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The Board of Trustees and Members of the Governing Body
THE K R CAMA ORIENTAL INSTITUTE
invite you to a lecture along with a power-point presentation
“‘Lost Worlds’: Parsi ‘Çultures’ And
Strongmen In Twentieth Century Bombay”
Dr Namrata Ganneri
Avabai Wadia Research Fellowship in memory of Phiroz Mehta
6 pm on Wednesday, 14th March 2018
in the Dr Sir J J Modi Memorial Hall of the Institute
136 Bombay Samachar Marg, Opposite Lion Gate, Fort,
Mumbai – 400 023
Dr Louiza Rodrigues
Professor, Department Of History,
Ramnarain Ruia Autonomous College, Mumbai
Do join us for tea at 5.30 pm
Right of Admission Reserved
‘Lost Worlds’: Parsi ‘Cultures’ and strongmen in twentieth century Bombay
Parsi patronage as well as participation in most modern ‘organised’ sports is well- documented and discussed, but their participation in ‘physical culture movement’ remains obscure and under-investigated. The ‘Physical Culture Movement’ emanating from the North-Atlantic world consisted of various combinations of gymnastics, calisthenics, weight-lifting and dieting to develop muscular, healthy bodies and had adherents all over the world by the first few decades of the twentieth century. Consequently, ‘Physical Culture Homes’ or ‘Çultures’ were founded and physical culture became a craze amongst many Parsi men (and some women) in the city of Bombay.
This lecture traces the history of ‘Physical Culture Homes’ and some iconic strongmen and physical culturists who emerged from these institutes. Many of these men were ‘local heroes’ and are still alive in ‘community memory’ though their histories have not been recorded in any conventional historical archive. The lecture also retrieves traditions of Parsi involvement in ‘índigenous’ wrestling and allied sports and comments on continuities with older traditions of body-building. Finally, the lecture will also be an opportunity to showcase the wealth of material collected during interviews with elderly physical -culture enthusiasts and strongmen of the community.
The Alliance Française de Pune
Poona Music Society,
a concert called
“Gathas : Songs my father taught me.”
under the label of
Bonjour India 2017-18.
Thursday, 22nd February | 7 PM
Mazda Hall, Dastur Primary School, Camp
The Gathas are the prayers of Zoroastrianism, the monotheistic religion of Ancient Persia. These poems from philosopher and prophet Zarathustra date from about 3700 years. They are surprisingly modern, expressing the life, doubts and choices of a man. As there are no records of the way they were sung originnally, Franco-Iranian Ariana Vafadari composed every song according to radifs or oriental scales. It results in music that constantly vibrates between its Oriental mystic foundations and their matching Western opera. Ariana Vafadari and her musicians have a common trait, they unremittingly stretch musical boundaries. In perfect continuity with their cultural and musical backgrounds, they were trained by traditional Iranian, Ottoman and Moroccan music, jazz, Western classical music or opera, in their improvisations and the practice of their instruments, they travel freely from one world to the next.
This concert is organised in association with Poona Music Society.
The central province of Yazd is home to a large population of Iranian Zoroastrians. This past Tuesday, they celebrated the annual mid-winter feast “Jashn-e Sadeh” by preparing a large bonfire (also known as Adur-Jashan, or Feast of fire).
The annual festivity honors fire, the defeat of darkness/cold and signifies the coming of Spring.
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