Iran, along with nine other countries that celebrate Nowruz, plans to found a Nowruz Museum to showcase the traditions of the festival. “The museum will serve as a venue to revive the traditions and customs of Nowruz and a stage for the ancient local rituals observed in the centuries-old festival,” head of the Research Center of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO), Taha Hashemi said.
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An interesting perspective submitted by Minocheher Damania
A Rejuvenated Cama Athornan Institute Invites Students
It was in 1923 that the eminent philanthropist, the late Seth Mervanjee Muncherjee Cama laid the foundation of the Muncherjee Framji Cama Athornan Institute. His vision was to sow the seeds of religious knowledge and fervour in the minds and hearts of young priests so that they may become torchbearers to the community. It is to the credit of this Institute that several learned Dasturs and scholars have passed through its portals and later guided the community.
Today, a small group of dedicated and dynamic persons belonging to the Ex-Students Association led by Vada Dasturji Saheb Dasturji Dr. Peshoton Mirza have offered their services to rejuvenate this Institute. The Refresher Course, which has been organized by them with great success for the last five years, is a clear testimony of their deep fervour.
At this Institute, each child shall be trained to be a full-fledged Yozdathregar priest, which will qualify him to perform all the liturgical ceremonies. Moreover, he will also be given secular education from the Government recognized A. H. Wadia High School of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan from Stds. I – SSC, completely free of charge. This secular education shall lay the foundation for an educated clergy, which shall enable them to provide leadership to the community in the religious domain. This shall be a stepping-stone to higher education and also qualify him to take advantage of the various amelioration schemes for priests. Besides this, the Institute shall provide free boarding and lodging, sports training, free books, vocational guidance etc. This would provide holistic development of the student, which shall broaden his horizon.
Admissions to the Institute will be offered in three categories, which are briefly mentioned below:
Athornan boys from Std. I onwards shall receive complete Mobedi training (Sampurna Navar Martab) along with academic education up to SSC.
An Athornan boy who is a Kacha Navar shall also be trained so that he is qualified to be a full-fledged Yozdathregar priest (Sampurna Navar Martab). This will make him fully conversant with all Zoroastrian rites and rituals. In this category, age of the student shall be determined on an individual basis.
Category–III: Helper Priests
Any Behdin could benefit by this course of study, which would enable him to perform prescribed outer liturgical ceremonies in absence of an Athornan priest. A helper priest would serve the community, especially in locations where there is a scarcity of qualified Athornan priests.
A Working Committee comprising of two Trustees of the Institute, some members of the Ex-Students Association together with a High Priest of the community shall supervise the overall administration.
This is an urgent appeal to all Athornans to encourage their sons to join the M. F. Cama Athornan Institute. It shall give them an opportunity not only to chart a new life but also to carry forward our precious religious legacy. The priestly class has been in the vanguard for centuries preserving our culture, tradition and literature. May your son continue to perform this onerous task for posterity. For details regarding admission to the Institute, please contact: Ervad Mahiar Panthaki–9821049251 or Ervad Hormazdyar Govadia–9969014126 or Trust Office – 22656348.
Dr. Homi Dhalla
Dear Fellow Zoroastrians
In an effort to boost entrepreneurship in the community, Parsiana is preparing a Global Yellow Pages directory of Parsi and Irani Zoroastrian business enterprises. The purpose of the directory is to make the community aware of the services, products and facilities available.
Zoroastrians have a reputation for enterprise, quality products and services. Given a choice many consumers would opt for a product which they know has been manufactured by a Parsi enterprise.
To qualify for free inclusion in the directory the business must be Zoroastrian owned (minimum 25% ownership required), irrespective of the size, number of employees or the turnover. From shipbuilding to chocolate making, all businesses qualify for the free listing.
Attached is a list of headings we have shortlisted. You can include your business under them or should you feel the existing headings do not cover your enterprise, you may indicate the necessary heading and we could consider that classification.
In addition to the free listing, should you wish to advertise your services and products in the Yellow Pages, you are welcome to do so. We have kept our rates as nominal as possible to partially help cover the cost of printing and free distribution of the directory. We attach a rate sheet to give you an idea of the sizes, columns and costs involved. Non-Parsi enterprises are welcome to advertise.
We intend to publish the directory by November 15, 2006 and request you to submit the data early to ensure inclusion. Due to the high cost of postage, sending out reminders is expensive and a waste of scarce community resources.
Should you wish any further information, or assistance, please do contact us. We would like the Yellow Pages to be a showpiece of Parsi and Irani enterprise
Thanking you and with best wishes
Veera J Patel and Jasmine D Driver
WORLD ZARATHUSHTI CHAMBER OF COMMERCE (WZCC)
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Thanks to a newly-activated service run by Nagpur-based Khushroo Poacha, who also runs e-social service website indianblooddonors.com, getting a unit of blood is just an SMS away. “It doesn’t matter where you are, a donor will come to the hospital nearest to you to offer his blood. And there is no money involved,” said Poacha, who launched the SMS service on Sunday.
“I was really worried when the hospital authorities told me O- is a rare group, which is often out of stock. I sent an SMS, and received the donor’s contact info within a minute,” said Jasani, who managed to contact five donors in just a day.
It all started eight years ago, when Nagpur-based Khushroo Poacha set up indianblooddonors.com. Poacha says he found his “true calling” after seeing harried relatives of patients running around trying to arrange for blood.
But Poacha was still not happy with the results. At an IIM meet where he was invited to give a talk on social entrepreneurship, students raised two simple issues that set Poacha thinking. “One, the Internet is not accessible to everyone. Two, sustainability without funding,” said Poacha, who then came up with the idea of the SMS helpline.
On a cool, gray San Francisco morning, Niloufer Ichaporia King, the author of My Bombay Kitchen: Traditional and Modern Parsi Home Cooking, was driving to the Alemany Farmers’ Market, an outdoor venue offering an incredible selection of moderately priced fruits and vegetables grown on small farms in the area ….. More with some interesting recipes……..
Parsi culture is about 3,000 years old and goes back from India to Persia. UNESCO’s Parsi Zoroastrian Project estimates only 75,000 Parsis remain, and it has begun an effort to salvage what’s left of the culture — its clothing, traditions and food. UNESCO projects that by 2020, only 25,000 Parsis will be left. King is also known for her ritual celebrations of Navroz, the Parsi New Year, on the first day of spring, when she creates an elaborate, ceremonial meal based on the auspicious foods and traditions of her vanishing culture. Often she and the chefs of Alice Waters’ legendary restaurant, Chez Panisse, collaborate on this ritual feast together. On that night, the restaurant is decorated with garlands of gardenias, tuberose and fragrant flowers in the doorways. Rice flour stencils of fish and other auspicious shapes are powdered onto the sidewalk and steps of the restaurant to bring good luck. King cooks while her husband, biochemist David, chalks the stencils and designs and illustrates the menus.