Writing on Zoroastrianism this time was a great experience. Although, I had written about it and spoken about it many times, but never in such great length and depth especially about the Parsi language. Probably, because I’m now matured enough to this and write without bias, and put forward the right picture based on the research and experience I’ve gathered. The most interesting thing that I find about my religion is that we always make immense contribution to India’s welfare and progress economically, but still we are almost invisible. A community so tiny, Indians hardly notice us, except for those who have friends that are Parsis and Iranis. To conclude my series, I am digging deeper into contemporary issues that haunt the community. I hope I am not upsetting any fellow community member with this blog. If anybody is, let me admit right up front that I don’t intend to. I am just putting down my feelings and I’m entitled to do that on my blog.
Communication is at the core of our very existence. We are very passionate about sharing our thoughts, views, concepts, and many other things that is on our mind and heart. Probably, that is also the reason why blogs exist today, because people want to communicate and reach out. Language is an important tool that help us communicate effectively and sometimes it helps us go back in time, decode some of the greatest mysteries and unveil the truth. I never really had planned to elaborate more on Parsis in India, but I’m overwhelmed by the response and by the fact that readers have questions that they want me to answer. Well, I am not a history teacher or a language expert, but I thought it would be nice to cover the language aspect as well, now that I’ve covered some of the popular Parsi dishes.
One of the reasons why I started this series on Zoroastrianism is to allow people know more about the religion that have been an integral part of India. However, there is not much awareness and information about it. Only those people who are in touch with Parsis or Iranis know about us, while the rest of the India only know us as “Bawa”, a term that is commonly used across India. I am sure many across India know about Tata and Godrej groups because these two companies make wide range of products that most Indians use day in day out, but nothing beyond that. Many of my friends have come up to me and asked some really bizarre questions that root out of misconceptions, curiosity and ignorance. I don’t blame them, because Zoroastrian community is very tiny and close-knit and it hardly allows any information to leak out. What I am trying to achieve through this series is spread out some information about Zoroastrianism history and culture. While I have already covered a lot about history, its time to jump on to the culture and other aspects of Parsis. I’m starting with food, because food not just connects the community. It also connects us with the rest of the India.
Soon after the Parsis settled on the west coast of India, they started their own trade and business and were on the forefront of the development of Bombay. They flourished under the British rule and became a dominant force to be reckoned with, even when they were just a minority in India. However, when British India was divided into India and Pakistan, many Parsis and Iranis decided to stay where they are. Many of them still reside in Pakistan, which I am sure many Indians would not know. Like any other Indian or Pakistani, Parsis went through their own share of fear and sorrow of losing their loved ones and a part of their country.
In the earlier post, I focused on the rise of Zoroastrianism in the Persian Empire and how Zoroastrians were persecuted which led them to migrate from their homeland to India and other parts of the world. In this one, we move further on from that period when Zoroastrians decided to spread across the globe in an attempt to survive and ensure that their religion lives on forever. In India, Zoroastrians are further divided into two groups; Parsis and Iranis. Ethnically, both the groups have descended from Persian Zoroastrians, but it is believed that Parsis migrated to the western borders of South Asia immediately when the persecution began across Iran and therefore they were the early settlers. While Iranis decided to rebel against the Arab invaders for almost 200 years, but later on they decided to take refuge in India.
Back in 1999, when Internet was a new term for me, I started my online writing journey on Yahoo! Geocities that allows subscribers to create their own Web pages through their online software. At that point of time, I was not a blog writer, ghostwriter or a content writer that I am now, but now when I take a look back, I realize that writing was somewhere deep in my DNA and I had this urge to write and communicate with the people. Anyways, since I was not that smart enough then, I wrote my first blog about my religion. I can’t reproduce that page, so I am going with the all-new fresh version.