A Fading Community by Dilaira Mondegarian

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A Fading Community

Patting ourselves on the back for being the first monolithic religion to have survived the mortality of passing time is an attitude we have long fostered in our community. We may have cheated extinction but we lost a very vital part of our existence; our identity. Who are we is the question we must ask ourselves. The answer does not lie in the distinction of either ‘Parsees’ or ‘Iranians’ but in our faith; ‘Zoroastrianism.’ Today people recognize us by our secondary name and not by our bestowed name of ‘Zarthoshtis.’ We have wandered off in different directions avoiding the crucial matter at hand, which is to keep alight the flame of our faith.

20 Points to be observed by visiting a Zoroastrian fire temple

Young children rote learn their prayers and get ready for a celebration which calls for extravagance in every way except for the primary reason of entering a faith which only preaches goodness in the world. Prayers may be learnt but their essence is lost in neglected translation. Jashans have been reduced to social gatherings, where the motive of attending is for the adult community to catch up on the happening of their daily lives. Our youth shies away from it with the fear of wasting precious hours of their entertaining lives on a sermon which will not invoke their thought process. We have forgotten how important it is to pass down our sacred knowledge to our upcoming generations who are the torchbearers for the future of our community.

In a race to survive and secure all the comforts in life we must not forget our obligation of enlightening our community with the pearls of wisdom our prophet left behind for us. I remember Sunday School being all about colours and expressing our gratitude towards mother nature along with learning the vitalities of our existence and our faith. However, today, Sunday School has been reduced to a level of five books available at the KZBM melas which do not even capture the second glance of people. If there is something we need to invest in our community, it is keeping alive our identities as followers of our faith. Conferences world over is not the only means; we need to search deeper within our souls and take a step forward on an individual basis. Only then can we leave our print on this planet and fulfill our destiny as Zarthoshtis.

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