fruits, dry fruits, malido, sev, dahi, ice-cream, cakes etc. donated by OZCF members which everyone enjoyed.

The crowd was entertained by young Zoroastrian girls and boys singing and dancing throughout the day on the stage and a live band with lovely music. At the end there was a final Raffle Draw which is a trip for two to South Africa.

The entire event was tele-cast all over the world. With the Blessings of Ahura Mazda the weather turned out to be sunny and cool and the day was well spent by the Zoroastrians. It will be a memorable day for a long time to come.

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All 7 Presidents of OZCF from 2002. The Past and the Present

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You may also check out another report here – > http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/niloufer-mavalvala/zoroastrian-community-feast-jashan_b_7679074.html

One comment

  • Ervad Jal Dastur

    In the early 70’s, as a part of my profession at the time, I visited one of the institutions in Orillia, Ontario. As I entered the building and walked a few yards in the hallway, I saw several people – some in police officers’ attire, a couple of convicts with chains around their feet and other security guards with what looked like batons in their hands, pacing up and down the hallway. At first, I had no clue what was happening, but then my light bulb came on, and I thought to myself “Wait a minute! I’m in a mental institution, and there has to be a reason for this.” Upon checking with one of the staff members, I was told that these were all mentally handicapped people who were allowed to put on the attire of their choosing, once a month. This was done to make them feel contented, as though they are fulfilling their long standing wishes, however crazy it may seem to us.

    Interestingly enough, in this posting, when I saw the picture of the priests in a group, it somehow reminded me of my experience at the mental institution. Of course, precluding the ones that I know are reasonably spiritual and religious (including the 12 year old who’s still a child), you wonder about the specific few who were in the priests’ attire, and you can’t help but question their authenticity and credibility as Zoroastrian priests. Are they truly the care-takers of our religion, or are they simply contented to be as real as the police officers and security guards that I saw at the mental institution? Then there is one in the picture who perhaps truly wants to fulfill his long standing desire to become a high priest – that’s the one with, what appears to be a pale red loin cloth hung around his neck. He happens to be the self-proclaimed ‘Dastur’ of North America, without having the needed lineage and qualifications. Someone should have the courage to tell him no matter how he wants to look, he is just a Mobed as everyone else, and therefore cannot have that red cloth hung around his neck.

    The sad part of all this is the fact that today we live in a society where gay marriages are legal and widely condoned, where Bruce Jenner’s act of gender transition is hailed as a courageous action, and where President Clinton who was impeached for his indecent activities on the job, is now acclaimed as a celebrity. In this kind of convoluted environment then, is there any surprise that these orchestrators of our religion’s reform are gaining ongoing respect and recognition, despite their sinful actions? As if that’s not enough, the inclusion of ladies in performing our religious ceremonies now appears to be a great progressive stride, and bears a sense of pride with some in the community. Folks, this has nothing to do with equal rights for women, this has everything to do with what our religion tenets stipulate – period!

    By the way, the Afarganyu obtained from the Zanzibar Agiary ironically happens to have some connection with the OZCF, or should I say, with the hypocrite and the glory-seeking president of the OZCF. In fact, his grandfather, Ervad Kaikhushru Dastur, who was the last Panthaky of the Zanzibar Agiary (before the Zanzibar revolution in 1963), had used this Alat in a very pious and religious manner for years. Little did he know at the time that this valuable urn would end up being used by the pretentious non-conformists who call themselves Zarathushtis.

    Maybe, just maybe, this might be a part of a grand plan by Ahura Mazda to have this Alat be physically present, and who knows, with its power may somehow destroy the repulsive plans of these deceptive people in white attire, here in the GTA. Only time will tell.

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