Mumbai, 10th World Zoroastrian Congress

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10th World Zoroastrian CongressThe 10th World Zoroastrian Congress will be held in Mumbai from 27th December 2013 to 31st December 2013. Mumbai is the birthplace of Parsi entrepreneurship, and is closely identified with Parsi and Iranian Zoroastrians. The community has made a substantial contribution to the city and the nation in every field of endeavour, including arts and culture, law, science and engineering, medicine, defence of the nation and more. The theme of the 10th World Zoroastrian Congress, Mumbai is “Zoroastrianism in the 21st Century: Nurturing Growth and Affirming our Identity”.

The weblink is www.wzcmumbai.com Dr. Cyrus S. Poonawalla, Chairman, Serum Institute of India Ltd. has graciously offered to sponsor the 10th World Zoroastrian Congress to a significant extent. The occasion of the 10th World Zoroastrian Congress will be utilised to showcase this contribution of the Parsi – Iranian Zoroastrian community to the country and the world, and to provide an impetus for future generations to build on this contribution and ensure that the reputation of the community, which is completely disproportionate to its actual physical size, continues to evolve respect.

For this purpose, it is intended to make the 10th World Zoroastrian Congress not only a forum to discuss the community’s strengths, weaknesses and opportunities internally but also to ensure that the focus of the country is on the community. For this, the Congress will not only have prominent Parsi – Iranian Zoroastrians in all fields exchanging their views and preparing a blueprint for the community, but also important dignitaries attending the Congress, imparting it with an importance and acknowledging the past contributions and the future of the community.

Various committees have been formed for a systematic and intense approach towards the success of the 10th World Zoroastrian Congress. The Organising Committee is headed by Chairman of Bombay Parsi Punchayet, Mr. Dinshaw Mehta; the 6 BPP trustees, Mrs. Arnavaz Mistry, Mrs. Armaity Tirandaz, Mr. Jimmy Mistry, Mr. Khojeste Mistree, Mr. Yazdi Desai and Mr. Muncherji Cama along with Mr. Maneck Davar, Hon. Sec; Mr. Mehli Colah, C.E.O, BPP and Mr. Cawas Panthaki, Sr. Executive Welfare, BPP. An exhibition of Parsi heritage has also been conceptualized by Mrs. Pheroza Godrej and Mrs. Firoza Punthakey Mistree, titled “From Canton to Mumbai -The Story of Parsi Textiles”, this exhibition to be held at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) is intended to showcase Parsi Iranian Textiles and costumes, such as Gara saris, Tanchoi saris, Jablas (loose blouse) and Coatees, Ijars (loose pantaloons) Embroidered Shawls and Zoroastrian Costumes from the province of Yazd, Iran. Showcasing Canton of the 19th Century from where Parsi merchants purchased the Garas and brought them to Bombay to be worn by Parsi ladies. Iranian Costumes will also be displayed. These costumes were worn by immigrant Zoroastrians from Iran (popularly referred to as the Iranians in India) when they came to Bombay in the 19th Century. Proposed Programme for the Congress will see a total of approximately 30 sessions and panel discussions addressed by eminent speakers and scholars from India and all over the world.

There would be few topics dedicated to breakout sessions with experts speaking on topics as diverse as:- Socio-Religious Issues including declining demography and how to arrest the decline. Lessons from History including global cooperation and respecting opposing views. – Youth Affairs & Women’s rights and their Status. – Role of Mobed – Mobedi in the future including how to attract mobed’s son to the priestly profession as well as the options available with the growing shortage of Mobeds in the Diaspores. – Arts, Theatre and Law – Aspects of Community Living – The Co-relation between Rituals and Religion – Dedicated Iranian Section Based on your experience of and insight into community issues in your part of the world, it is requested to give your suggestion about topics – subjects that you believe would have an impact on a global Parsi – Irani Zoroastrian audience, and also recommend names of prospective speakers who would have an in depth knowledge of such topics – subjects and articulate them in an interesting way.

Since time is short it will be appreciated if you could provide your inputs at your earliest convenience.In order to provide an opportunity to the creative talent in our community, the Organising Committee of the 10th World Zoroastrian Congress decided to host an international logo competition open to all Parsi – Irani Zoroastrians, in all parts of the world, to design the logo for the Congress. The prize amount for the chosen logo was < 100,000/-. The Contest received an overwhelming response with more than 350 entries received from across the world, from people ranging in age from 13 to 83. A record 75% of the entries were received from India, and the rest from USA, Iran, Canada, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Australia and UK.Logo Design Contest Winner Mr. Ashdeen Lilaowala, aged 31, from New Delhi, India is the winner of the 10th World Zoroastrian Congress International Logo Contest, Mumbai and has won the prize of < 1,00,000/-. Creator’s Vision: The Faravahar or Farohar is one of the best-known symbols of Zoroastrianism. To most Zoroastrians around the world, the symbol is a reminder of one’s purpose in life, the righteous path and the union with Ahura Mazda. In my logo, I have artistically represented the Faravahar along with a handshake. I believe a handshake globally represents an expression of equality. It signifies a union of mind, body and soul. It is a positive symbol, which signifies peace and unity. Today, as our religion faces challenges towards tradition and rituals, a platform like the World Congress will help us to unite, reconnect and celebrate our glorious heritage and unique culture.

THE BOMBAY SAMACHAR16/DECEMBER/2012

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