Living the Parsi way

PARSI POTPOURRI1 copyA heritage walk in the city promises to acquaint one with the Parsi community in the city

Established in 1934, Cusrow Baug covers an area of 84,000 square yards and is home to over 500 families, making it one of the largest Parsi settlements in South Mumbai. If you are curious about the Parsi culture and have always wanted to learn more about them, Parsi Potporri, a heritage tour might be the answer to your calling. The walk promised to explore the colourful culture of Parsis. Hosted by Ananya Bahl, the tour will get to explore the Parsi faith, and their daily way of life. Akash Ahuja from the team at Seek Sherpa tells us, “I’ve had the good fortune of having very close friends who are Parsi/Irani. So, I’ve witnessed traditional Navjotes, Parsi wedding celebrations and other customs and traditions first-hand. I’ve grown quite familiar to their ways — how they talk, what they eat, drink and their culture, overall. Coming from a diverse cultural background myself, I can relate to their cultures and community beliefs.”

“The walk starts from Parsi Dairy Farm. We cover two Parsi Agiaries (Fire Temples), outside which I will explain how these came into existence and what is the significance of these temples. The entry, however, is restricted to Parsis only. From there, we will delve deep into the day-to-day lifestyle of the community. We will visit some of the iconic Parsi stores, followed by a visit to a legendary Irani cafe, Kyani and Co.,” he adds. After enjoying the heavenly combination of chai and bun maska, you will visit a traditional Parsi baug to know more about how these settlements came into being and what makes them unique.

Heritage walks are a beautiful space to disseminate information to people sharing the same interests. Having conducted such walks in the past, Akash thinks meeting new people and exchanging information is crucial to know more about a culture. He adds, “The experience is really great. I am a travel writer and enthusiast, so meeting new people and social exchange is always high priority for me. With the Parsi walk, I can also make people understand the diversity of cultures in the city of dreams — Mumbai.”

For Akash, the famous ‘sugar in the milk’ story holds importance. “Legend has it that when Parsi faith believers arrived in India, they were not allowed to enter or settle in Gujarat by the king. When they requested asylum, the king showed them a vessel filled with milk, signifying that they have no place for refugees in the kingdom. In response, one of the Zoroastrian refugees added a little bit of sugar in the vessel, saying they will settle in the community like sugar in the milk. And since then, they also agreed to use Gujarati as their language (with a twist), carrying no weapons, making sure that the women wear sarees (to which they have added their own style of embroidery), and marriages to be performed in evenings. Parsis agreed to all of that, and yet they differentiate themselves by adding unique sweet twists to all these things, like sugar in the milk,” he concluded.

On September 4, 2 pm,
Meeting Point: outside Parsi Dairy Farm, Princess Street.
For enquiries: 9643982934
Registration fees: Rs 700

Published on Asian Age

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