The ONLY Parsi Couple Living in City since 1985 Celebrates ‘PARSI NEW YEAR DAY’
The ONLY Parsi Couple VISPI KATPITIA Aged 72, And Ms VEERA KATPITIA, Aged 64, Living In City Since 1985 Celebrate ‘PARSI NEW YEAR DAY’ By Inviting Their Friends, Including Doctors, Toastmasters, Entrepreneurs, And Therapists, Among Others At Their Newly Moved In Apartment ‘AquaMarine’ Near Mangalore Club, Morgan’s Gate, Mangaluru, Open-Air Balcony On 16 August 2022. A Happy And Joyous Navroz!
Mangaluru: Believe it or not, they are the ONLY PARSI COUPLE who have been living in Mangaluru, since 1985, and on that occasion on 16 August, husband and wife, VISPI KATPITIA aged 72, and VEERA KATPITIA, aged 64, celebrated the PARSI NEW YEAR DAY by inviting their friends, including doctors, toastmasters, among others at their newly moved in apartment ‘ Aqua Marine’ near Mangalore club, Morgan’s Gate, open-air balcony.
Parsi New Year marks the beginning of the Parsi calendar, and this day is also known as ‘Jamshedi Navroz’ after the legendary King of Persia, Jamshed who started the Parsi Calendar and Navroz meaning ‘new day’. While in various places the event is celebrated in March, in India, the Parsi community celebrates it in August. This time, the Parsi New Year fell on Tuesday, August 16.
According to the Katpitia couple, Pateti is celebrated on the eve of Parsi New Year. Nowruz, also spelt as Navroz, is the Iranian New Year celebrated by ethnic Iranian people. Pateti is observed on the eve of Navroze, which is a day of penance where one repents for their sins. People from the Parsi community follow Zoroastrianism, a religion which is one of the oldest known monotheistic religions. Approximately 3,500 years ago, it was founded by the Prophet Zarathustra in ancient Iran”.
“The tradition of celebrating this festival dates back to 3,000 years and it holds great significance in the Parsi community. People from this community visit their friends and relatives and wish each other Happy New Year. To mark the onset of a new year, people wear new clothes, give gifts, do house cleaning and make charitable donations. Parsi New Year is celebrated on the first day of the first month of Farvardin in the Zoroastrian calendar. Spring Equinox, which occurs annually on March 21, symbolises the beginning of the season. The Parsis in India celebrate this day in July or August because they follow the Zoroastrian calendar for religious occasions. The holiday, which has its roots in Persia (now Iran, post-Islamic conquest), is celebrated with zest and vigour in India”, added the couple.
They further said, “A variety of dishes is prepared on the day including fish, chicken, mutton, daal and desserts. Besides celebration, Pateti is dedicated to cleaning and purifying the mind and starting a new year with love and peace. On this day, Parsis wear traditional clothes and visit a fire temple also known as ‘Agiary’. There is a tradition of offering milk, flowers, fruits, and sandalwood to the sacred fire”.
Vispi Katipitia moved from Mumbai to Mangaluru in April 1985, after he got the officer post at the Corporation bank (now Union Bank), Pandeshwar, Mangaluru, and his wife Veera was also a banker at Central Bank of India, Mangaluru. Vispi said earlier there were many Parsi students pursuing their studies in Mangaluru, but after completion of their education they went back home, but we are the only two being attached to this coastal city and made a vast number of GOOD FRIENDS, thus felt reluctant to move from here. His wife is a professional toastmaster.
For any religion, keeping up traditions in the modern world can be a challenge. The Parsi community in India, however, faces a unique obstacle. Parsis, who came to India from Persia (Iran) a thousand years ago with their Zoroastrian faith, have gone to great lengths to maintain their unique funeral rituals. But they’ve had to make a few adjustments to keep up with the times and not upset the neighbours. Vispi said that a cemetery for the Parsis still exists in Car street, Managaluru.
Narrating about the Parsi funeral rites, he said, “Parsi funerals begin in a way familiar to many faiths: prayers are chanted and mourners pay last respects. We have an unusual method of disposal of the dead. The Parsi corpse is exposed to the rays of the sun, and the corpse is consumed or devoured by birds of prey — vultures, kites and crows. For Zoroastrians, burying or cremating the dead is seen as polluting nature. So for centuries, the Parsis in Mumbai have relied on vultures to do the work — that is, until the entire population of vultures in the city vanished. Without the vultures, the Parsis have had to rely on man-made ingenuity”.
On the occasion praising the friendship and good memories with Vispi and Veera Katpitia, their friends spoke a few words of wisdom about their association and friendly relationship with the duo- those who shared their thoughts on the Katpitai couple were- Dr C K Ballal- renowned Neurosurgeon; Retd Group Captain in the army Pradeep Shetty; Urmila Shetty- Retired HoD of English at St Agnes College, Mangaluru; Prabha Kamath- the owner of Final Touch- a framing shop; and Dr Kalpana Ashfaque-professor at A J Institute of Medical Sciences & Research Centre.
And the entire bash was conceptualized by Sabrina Hougaard, who also compered the occasion in her witty style.
The Katpitia’s had lived for several years in a home right across from Sabrina’s mansion in Falnir, and just recently in April 2022, they moved to the AquaMarine apartments, Morgan Gate, Mangaluru.
It should be noted that Parsis are one of the most successful minorities and migrant groups in the world. Ratan Tata, Pallonji Mistry, Nusli Wadia, Adi Godrej and Cyrus Poonawalla are some of the families that have made billions by building the backbone of the industry.
Belated wishes to the Katpitia Couple from Team Mangalorean, “May this new year bring a lot of happiness to you and your loved ones. May the day bring you luck, good health and prosperity. God bless you now and always. Happy and a joyous Navroz to you!