FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America
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Incorporated in the State of Illinois
1986
Serving the Zarathushti Community
in U S A & CANADA
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
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FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
What is FEZANA?
FEZANA is an umbrella body created to represent
incorporated Zarathushti Member Associations
throughout the United States and Canada.
FEZANA works for the social and religious well being
of its Member Associations and individual
Zarathushtis in North America.
FEZANA publishes a quarterly publication, namely,
the FEZANA Journal. The FEZANA Journal is
circulated throughout North America and the
Zarathushti World.
FEZANA is an accredited observing NonGovernmental Organization (NGO) in the United
Nations.
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
What is FEZANA’s Mission?
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•
To preserve the religion of the Prophet Ashu Zarathushtra.
•
To be a strong Federation committed to putting the Zarathushti
community firmly and clearly on the North American map, and
ensuring the survival, unity, progress and prosperity of the
Zoroastrian community on this continent, thereby preserving its
religious and cultural identity.
•
To facilitate the efforts of its Member Associations, and through them
their individual members, in the cultivation of a model Zarathushti
environment in their homes and communities, where Zarathushti
values are promoted and nurtured, and where the teachings of
Zarathushtra are imparted, lived and practiced every day.
•
To work closely in cooperation with Zarathushti communities abroad,
in deliberation for a common goal of a united world Zarathushti
community.
•
To provide effective leadership in addressing the critical issues of
our times with wisdom and righteousness.
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
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FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
How is FEZANA Organized?
24 MEMBER ASSOCIATIONS
OF FEZANA
(Decision Making Body)
FEZANA EXECUTIVE
Five Elected Officers
Nine
Standing Committees
Twelve
Ad Hoc Committees
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
MEMBER ASSOCIATIONS
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FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
CANADA
ALBERTA
Zoroastrian Association of Alberta
BRITISH COLUMBIA
Zoroastrian Society of British Columbia
ONTARIO
Zoroastrian Society of Ontario
Ontario Zoroastrian Community Foundation
QUEBEC
Zoroastrian Association of Quebec
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
Member Associations
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FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
CALIFORNIA
Persian Zoroastrian
Organization
Zarthosti Anjuman of
Northern California
California Zoroastrian Center,
Los Angeles
Traditional Mazdayasni
Zoroastrian Anjuman
Zoroastrian Association of
California, Los Angeles
COLORADO
Zoroastrian Association of
Rocky Mountain
FLORIDA
Zoroastrian Association of
Florida, Miami
GEORGIA
Atlanta Zarathushti
Association
ILLINOIS
Zoroastrian Association of
Metropolitan Chicago
KANSAS
Zoroastrian Association of
Kansas
MASSACHUSETTS
Zoroastrian Association of
Greater Boston
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
Member Associations
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
NEW YORK
Iranian Zoroastrian
Association, New York
Zoroastrian Association of
Greater New York
PENNSYLVANIA
Zoroastrian Association of
Pennsylvania
PENNSYLVANIA, DELAWARE,
NEW JERSEY
Zoroastrian Association of
Pennsylvania & New Jersey
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TEXAS
Zoroastrian Association of
Houston
Zoroastrian Association of
Northern Texas
WASHINGTON, D.C, MARYLAND,
NORTH VIRGINIA
Zoroastrian Association
of Metropolitan Washington
WASHINGTON
Zoroastrian Association of
Washington State
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
Corresponding Members & Small Groups
CALIFORNIA
San Diego Zoroastrian
Community
FLORIDA
Zoroastrian Anjuman of Tampa
Bay
Central Florida Community,
Orlando
KENTUCKY/OHIO/INDIANA
Zoroastrian Community of
Kentucky-Ohio-Indiana
LOUISIANA
Zoroastrian Community of
New Orleans
MANITOBA
Zoroastrian Community of
Manitoba
MICHIGAN
Zarathushtis of Michigan
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MINNESOTA
Minnesota Zoroastrian
Community
MISSOURI
St. Louis Zoroastrian
Community
NEBRASKA
Nebraska Zoroastrian Interest
Group
NOVA SCOTIA
Zoroastrian Association of
Atlantic Canada
OHIO
Cleveland Zoroastrian
Community
Cincinnati Zoroastrian
Community
TEXAS
Zoroastrian Center of Austin
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Committees (2004-2005)
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Ad- Hoc Committees
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
Standing Committees
• Planning and Coordinating
• Unity and Welfare
• Information Receiving and
Dissemination
• Funds and Finance
• Census and Survey
• Youth (ZYNA)
• Education, Conference &
Scholarship
• North American Zoroastrian
Congress
• Small Groups of North
American Zarathushtis
• Zoroastrian Sports (ZSC)
• Heritage Preservation & Historical
Research
• External Affairs Public Relations
• Canadian Chapter
• Constitution --- Articles of Inc/ByLaws Separation
• North American Awards
• Awards Committee
• N A Congress T o R Review
Committee for Future Congresses
(Beyond 2004)
• Financial Investment Advisory
• UN/NGO Committee
• Creative & Performing Arts
• Strategic Planning
• ZYNA & Youth Congress ToR Review
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
Infrastructure
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Member Associations
(Voting Entity)
Corresponding Members
(Non Voting Entity)
F E Z A NA E X E C U T I V E
5 Elected officers
Standing Committees
Ad Hoc Committees
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
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FEZANA
STANDING COMMITTEES
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
Standing Committees
Planning &
Coordination
Unity & Welfare
Information
Receiving &
Dissemination
Funds & Finance
Census & Survey
Youth ( ZYNA)
Zarathushti Sports
(ZSC)
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Education,
Conference &
Scholarships
(Academic &
Religion)
North American
Zarathushti
Congress
Small Groups of
North American
Zarathushtis
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
PLANNING & COORDINATION
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Coordinating FEZANA events by preparing
an event calendar for activities within
North America and worldwide over next
five years
Organizing events with associations and/or
committees to facilitate communication of
respective activities
Issue updated CALENDAR of EVENTS
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
UNITY AND WELFARE
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To provide financial assistance to
Zarathushti individuals/families
To provide support to Zarathushti
individuals and/or families with help of
community resources
“Critical Assistance Program” designed to
provide assistance to individuals, families,
and organizations facing temporary
difficulties due to medical emergencies,
natural disasters, violence or legal issue
Confidential, toll free phone number has
been established in North America, for
providing information on support
agencies in various states.
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
INFORMATION RECEIVING AND DISSEMINATION
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FEZANA Journal, a communication for North
American occurrences tied together with
Zoroastrian news world wide; subscription
fee and paid advertisements in Journal to
increase revenue
Publishing religious books (Basic Text,Legacy etc.)
Distribution and sale of religious books to
increase revenue
Developing to enhance the FEZANA website
To print new improved FEZANA brochures
that include history, culture and traditions
of Zarathushtis
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
FUNDS AND FINANCE
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“1000 points of light” program to
increase FEZANA funds
To enhance program to “100,000 points
of light”
Continuous effort to make FEZANA
financially secure in North America
Promote the various FEZANA funds and
solicit support for endowments and
bequeaths
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
CENSUS AND SURVEY
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To conduct a series of survey analysis
to study the changes in the
Zarathushti population
To conduct a proper census in North
America
Zarathushti directory available on
Website and CD
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
ZOROASTRIAN YOUTH (ZYNA)
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Young adult involvement in FEZANA
activities important for future growth
of the community
Organizing North American Congresses
every two and a half years to have
youth and young adults discuss
issues and have social interaction
Planning events (e.g ski trips, cruises,
hikes) to facilitate interaction within
the young generation
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
EDUCATION, CONFERENCE AND SCHOLARSHIP
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Moobed Faridoon Zardoshty Religion
Education Scholarship awarded annually for
eligible Zarathushtis to pursue higher
education in Zarathushti religion at an
accredited institution anywhere in the world
Organize conference for teachers to share,
discuss, and promote religious education
Future plans to establish an Institute of Higher
Learning to provide a research facility for
students interested in pursuing advanced
Zarathushti religious education in North
America
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
ACADEMIC EDUCATION SCHOLARSHIP
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FEZANA post-secondary scholarships are
given out every year to individuals across
the continent from various disciplines
A total amount of $10,000 per year was set
aside for past 2 years of which $1000 is
given as scholarship to 10 different
individuals
In addition, each year a scholarship of
$5000, Mehraban and Morvorid Kheradi
Endowment Fund Scholarship for merit
(plus involvement in community service)
is awarded annually to one individual
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FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
NORTH AMERICAN ZOROASTRIAN CONGRESS
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Sponsor a Zarathushti Congress with
host Member in North America every
two and a half years
Assist in organizing the event with the
host Member
Review the Terms of Reference (ToR)
undertaken by an Ad hoc committee
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
SMALL GROUPS OF NORTH AMERICA
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Liaise with small group representatives
appointed in each area with FEZANA
Establish relationship with FEZANA by
encouraging participation at AGM,
Congress, and Conferences
Work upon incentives for small groups
Increase their awareness to become
CORRESPONDING Members and support
them to become FULL members of
FEZANA
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
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FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
ZOROASTRIAN SPORTS (ZSC)
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Organize Zarathushti games around
North America; 9th Zarathushti games
were held in Vancouver, B.C in 2004
Organize Unity Soccer games; 3rd game
was held in Terrance, CA in 2003
Venue for uniting Zarathushti youth
through their love for sports
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
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FEZANA
AD HOC COMMITTEES
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FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
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FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
Ad Hoc Committees
Heritage Preservation
& Historical Research
External Affairs
Public Relations
Canadian Chapter
Constitution
North American
Awards
Financial Investment
Advisory
UN/NGO
Creative & Performing
Arts
Strategic Planning
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
HERITAGE PRESERVATION AND HISTORICAL RESEARCH
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To help in restoration of Zarathushti religious
sites around the world (e.g Atash Behrams,
Agiaries )
To help preserve historical books and
documents that speak of Zarathushti
religion and heritage
To financially assist authors who are
interested in publishing books about
Zarathushti culture and heritage, such as
“The Parsi Cultural Identity”, “ Zarathushti
Obsequies”
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
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Interfaith & Multicultural programs
Parliament of World Religions
National Council for Community and
Justice (NCCJ)
North American Interfaith Network
(NAIN)
Harvard Pluralism project
World Zarathushti Chamber of
Commerce
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
PUBLIC RELATIONS
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To establish internal and external
communication structures to enhance the
image of FEZANA
To increase awareness of Zarathushti religion
and culture throughout the community in
North America
To develop press kits for media to publicize
Zarathushti events
To provide Websites of Member Associations
with FEZANA information
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
CANADIAN CHAPTER
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Establish a chapter as a “non-profit
religious charity” in Canada to
facilitate fund-raising with Canadian
donors
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
CONSTITUTION
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Understand the need to explore the
possibility to separate existing
FEZANA constitution into Articles of
Incorporation and By-Laws
Recommend solution after discussing
with members
Issue ballot for the resolution and
announce results to the Members
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FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
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FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
NORTH AMERICAN AWARDS
FEZANA Recognition awards are given at each
North American Congress at a Luncheon hosted
by FEZANA
Categories of Awards
Rohinton Rivetna Outstanding Zarathushti award
Excellence in Business or Profession award
Jamshed Pavri Humanitarian Service award
Excellence in Performing Arts, Painting or
Literature award
Outstanding Young Zarathushti award
Outstanding Young Zarathushti Student award
Special LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD- every 6 years
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FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
FINANCIAL INVESTMENT ADVISORY GROUP
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A group of three Zarathushti individuals
appointed by the President to assist
FEZANA Treasurer in accordance with
investment guidelines developed for
FEZANA
Responsibilities to include information
for the management of FEZANA funds
and endowments to maximize gains
without risking principal.
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
UN / NGO
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To engage in activities that help FEZANA
retain its NGO status
Actively participates in UN events
involving volunteers from the
community, especially encouraging
young adults
Collaborate with other groups that are
engaged in humanitarian work around
the world
(Gram Seva trust is one such group)
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
CREATIVE AND PERFORMING ARTS SCHOLARSHIP
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The scholarship fund is earmarked for
North American Zarathushti
individuals seeking advanced training
in creative and performing arts
$10,000 in funds allocated to be
awarded for the same, in the future.
A $ 5,000 fund is set up for the support
for promoting excellence in SPORTS.
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
STRATEGIC PLANNING
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Strategic plan developed for 1997-2007.
Committee to review relevance of plan,
revise if necessary and to move
forward on action items.
Work in tandem with the FEZANA
executive to modify the infrastructure
necessary to speed progress
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FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
ACHIEVEMENTS
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FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
FEZANA has participated in many activities, such as
Book Publications
Study of Dari language Project was partly
funded by FEZANA
Celebration of 3000th Anniversary of
Zarathushti culture, a UNESCO event
Taking a lead role in World Body
discussion with other leaders of the
world, seeking a global alliance
NA Directory project; an electronic
version available for distribution
NA Census
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
ACHIEVEMENTS
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FEZANA has provided support to ZTFE for
the restoration of Historical manuscripts
at Meherji Rana Library, Navsari; & The
World Zarathushti Cultural Fndn; India.
FEZANA participating in humanitarian work,
raising funds to help those affected by
earthquakes in Gujarat, India & Bam, Iran,
Pakistan, the SEA Tsunami and
Hurricanes Katrina & Rita.
FEZANA Journal that continues to inform
the North American & world community
FEZANA critical assistance HOTLINE
www.Fezana.org
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
Contact FEZANA
38
For further information about
FEZANA, visit,
www.fezana.org
FEZANA needs you
Volunteer your time and talent for
the community via FEZANA
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
Zarathushti Doctrine
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Ahura Mazda
Lord of Wisdom
Religion
A Way of Life
How do we live this life?
Good Thoughts, Good Words
and Good Deeds
What is the basis for determining “Good”?
The Amesha Spentas.
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FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
http://www.fezana.org
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The Seven Amesha Spentas
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
The qualities of the Amesha Spentas exemplify:
Wisdom,
the Good Mind,
Truth,
Power,
Devotion,
Completeness, and
Immortality.
Spenta Mainyu,
Vohu Manah,
Asha Vahishta,
Khashtra Vairya,
Spenta Armaiti,
Haurvatat, and
Ameretat.
These seven Amesha Spentas contribute to every,
single facet of a Zoroastrian’s life thereby guiding
his/her thoughts, word and action.
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FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
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FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
The Zarathushti People
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Zoroastrianism: Religion of the people of the Iranian plateau from 6th Century BCE to
7th Century CE.
Past Luminary: Cyrus the Great … introduced the first Charter of Rights in History,
and freed the Jewish people from captivity in Babylon.
Present Luminary: Zubin Mehta the music conductor.
Arab conquest of Persia: Many Zarathushtis were massacred, many were forced to
convert to Islam, and some escaped to safe havens in Iran and some fled to other
countries, ranging from China and India in the East to Central Europe in the West.
This migration constituted the first diaspora.
Outcome of the first disapora: Of all the descendents of Zarathushtis, two small
pockets managed to survive. One remaining in central parts of present day Iran,
and the other were the Zarathushti migrants to the West coast of India, known as
Parsees.
Current situation: Today fewer than 250,000 are scattered around the globe. The
majority still live in India and Iran, however, Zarathushtis can be found as far a
field as Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Pakistan, UEA, a few East Africans
countries, and South Africa, U.K. and many of the European countries as well as
Canada & the United States.
North America: A number of Zarathushti professionals immigrated from India and
Pakistan to North America for higher education and stayed. A number of
Zarathushtis from Iran emigrated to North America after the Iranian revolution. It
is estimated that there are around 20,000 Zarathushtis.
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FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
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Zarathushti Language and Texts
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
Zarathushti scriptures are to be found in two main Iranian languages,
Avestan and Pahlavi.
Avestan is the language of Zarathushtra’s revelations which were passed
down orally, for nearly 2,000 years before the Avestan alphabet was
invented by an unknown genius, and then transmitted through the written
form during the 5th century ACE.
Zarathushti prayers like the Yasna (which includes the Gathas), Yashts,
Nyaishes, Visperad and Vendidad are in the original Avestan language
which, is the language used for liturgical purposes.
Pahlavi, is a Middle Persian language, which developed from the Old
Persian language. Old Persian was immortalized by the Achaemenian
kings through their rock inscriptions in cuneiform script, between the 6th
and the 4th centuries BCE. A number of scholastic texts like the
Bundahishn, Arda Viraz Namaq, the Denkard, Epistles of Manuschir,
Dadestan-I-Diniq and Shayast-ne-Shayast were all compiled in the Pahlavi
language between the 6th and 9th centuries ACE. There are very few
prayers in Pahlavi.
Today Zarathushtis from Iran speak Farsi (New Persian) and English and
within the community they speak Dari, a special dialect spoken mainly by
them. The Parsees are generally bilingual, as they speak Gujarati and
English.
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FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
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FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
Zarathushti Festivals
43
NORUZ
The most important celebration in the Zarathushti calendar is Noruz –
New Day. This festival is linked to fire, the seventh creation of Ahura
Mazda and heralds the beginning of spring. It represents the annual
resurgence of life and is seen to be a day of renewal and joy. According
to the texts, Rapithwan, the Lord of noon, is said to emerge from
underneath the earth after the cold winter months. Rapithwan is
believed to keep the seeds warm and the waters flowing in preparation
for the emergence of life with the advent of spring, the beginning of
which is marked by the spring Noruz festival. On this Noruz, a special
table is laid out, by the Iranian Zarathushtis. The table is laden with
food and other religious symbols and kept in their homes for several
days.
GAHAMBARS
Every year, Zarathushtis celebrate the six gahambar festivals which are
linked to the six creations with fire, the seventh creation being linked to
Noruz – the New Day. There are also gahambars (community dinners)
which are institutionalized by the laity, in memory of the dead.
Traditional food is served to both the rich and the poor, during the
gahambar festivals, in order to imbibe the spirit of oneness within the
community.
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FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
Zarathushti Fire Temples
44
Since ancient times, fire has been associated with Order and Truth. In
the Zarathushti religion, fire, the seventh creation is praised and
venerated as it represents truth, purity and goodness.
IRAN – In early Iran, the Zarathushtis had no permanent fire temples but
each home had its own hearth fire, which was tended and propitiated.
During the reign of the Zarathushti King Artaxerxes II (404-359 BCE.), the
fire temples were introduced in order to discourage the growing cult and
worship of the water divinity, Ardevi sura Anahita. Ruins of these fire
temples can still be seen in Iran today, at Nishapur and Takht-eSuleiman.
The two oldest sacred fires in Iran are housed in the village of
Sharifabad and in the city of Yazd. In Sharifabad, Adur Farnbag, one of
the three great ceremonial fires, originally established on a hill in the
province of Fars has been united with the sacred fire of Ishtakr, which
was the Royal Sassanian fire. The other exalted fire is the Atash
Behram fire housed in the city of Yazd, which is the ecclesiastical centre
of Zarathushtis, in Iran.
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FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
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Zarathushti Fire Temples … contd.
45
INDIA
The largest community of Zarathushtis, known in India as the
Parsees, built a number of fire temples with great rapidity, in
direct proportion to the wealth they made. Today, there are
eight cathedral fires (Atash Behrams) and over a hundred fire
temples all over India.
The oldest cathedral fire in India, is in the village of Udwada in
Gujarat, some 190 km north of Mumbai. This fire has been
continuously burning for over 750 years. According to
Zarathushti history, the Iranian priests from Khorasan (a
province in the north-east of Iran), brought with them the
implements and sacred ash which were used to build this
great fire in order to maintain the ritual continuity and link with
the great sacred fires of Iran.
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Three Zarathushti Ceremonies
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THE INITIATION CEREMONY- NAVJOTE
The navjote ceremony is the initiation of a Zarathushti
child into the faith. During this ritual, a child is invested
with a sacred under-vest (sudreh which is seen to be the
good path) and a sacred cord (kushti which is seen to be
the direction finder). The sudreh which is seen as the
garment of the Good Mind is made of fine white muslin
and is meant to remind the wearer of using the mind in
one’s daily endeavor to stay on the good path. The
kushti is made of 72 strands of lambs’ wool, which
represents the Yasna liturgy and is woven into a hollow
cord, which is symbolic of both the physical and
spiritual worlds. A Zarathushti is required to wear the
cord around the waist and over the sudreh. The kushti
is meant to be tied and retied while reciting prayers, as
the direction finder (kushti) redirects man onto the
advantageous path. It is after the navjote ceremony that
a child is considered to be responsible for one’s own
thoughts, words and actions.
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Three Zarathushti Ceremonies … contd.
47
THE MARRIAGE CEREMONY
Marriage, in Zarathushti religion is both a contract as well as a
sacrament. The act of union is seen as righteous act, which
makes the earth feel joyous and happy. Prior to the wedding
ceremony, the bride and groom separately have to undergo a
purification ceremony which includes a ritual bath, in order to
receive the divine blessings of the Zarathushti tradition. The
priest chants prayers for the purification of the souls of the
couple, while the bath is being undertaken. During the marriage
ceremony, the priests invoke the blessings of Ahura Mazda and
the Amesha Spentas for a happy married life, with many
children, lots of friends and good health.
THE JASHAN
The jashan is a Zarathushti thanksgiving ceremony, which reenacts the moment of creation. It is usually performed on festival
days and on auspicious occasions, like birthdays, anniversaries
or when moving into a new home. In this ceremony, all the seven
Bounteous Immortals are invoked in a prescribed format aimed at
recreating the harmony at the time of creation. The laity
attending this ceremony is meant to experience an inexplicable
harmony of joy and wellbeing in both physical and spiritual
worlds.
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48
Community Halls and Places of Worship (Darbe Mehrs) In North America
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
1977 New Rochelle
2003 Pomona
1987
1978
1983
1998
1985 – Vancouver (Arbab
Rustom Guiv Darbe Mehr).
1986 - San Jose (Arbab Rustom
Guiv Darbe Mehr).
2004 – Washington DC in
progress
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49
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
The FEZANA Executive 2004-2005
President
Firdosh Mehta<[email protected]>
Vice President
Bomi Patel<[email protected]>
Treasurer
Rashid Mehin<[email protected]>
Secretary
Rita Engineer<[email protected]>
Assistant Secretary
Farrokh Mistree
<[email protected]>
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FEZANA – Links - http://www.fezana.org/links.htm
50
FEZANA – Federation of North American Zoroastrian Associations
Visit the FEZANA Website
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Visit FEZANA Links
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for information on
ZARATHUSHTI (ZOROASTRIAN) RELIGION
ZARATHUSHTI ORGANIZATIONS WORLDWIDE
ZARATHUSHTI CULTURE & HISTORY
ZARATHUSHTI BUSINESS & COMMERCE
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Acknowledgments
51
Slides 35 through 43 – FEZANA Publicity Packet 1998.
Compiled by Dr.Dolly Dastoor, then PRESIDENT of
FEZANA, Montreal, CANADA.
Slides 38 through 43 – Contributed by Khojeste
Mistree and Firoza Punthakey-Mistree, Zoroastrian
Studies, Mumbai, India
Slides 7 through 34 – updated FEZANA PR CD
prepared by Mahrukh Motafram,
Overall compilation of slides by Farrokh Mistree and
Firdosh Mehta.
Updated on Nov. 9, 2005.
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