Mission Safeer-Thirty Seven Days to Freedom


The documentary “Mission Safeer-Thirty Seven Days to Freedom” is the a true story of cargo ship Motor Vessel Safeer. (M. V. Safeer)
To its misfortune, Safeer docked in Kuwait and was unloading its cargo of rice, when Saddam Hussein, the then president of Iraq, declared war on Kuwait.
Though Safeer was registered in Panama, its owners and 26 crew members, were Indians. One of the owners was Capt Viraf R Kekobad.
Saddam declared, that all Indians were free to leave Kuwait,
as India had good relations with Iraq that time.
It was a mammoth task for the Indian government to get over 176,000 Indian expatriates out of a country, that had just been attacked.
Some left the country by crossing borders, some were airlifted by Air India planes and 722 Indians by ship,the only ship that was allowed to leave Kuwait, the M. V Safeer.
This 45 minute documentary is the story of the refugees,the crew, the owners and the Indian government who made this journey to freedom- possible.
It is also the story of heroism and teamwork.
Do watch this documentary on YouTube:

THE DOCUMENTARY A true story of heroism by the ship’s crew who faced tremendous odds in face of adversity and eventually managed to sail out of war torn region of Kuwait, with 722 Indians expatriates which included 265 women …

Related article https://zoroastrians.net/2018/03/08/captain-viraf-kekobad/

Thirty-seven days to freedom – Frontline

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Nostalgic Gujarati Songs


Raakh na Ramakda

Taari Aankh no Afini

Nazar na Jaam Chhalkavine

Pankhida ne aa Peenjroo

Neel Gagan na Pankheroo

Explanation of Muktad Rituals and Prayers


Technical aspects of the rituals, etymology of certain words, appropriate and inappropriate methods not to be taken as a fatwa, calender variations Talk given By: The living Zoroastrian encyclopedia, Dasturji Dr Firoze Kotwal On : 22 nd July 2018 At: The Empowering Mobeds program

 

MY ENGLISH TRANSLATION SUMMARY OF DASTURJI FIROZE KOTWAL’S GUJERATI LANGUAGE TALK ON MUKTAD & RELATED ITEMS AT EMPOWER MOBEDS PROGRAM ON JULY 22, 2018 IN MUMBAI, INDIA

by   Maneck Bhujwala

“Today I am going to talk to you about Muktad, and whatever subject I am talking, do not understand it as some kind of Fatwa, but according to religious books what things should be done, some understanding about it, I want to give you.

The word Muktad that we use, that word was first used in the 12th century by the famous scholar of Pahlavi and Sanskrit, Nairyosangh Dhawal. For the Asho Farohar in Sanskrit he used that word in Muktad. That means liberated souls from the Ashoi world. What all rituals that we do are for the Asho Farohars and Asho souls (ruvaans), and through the Farohars those rituals that we do are to benefit the souls and through the rituals we wish rest and happiness for the souls. And we say that this is the main goal of the rituals. And when the souls become happy, they bless those who sponsor the rituals.

When we read chapter 55 of the Ijashne, then in the first line it tells us that a person’s structure is made of nine parts. The first line says “Vispao gaethaoscha, tatvascha, azdibishcha, ushtaanascha, keherpascha, tevishi, baodhascha, urvaanimcha, farvashimcha. The first three parts are material parts, which means they are destined to be destroyed, like our skeleton, our bones, and our flesh. These three things, when a person dies, should be disposed right away as soon as possible, because there is Druje Naso in them, meaning evilness of corruption, putrefaction that enters, increases, so they should be disposed as soon as possible. Keeping this material part stored by saying that some relatives are coming, so keep these for two days, is a very sinful action, that should not be done, according to our religion. The other three parts are half material and half spiritual. When a person is born, after a while these three parts disappear. Our vitality, vigor, astral body or keherpascha are half material and half spiritual. And the third part – baodascha, urvaanimcha, and fravashimcha. Baodhascha means consciousness, Urvaanimcha means Soul (Ravaan), and Fravashimcha means Fravashi (Guardian Spirit). Baodhascha, Urvaanimcha, Fravashimcha, these three parts when a person is living become useful to the person. When something is bad, the Fravashimcha gives a message to the Urvaanimcha, through the Baodhascha. The soul (ravaan) is the ruler of the body which may or may not obey the advice of the Fravashi (guardian spirit). If it follows the advice of the Fravashi, it obtains the highest happiness. If it does not follow the advice then the result is bad in the spiritual world, so the message of the Fravashi is brought by Baodhan (Consciousness). So the Fravashi does the work of an advisor, the Soul does the work of the (decider?) and the Baodhan does the work of a messenger. Our religion gives us an understanding of our structure.

According to our religion, when a Zarathushti is living, there are six duties to be performed by the person. The first duty is to perform Gahambars, to participate in them. The second duty is Farvardegan or the praise of the Fravashis in the Muktad. The third duty is to do Rapithwan always, this is very important, that should be remembered. The fourth duty is to do Zinde Ravaan, the ritual which is four days long because in the old times when a Zarathushti went somewhere, whether the person will return home was a big question, so if the Sarosh Zinde Ravaan is done before going, then no matter under what calamity, may God forbid something happens to the person, so if that Sarosh is kept in reserve then that would be beneficial after death to that person. Our religion has decreed that the Zinde Ravaan ritual should be done by Zarathushtis. The fifth duty is to do the Khorshed and Meher Nyayesh. Every day the Khorshed and Meher Nyayesh should be done three times. This is an obligatory prayer. The sixth duty is to do Mahbakhtar Nyayesh which is to be done at night in the Aiwisruthrem and Ushahin gehs, and that duty is such that in a month you do it three times on full moon, new moon, and Dark night (Amaavasya). What we say Mahbokhtar, the real word is not Mahbokhtar but it is Mahbakhtar. Bakhtar means giver of luck. You know that the moon size grows for fifteen days and reduces for fifteen days, so what have the priests of Iran said about this is that Mahbakhtaar is the giver of luck, and when it grows for fifteen days then it gets the merit from the Yazatas and Amesha Spentas, and when its size decreases for fifteen days, it distributes that merit to those Zarathushtis who do good deeds in this world. That is why the Zarathushtis in Iran do not call it Bokhtaar, but even if you read in their Persian language books, they call it Bakhtaar. That is why, in our place the recital of Mahbakhtaar, what we call Chandrama (Mah) whose function is to distribute merit, we use the proper word Bakhtaar which is also used that way in the Pahlavi scriptures, that I should inform you.

Now, in these six duties, the one which is also included for Farvardegan, which is about remembering the Asho Fravahars. The word “Muktad” that we use, is called Farvardegan by Iranian Zarathushtis, so that word Farvardegan is more appropriate, because this is about the importance of the Fravahars. Farvardegan in which we perform the Jashan for the Fravahars or Parabh, that is of the great function of the Fravahars. Now these days of Farvardegan come in the month of Spendarmad. The first five days, from Ashtaad through Aneraan, are called Panche geh in our religion, meaning five days, and then the Gathaa days which come in Farvardegan, the Gathas do not have any connection with any month, they are included. We do not recite the month in the Roz nek naam, so in Pahlavi, Gatha is called Vihezakeek. Meaning that in any month the Gathas can be placed after the end of the month. If you look at the calendar, after the end of the Spendarmad month, five Gathas which we recited, in the old calendar they were recited after the month of Abaan (Ava). After that when this calendar was adopted, then they were placed after the month of Spendarmad.  In those times we used to do an intercalation (kabiso) of one month that was done so that Navroz would come as much as possible in the Spring, that was one of our practices. In those times when it was our kingdom we used to do one more month as intercalation. The last time this intercalation was done then five Gathas were placed after the month of Ava. After that when the intercalation was done again, then they were placed after Spendarmad month, because between the months of Ava and Spendarmad, many intercalations had passed that were not done in Iran. So, in the twelfth century when the month of Spendarmad came in Spring, then the Gathas were placed at the end of Spendarmad, so that the month of Farvardin could start in Spring. So, you have to remember that Gathas were placed after different months, and that today we are not doing that intercalation (kabiso). We had done that intercalation in Hindustan in the twelfth century, when our whole group was in Sanjan. In the twelfth century the Sanskrit scholar Naryosangh Dhawal was living, and we can make a guess that at that time when our whole group was in Sanjan, we must have done that intercalation (kabiso). And, in order to do that intercalation there was a difference of one month between our calendar and the Iranian calendar which we call “Kadimi” which continues today.  Another thing I would say about the word Kadimi, do not think that because we did the intercalation in Hindustan that we call the Iranian calendar Kadimi.

In the year 1079 in Iran when Jalaluddin Malekshah was Sultan, and Omar Khayyam was his vizier who in order to make revenue collection convenient, started making March 21 as the New Year (Navroz) and even today that event is celebrated with great pomp and happiness. However this calendar change was not at all liked by the Iranian Zarathushtis, because March 21 is such that every four years if you add one day, then it would mess up our ritual ceremonies, because the last five days are for the Gathas and when you add one day then where will you bring the sixth Gatha?  Hamspadmaidyem Ghahambar has five days for Gathas, so how will you make six out of five. If a person dies on the sixth (leap year) day then should we do his anniversary prayers every fourth year when that additional day comes again? We who are knowledgeable are opposed to that calendar change even today, and the Iranians did not accept that calendar change and called their calendar Kadim. In Surat when Nusserwanji Koyaji started the new Fasli calendar there was a lot of trouble. It is OK to celebrate Navroz according to the Fasli calendar but you should keep in mind that if you change our calendar then our ritual ceremonies will be messed up. You should know that the establishment of Iranshah temple was done according to the Kadimi calendar. It is important to know these facts, so that we can claim that we are doing things based on research. We don’t want to say that what we say is the only truth, and others should follow that. You can make your own decisions based on your thinking.

We call Farvardin roz as Farvardegan, and according to our scriptures three Farvardin rozes are of great importance – one in month of Adar, one in Aspandard and one in month of Farvardin. Our Zarathushtis have a belief about the Farvardin roz in the month of Aspandard, that the righteous (Asho) souls (ravaans) and Asho Farohars come here to this earth on that day, and after the Farvardegan, the souls and Farohars depart from this earth on Farvardin roz and Farvardin month. So the first Farvardin roz is to welcome them and the second Farvardin roz is to bid them farewell. Now the Farvardin roz of the month of Adar is remembered because at the time of the last intercalation that was the first Farvardin roz, and we want to keep that memory alive.

Another thing, that Khordad roz of Aspandard month which is the Pateti of the Iranians, that day we recognize as Avardaad saal gah, there is a Jashan on that day that many people don’t know about, was started by the Shehenshahi people in India to remember the day when we separated from the Kadimi calendar, because we had done the intercalation in India on that day (not the Iranians). Avardad is the Persian Fardad meaning abandoned (stopped observing it), and Gah means Gatha because in the Khsnuman of the Jashan, besides the Khordad roz there are also the names of the five Gathas. This fact is not generally known, but it is found in our Pav Mahal prayer books.

Now you may know that there were arguments about the number of days of Farvardegan. In the old days about ninety percent of our Zarathushti used to observe eighteen days. According to our religious books, ten days were mentioned for Farvardegan. So, how did we start observing eighteen days in Hindustan ?  Because we could not observe all the six annual duties (mentioned earlier) in Hindustan, these were included in our ritual ceremonies. For example after death we do certain Nyayishes including Mahbakhtar, and Rapithwan was connected with Muktad. Khordad Sal was an important day when great events had happened in Iran, and there is a whole Pahlavi text by the name Roz Khordad and Mah Fravardin. Rapithwan has such importance. You must have heard the name of the Pahlavi book Bundahishn which means Beginning of Creation, so how creation started in the spiritual world. Dadar Hormuzd wears Paymojokisped meaning White Garment. In Pahlavi it is mentioned as PragiAshroni, or the garment of priests. So it is not good for priests to wear multicolored garments. Dadar Hormuzd wears the white garment and with the six Ameshaspands performes Ijashne in Rapithwan geh in the spiritual world, and then created the material world. So we Mobeds forgot this celestial garment and due to British influence started wearing multicolored   shirt and pants. You should remain proud of your garment.  When the Atashbehram was established in Navsari, then in the Rapithwan Jashan it was resolved that in order to have the ash it was necessary to establish an Atashbehram in Navsari, and the knowledgeable priests created a scheme on how to establish an Atashbehram (because the Sanjana priests did not have it due to the passage of 800 years, and this scheme was later followed for establishment of three other Atashbehrams in India. (37.04 minutes stop in recording)During the Jashan in Navsari, a Tandarosti prayer was recited in the name of Khurshedji Bapa who was living at that time and who had sent letters to Surat, Bharuch and other institutions from whom very encouraging replies were obtained, and the Atashbehram was established with the help of the anjuman (public) as Khurshedji Bapa has written “Atashbehram Prathhaa anjumannaa Navsari maa”. So, the Atashbehram was established with help of the public, and in which the largest share was from Bhagaria Seth family. This Maneckji Seth Agiary is from that family. Maneckji Seth had two daughters, he did not have a son, and his daughters also married in the Seth family, so he adopted his son-in-laws as his sons. And, in that time, the Seth family had given much help, giving land (jagir) to the Atashbehram, so the Bhagarias should never forget the name of the Seth family. So I told you about the eighteen day Muktad.

Now, even though we write and talk about it, you Mobeds are not doing, is that when someone dies during the five days of the Gathas, what Roz should be taken, because Gathas don’t come every month, but only once a year. In our Pahlavi books, in Rivayats, our prominent Dasturs, like Kaikhushru Kutar as I remember last, have written that for such people who die during Gatha days, we should take the Roz as Farvardin because these are days of Farvardegan. And, then Sirozo will come on Rashne roz in month of Shehrevar, Chhamsi will come on Farvardin roz.  If death happened on Ushtavad Gatha then do Sirozo on Ahunavad Gatha, do Varsi (yearly ritual) on Ushtavad Gatha. This is the way our religion instructs us.

It is not that Ahunavad Gatha is taken as Hormuzd roz and Ushtavad Gatha is taken as Bahman roz. Although this is how it is being done, that is not how our religion instructs us.

Now our Zarathostis, and Mobed class is included in that, what should they do during Muktad ?  For all the five days from Ashtad to Aneran, we are instructed to recite Framrot naa Ha and twelve hundred Ashem Vohu prayers, which you will find in the complete Khordeh Avesta book, and during the five days of the Gathas, in every Gatha day we have to recite the Gatha and twelve hundred Yatha Ahu Vairyo prayers. Those who are not Mobeds and Osta can do the prayers in this way. Reciting Gatha prayers may be difficult for some people, but if they practice by reciting one Gatha every day, then slowly they will be able to pick up speed, and be able to recite them. Where there is a will there is a way.

Now what I am saying is especially for the Mobeds. We have seen that rituals are done without proper order, even in the small towns. In Bombay, there are all five groups of Mobeds, and the High Priests of Atashbehrams have control over the other Mobeds, and sometimes the Dasturs give Fatwas, instructions according their personal beliefs, that we should only pray this way, which may not be according to the religion. I am telling you all this according to religion. I don’t have any connection with any Panth (group) nor with any Agiary (temple). So, let us put that story on the side, what they all pray. But, Mobed Sahebs think according to our religion that there are eight Kardas in the Afringan. Let me count them – Yao Visadh’s first kardo which is the thirteenth karda which comes from Farvardin Yasht, Yao Visadh’s second kardo which is only recited in Ardafarvash Afringan, and which is joined with the thirteenth karda “Ashaonam Farvashinam” (the whole kardo is recited in our daily Afringans “Ashaonam Vanghuinam …”), the third kardo is in Dahman Afringan, that is “Tao Ahmi namaane…”. Do not say “Dahm”, say “Dahman”. Dahm Yazad is only one and that is when we do Dahm Yazad prayer with seven Yatha Ahu Vairyos in Chahrum prayer or in Fareshta prayers. Today what you pray Dahm Yazad with two Yatha Ahu Vairyo prayers is not there in any Pav Mahal rituals. There is no kardo with Khshnuman “Dahm Yazad berasad” but it has been created in Mumbai.  Dahman means celebration of the Fareshtas of thirteen days, Dahman means about the Fareshtas. For example if today is Ava roz, then in the Khshnuman we recite “Aspandarmad, Ava, Din, Ard, Marespand Vispesa Ardafarvash beresaad” in the Pazend khshnuman, and together with that is the “Tao ahmi namaane…”. Now can someone tell me about the Yao Visadh kardo , that in the Khshnuman we did for all these Fareshtas, but you are not praying the Vadi khshnuman for these Fareshtas in Avesta, but in Dahman Afringan there is one main kardo of Tao ahmi namaane, and there is such a principle that nobody knows about or only a few may know, that after “vidhvao marotu” if the vadi Khshnuman of Dadar Hormuzd is recited, then we have to recite the thirteenth kardo of Yao Visadh. So, if we pray in that way in the Afringan of Dahman, then we cannot recite Tao ahmi namaane, because with the Ahuremazdao khshnuman we would have to recite the Khshnuman of all the Fareshtas. That is why the elders and in our books Dahman Dahmayao vanghuyao meaning the good Fareshtas, so the remembering of the Fareshtas is done in brief, and after “Vidhvao mrute” we recite “Tao ahmi namane”. That is the rule of our rituals. So, I told you that two kardas of Yao Visadh, Tao ahmi namane, two kardas of Sarosh, then karda of Ghambar “Datache…” which is taken from one of our old Nask, then karda of Rapithwan “Atha jimro” which is taken from Nirangistan, you can see how these kardas have been taken from the big Nasks, and the eighth karda which is of the Navar Afringan “Ahuremazdam Huthonghe” that is the sixteenth Ha. In this way the whole arrangement of our outer ceremonies is done with the eight kardas. So, if we pray in that way, it is better. According to all those rules if we pray, it is so good. If you pray the vadi khshnuman of Dadar Hormuzd then you should pray Yao Visadh kardo. So if you think like that and pray, nobody can complain. Other things are done for show. I only tell you what is according to religion. Some people may do what they want and say that Dasturji is giving us Fatwa, but I do not give Fatwas. Then it is upto each person to believe me or not.

Now what I have to say is that the second Afrin that we recite “Iranshahr…name of thecity” then some people will say “what is he praying”. Phiroze Masani had published several books on Afrins which is good, but in that this line is put in by doing a wrong translation after Baname Dadar Hormuzd. The true translation which is also given in the old books, is . Baname Dadar Hormuzd afreen thi aay sharoo karu chhu. Choon Pishgaah …….meaning that the manner in which the leaders in Iran had prayed (dua guzareli) in that manner we are doing the Afrin prayer in this city.  The other thing is that “Dinyaavar gooyaa.  Tehmuras Anklesaria was a scholar of Pahlavi. First of all he was a disciple of K.R. Cama. He put the word “gooyaa” in brackets because he did not understand it. This word is put in Pazend wrongly, but even so all Mobeds are using it. In Pahalavi books it is not “gooyaa” but “goondaar” which means “soothsayer”  teller of future, which is related to remembering Jamasp who was a soothsayer to whom Zarthost saheb had made him smell a flower with which he gave him the gift of knowing the future.

The last thing I have to tell you is that (in the Afrin-e-Haft Ameshaspand) the paragraph “Dahman ke pa in myazd fraj-rasid hend …” Dahman refers to the people attending the Jashan and says that you are welcome and if you take one step to protect the religion then twelve hundred steps will come to greet you. And after that what we recite “ravaan garosmani baad” that is for the living that after your death may your soul be deserving of heaven. Many people believe that we are praying this for the departed souls, and they may be shocked to know the true meaning. That is the end of my lecture, and you may adopt whatever you think is right. “

11th World Zoroastrian Congress, Perth 2018 – A Brief Report


The 11th World Zoroastrian Congress – Post Congress Report

A very big Thank You to all the delegates and speakers who flew into Perth, Australia from over 14 different countries to join the 11th World Zoroastrian Congress (11WZC) in the Astral Rooms, Crown Complex, exactly one week ago today.

A special note of thanks to all our generous donors and sponsors especially from Hongkong, India & Dubai, as well as to the team of global supporters and to our very own Team Australia – we truly appreciated your assistance and support in making this a fantastic and memorable event! The theme of the Congress Together, towards tomorrow, was embodied throughout the 3 wonderful days.

The official 11WZC photographs and videos of the presentations will be made available to all our delegates and those that would like a copy shortly, at cost. Please stay tuned, for more information on how this can be purchased, which will be sent out separately in the next few weeks.

Day 1 – Friday 1st June 2018:

The day began with a meeting of the Global Working Group (GWG) in the morning where many positive outcomes were recorded for the future of our global community.

At exactly 2.20 pm as per plans, the doors of the Astral ballrooms were opened to the delegates who were all dressed up in their traditional dress of saris and daglis and were greeted with a blast of the popular Zoroastrian song – Chaiye Hame Zarthosti. As the delegates settled in their chairs after meeting old friends, the Religious Khushali nu Jashan commenced at 2.30 pm sharp. It was led by Ervad Saheb Aspandiyaar Dadachanji and completed with the help of the other Ervads from Iran, France, USA, and of course Sydney & Perth.

After the Jashan, the Master of Ceremonies Zarine Commissariat, AfreedMistry and Farzana Khambatta took over and the Ervads were felicitated by our Congress Chairman Mr Firoz Pestonji, for their contribution to the community. Aspandiyar jee also gave a short speech informing the people of the importance of the Jashan ceremony. The chasni and fruits along with the Sev, Ravo & Malido which was made by Perth volunteers was served to delegates on their tables and an interactive audience participative session with icebreakers commenced.

After this we had the Traditional Welcome to Country with a dance performance by the Wadubah Dance Group of Perth which enthralled the delegates and kept them spellbound. Once the traditional open was completed we had a select few delegates marching in country wise, into the Astral room where they planted their country’s flag into the flowerpots at the front of the stage and stood to attention while their countries’ national anthem was being played. This was the first time a concept like this has ever been carried out at a Zoroastrian World Congress – where all 14 countries represented were given acknowledgment to portray how we, Zoroastrians are spread out all over the world but are linked together by our wonderful religion and ancient culture. Australia as host country came in last to a loud round of applause & led forward by young people and the future generation especially the Chairpersons grandchildren.

The Congress Chairman then gave a small speech and officially opened the Congress. He informed delegates of the background of the Congress and gave a quick rundown of the next few days of activities. This was followed by a display of messages from prominent global leaders flashed on the screen for the delegates. Shri Amit Mishra – the Consul General of India in Perth then gave his welcome speech. He enumerated the important role of the Zoroastrian community in India and was sure that globally too, Zoroastrians were making their contributions and their mark.

Next, the Global Zoroastrian leaders welcomed the delegates to Perth. This was followed by the welcome address of the Premier of Western Australia, Honourable Mark McGowan MLA, who personally welcomed all delegates to enjoy the West Australian hospitality and also introduced the first Zoroastrian MLA – Mr Yaz Mubarakai to the people. The Premier also presented a token of appreciation to all of our major donors and supporters of the Congress as well as launching the 11WZC Legacy Book on Zarathushtra. A short film and book launch of Life & Times of Zarathushtra followed, compiled by Meher Bhesania of Dubai.

All the local Australian volunteers were thanked and introduced on stage and then the evening’s entertainment line-up followed. All of the entertainment was heart thumping and each piece was a colorful and riveting – each performance from the youngsters surpassed all expectations. The evening kept going on with DJ and music from Zee Band of Houston who had specially flown in from the USA to entertain the delegates during all three evenings of the Congress. To finish the night everyone enjoyed the sumptuous and plentiful buffet dinner and dessert by the Crown Complex which was delicious and thoroughly enjoyed by all present.

Day 2 – Saturday 2nd June 2018:

Day 2 began on schedule at 8.30 am with a Monajat performed by Mani Rao of USA. Followed by a short presentation on the film – Wings of Fire by Meherji Madan. After this, we had very captivating speeches and presentations by Yaz Mubarakai MLA from Jandakot, Dr Esfandiyar Ekhtiyari of Iran and Zoroastrian demographics from Roshan Rivetna of USA. For detailed information of programmes please refer to the website or souvenir book supplied.

After morning tea, the interesting topics and speakers continued and covered a vast range of topics from women empowerment – ‘Moving into the 21st Century’ led by Behroze Daruwala to Daraya Awat from Kurdistan to Berjis Desai and Khojeste Mistree who offered interesting viewpoints in their areas of expertise.  During the lunchtime break, we also had a magic show to dazzle our delegates while they enjoyed their meals.

After afternoon tea we had a young 18-year-old New Zealand entrepreneur and CEO Rishad Maneksha give us a presentation on how he and his team started a business converting scrap items into reusable items. A fascinating youth panel came next, led by Arzan Wadia – Vice President of FEZANA after which we had other dedicated youth leaders, speaking about futuristic foresight and offering future solutions to preserve Zoroastrianism by Radman Khorshidian (Iran) & Kobad Bhavnagri (Australia).

In the concurrent session room, delegates were able to listen to an interesting topic on the Gathas by Dr Meheravar Marzbani, followed by the World Zoroastrian Chamber of Commerce (WZCC) panel of entrepreneurs led by Rustom Engineer of USA. Dr Mehran Sepheri presented a very intriguing topic of discussion on 1000 Points of light which was followed by a special presentation by Rati Wadi on the eminent Parsis which kept people enthralled. Mobed Kourush Niknam elaborated on the different groups of Zoroastrians worldwide & the Prophets insights into the behavior of the Youth.

The day ended with dinner and dancing on board a splendid Swan River Cruise which was organized by Aussie Perth Tours our Zoroastrian Tour Operators with live music by The Zee Band and a dance performed by Zenia Sunavala of Houston as well as Louisa Wood and Damaris –Australian Salsa World Champions. The dance floor was packed most evening and with regret, the cruise ended.  Ferrita was the 4th MC.

Day 3 – Sunday 3rd June 2018:

Day 3 also began on time at 8.30 am with a Gatha rendition by RashinJahangiri of Iran & Monajat by Mani Rao followed by a short presentation of a film on Australian Zoroastrians presented by the Melbourne Zoroastrians. We had the privilege of listening to non-Zoroastrian speakers of Australia who have done tremendous work being involved with our religion and culture. DrAlison Betts spoke of archaeological digs she is involved within the middle eastern regions and David Adams talked of his experiences and discoveries showing us his wonderful historical films. This was followed by Mr Yazdi Tantra who presented us the various means and the vast resources we have available to digitally connect to each other around the world.

After the tea break, Darya Awat spoke of her experiences again (due to public request) and was followed by Dinshaw Tamboly informing delegates of his philanthropy work in Gujarat. Sam Bulsara then presented to us the advantages of using marketing and media to build up a strong global community. Behram Pastakia moderated a panel of global leaders who explained to our delegates what their respective organizations stand for and a quick run through of their activities. The organizations included the GWG, FEZANA, WZCC, FAZA (Federation of Australian and New Zealand Associations) and ZTFE (Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe ).

Lunch was followed by Mr Rohinton Rivetna of USA who has been a backbone and visionary within our community, explaining to our delegates how our community can take a leading role in various interfaith movements globally. Malcolm Deboo of ZTFE then presented to us the in dept research which has been completed on various British Zoroastrian defense personnel during World War 1 period along with personal anecdotes of these leaders. This was followed by a truly inspiring panel session by the noteworthy Zoroastrian entrepreneurs led by Sam Bulsara.

Mr Xerxes Dastur spoke of prevailing Indian conditions, tax implications andentrepreneurship. He left his hectic BPP elections campaigning to be in Perth, as promised, to attend Congress to promote participation and togetherness. His gesture is commendable. Dr Keki Tureil was the final speaker for the day and he presented detailed and a thought-provoking session, about the brain and its enigma.

In the concurrent session room, we had a thought-provoking panel of the youth led by Farrokh Mistree of Oklahoma, which was followed by a very successful speed networking session for the youth and targeted at getting young Zoroastrian entrepreneurs talking and mingling together by Jehan Kotwal. Fariborz Rahnamoon followed this by a very fascinating presenting on the Gathas.

After the day of motivating and captivating speakers finished at 5.30pm the 11WZC Gala Event started with Congress awards hosted by Meher Bhesania, followed by an exciting dance by an Australian entrepreneur and previous young Australian of the year, Louisa Wood.

The Congress Chair then presented his vote of thanks and also presented tokens of appreciation to all the volunteers in Team Australia. Before the dancing and the dinner started the World Zoroastrian Trophy was officially passed over to Mr Astad Clubwala and Mr Homi Gandhi of USA who will hold the next, 12th World Zoroastrian Congress in 2022 in New York.

Team Australia 

11th World Zoroastrian Congress – Perth, Australia

 

 

Photos Courtesy : Sheroy A Irani

Day 1 @ 11th World Zoroastrian Congress Perth 1st June 2018

https://photos.app.goo.gl/lmbPmwLHT1oT7pwn2

Day 2 @ 11th World Zoroastrian Congress Perth 2nd June 2018

https://photos.app.goo.gl/1IG8ChaEXCKkAJA23

Day 3 @ 11th World Zoroastrian Congress Perth 3rd June 2018 – https://photos.app.goo.gl/pn603QIidnWX61Mi1

2 Photos – 2 Navjotes in HongKong – Old Reminiscences


Photo # 1 1934
My two brothers’ Jal and Fram, had their Navjote  at the Parsi Club, Hongkong around 1934. The photo was taken on the roof of the “Parsee Club”, the original Zoroastrian Building in Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, completed in 1931 and was the center of Parsi social life in Hong Kong.
Notice the Fire Symbol  ( afrinagan). which was very prominent and seen from the roadside. Also the Parsees included their maid-servants (Amahs) in the photo. The guests include Parsees and non-Parsees.

Your readers may  recognize some of the the prominent Parsees of Hongkong, like the Pavris  the Shroffs, the Ruttonjees, the Dhabers, and others.

 Shapurjee Johki, Parekh, Jehangir and son Dhun Ruttonjee , Behram Tavadia, Jal Patel, Dhabars,Norshir Pavri, the Shroffs,Talatis, Dr. Karanjia, Vasania, and others.
The #2 photo was taken at my sister Shirin and I (Pesi (that’s me) Navjote, which took place in the Ballroom/Dining Hall on the 8th floor of  the Gloucester Hotel, Hongkong in 1947. The war in Hongkong was over in 1945, and strict food rationing was enforced.I guess all the Parsees wanting to celebrate the first  get together of all Hongkong Parsees must have pooled their food ration coupons for this occasion.
It was a Gala event decorations, drinks and dinner-dance. I doubt if any Parsee was left out or not invited.
Some of the same people that attended in the 1934 Navjote Ceremony are also in the 1947 photo.

The Mobeds or Dastoorjis names (of the 1935 Navjote) I do not have.But I’m sure there were none in the 1947 one too but our Hongkong Parsees like Nari Pavri and others who were qualified to perform Zoroastrian Ceremonies. { (I am seated on the floor 3rd from left). My two sisters are in the center.And behind her is my Mom. My Dad is center top row. }

Regards
Pesi Jehangir Mahuvawalla

Do You Know-What You Know? Khurshed Batliwala


Mr. Khurshed Batliwala emphasized on education as a means of knowledge and not employment. He also talked about doing things differently and having faith in our decisions even if they go against the flow. “Twenty five years ago no one had heard of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The whole world stood on the other side and said you are mad. I said yes, but I am happy. Be happy don’t compromise on that. You have dreams, you have visions, you have hopes don’t let people around you kill that for you. And that’s an idea worth spreading” With a postgraduate degree in Mathematics from I.I.T., Bombay, Khurshed Batliwala is a senior faculty at the Art of Living. Mr. Batliwala is a firm believer in the power of self-identified aspirations and this led him to follow an unconventional and challenging career path. He has been instrumental in designing the Youth Empowerment Seminar (YES!+) series that inspires the youth to break free from the shackles of society expectations and follow their dreams courageously. With this course he aims to propagate the vision of the Art of Living, which is to see a smile on every face on the planet. A blend of intellect and innocence, mind-blowing wit yet unconditional warmth, he continues to be a favourite among youth, and is committed to utilizing every moment of his time in enriching the lives of people around. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.