Monthly Archives: March 2018

Aban Marker-Kabraji Conferred Tamgha-i-Imtiaz Award

Aban Marker-Kabraji Conferred Tamgha-i-Imtiaz Award by Pakistan Goverment

Tamgha-i-Imtiaz (Medal of Excellence), is a state-recognized honour awarded by the State of Pakistan. It is one of the highest decoration given to any civilian in Pakistan based on their achievements. The award will be conferred by the President of Pakistan, Mr. Mamnoon Hussain in the investiture ceremony on PAKISTAN DAY on March 23, 2018 in Islamabad.

This award is a clear testimony to Aban’s outstanding contribution and dedication to the cause of environmental protection, sustainable development and nature conservation.

Born in Bombay India, Aban grew up in the small quaint Parsi outpost of Quetta in Baluchistan province of Pakistan. Her initial years growing up in Quetta formed the  basis of everything she has been doing inlife since. Today as one of top Pakistani environmentalist on the world stage, Aban
brings this deep sense of rootedness, an understanding of her roots, religion and philosophy into her professional role as the Regional Director, Asia of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Aban oversees the functioning of over 100 environmental initiatives in 24 countries. In her role at IUCN she has the privileged position where she can “influence a country’s work with being a politician”.

Since 2013 Aban has also been the co-chair of the Zoroastrian Return To Roots program where she bring her vast knowledge, expertise and connections in creating meaningful and life-transforming experiences for young Zoroastrians from all over the world through travel to India.

The significance of Ses

“Ses” is the most prominent auspicious symbol among Parsis. It is a round metallic tray of varied shapes and sizes, present at all times in a Parsi house, especially on auspicious occasions. The Ses for general occasions is a small one and the Ses for special occasions, like weddings and Navjotes, is a big one.

The Ses has a wonderful collection of auspicious items in it:

▪Divo : Symbolises light – to dispel darkness and evil.

▪Paro / Soparo : It is a conical metallic utensil in which patasha and/or rock sugar (khadi sakar) is kept. It is a modification of the Iranian kalleh ghand, a cone of rock sugar wrapped in green gold foil, embossed with a Farohar motif.  It’s reminiscent of the conical sweets wrapped in green paper in Iran till this day. – Symbol of sweetness.
▪ Pigani: It is a small metallic utensil  (wine glass shaped) with a lid in which Kanku (vermilion) is kept to put an auspicious red mark/tila on the forehead. The Parsis generally put a vertical mark on the forehead of a man and a round one on the forehead of the woman. The former signifies rays of the sun, the latter signifies the moon. Rice is placed on to the red mark to signify plenty.
▪ Gulabaz: It’s a metallic sprinkler-cum-container, which has rose water (Gulaab-jal) in it. In Iran it was used to sprinkle on guests while welcoming them and saying: Khush amadid or “welcome”.
▪ Miscellaneous items: Coconut (a symbol of resourcefulness and Utility), betel leaves (paan), betel nut (sopari), almonds (badaam), dried dates (khaarak), rice, (symbolising fertility and productivity) curd and fish (fresh fish or sweet meat in the shape of a fish)(for good luck).  There can be water for purity; eggs – life-giving force; sugar crystals (khari saakar) -sweetness; rose petals – happiness; silver and gold coins – wealth and prosperity are also placed. A garland of fresh flowers is twisted around the ses. Nowadays, metallic replicas of some of the above things are placed in the Ses instead of real ones.

At the time of the Navjote and marriage, a special Ses is prepared. The tray is bigger, since a special set of clothes are kept, which differ for a boy and girl. If the Navjotee is a boy, then shirt, pant, dagli, socks and shoes are kept. If the Navjotee is a girl, a sari is kept. This sari will be most probably the first sari that the girl would wear when she grows up.