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Dr. Shernaz Cama – Creating Community Consciousness

 
Very proud to share Parsiana’s 21 March cover story on Dr. Shernaz Cama, Director, UNESCO Parzor. The keystone to Parzor, Dr. Cama, has worked to preserve the Indian and Parsi heritage and identity. Impeccably talented, Dr Cama remains an inspiration for all of us to help keep the flame alive.
 
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Navroze Mubarak

 
Parzor won the UNESCO International Award for Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) for India, due to its documentation of Navroze, with the festival on 21st March, being declared by the 71st UN General Assembly, to be considered ‘The International Festival of Spring’ since 2009.

Our work has always continued through the kind and generous donations of our supporters, who wish to revive this rich culture.
 
These Navroze cards are a kind donation of Mrs Khorshed Behram Wadia by her daughter Mrs Navaz Gherda. They have a special significance to our Archives and are important documents of the future.
 
The cards bear the blessing of Navroze in gujarati from the sender to the receiver conveying good wishes, health and prosperity to the receiver and their family.
 
Parzor, wishes all a healthy and prosperous Navroze Mubarak.
 
 

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Twentieth Dastur Dr Sohrab Hormasji Kutar Memorial Lecture

 

The Twentieth Dastur Dr Sohrab Hormasji Kutar Memorial Lecture to be given by Professor Jesse Palsetia (University of Guelph, Canada) on “Parsi Traders and Travellers: Global Zoroastrians in the Age of Empire” on Thursday, 25 May 2017 6:00 p.m. at Khalili Lecture Theatre, SOAS.
 

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Shab-e Yalda

 

Shab-e Yalda or Shab-e Chelleh celebrated on the “longest and darkest night of the year was celebrated on 20.12.2016 at the India International Centre, New Delhi.
A time when friends and family gather together to drink, read the Divan-e-Hafez, and eat red fruits that symbolize the crimson hues of dawn and glow of life.
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Tanka Water Harvesting System

 

Zoroastrianism has been called ‘ the world’s first ecological religion’ and it is an integral part of our cultural heritage. Water like Fire is sacred in our tradition and WHO standards of drinking water have been found to be maintained in the ancient Tankas of Parsi Gujarat , while the Qanat and Kariz water systems of Persia are famed for providing water across millennia.

We at Parzor have been working on Ecology since the beginning of our UNESCO Parzor Project .

Prof Kavas Kapadia of the School of Planning and Architecture has been our Advisor in this Water Project ; he has presented some of our findings at the World Water Conference in Kyoto, as well as at the Conference of Water and Religion at Salisbury .

As you watch this short movie , we hope you will see the relevance of this subject to our water starved world today .

Acknowledging our new partners, Sahapedia, in telling the world about heritage through the Internet. Credit for this brilliant video and everlasting support, to Mahatta.

We will be delighted to share our research with all those working in the field of water management and anyone interested in knowing more about ancient wisdom relevant even today.

To know more: The Tanka System

 

Census 2011 Parsi Demographic Decline

Dear Friends,

I have just received the Census results of 2011 and while we expected the 10 percent decline, it is sad to see a 20 percent decline. From 69,601 we are now 57,264 only.

It is for this reason that Parzor had approached the Ministry of Minority Affairs, many years ago, for a Scheme to help the Parsi Zoroastrian community from demographic extinction. The Planning Commission had been briefed by us, but it was only in 2013 that MOMA kindly supported the Jiyo Parsi programme.

We have had, as predicted by ICMR, two thirds of the births of this Programme through Advocacy by efforts, both of our dedicated team at TISS, Dr Katy Gandevia, Pearl Mistry and Binaifer Sahukar, as well as the great pro bono ad campaign of Madison BMB which went viral across the world.

To this we add the medical component , led by the totally dedicated Dr Anahita Pandole of Jaslok hospital , the interventions of other caring doctors at the B.D Sarvajainik hospital in Navsari, others in Surat, as well as Hyderabad and several cities. With the help of surrogacy, supported over the limit fixed by MOMA, we have 2 healthy children.The total today is 71 births, with 3 happening recently on a single day in July 2016.

We, as a country and community, need to help this team and take the Parzor MOMA message to every couple as well as young Zoroastrians. Wherever we have had Workshops, on parenting, child management, grand-parenting, marriage counselling, we have had so many questions and anxieties raised and then resolved, to the best of our teams abilities. This shows that there is a deep psychological change needed in mind sets.

We now have 2 films on Jiyo Parsi, one short for general viewing, and one which touches on delicate and detailed medical issues . We need Anjumans to invite us for longer sessions where we can work with for several days, in depth with the community.

We have good things happening: couples and only children declaring on video, after seeing the Ads and hearing our Counselors, that they are determined to break this mindset and have a second child. We have celebrated the first birthdays of our JP children and even a few second birthdays .

But with the Census results out we all have to work much harder and encourage as well as support and help our young to find partners, encourage a balance between personal life fulfillment and successful professional work. Most importantly we must collectively and consciously realize the urgency of taking responsibility to save a precious world heritage from disappearing .

Let us all re commit ourselves to this task so that at the next Census we can look forward to better news and higher numbers.

With best wishes,
Dr Shernaz Cama
Director, UNESCO Parzor
Parzor Foundation