Window to Parsi life

27metanup25Calcutta: A four-day exhibition of Parsi culture started at Olpadvala Memorial Trust Hall on Thursday.

The exhibition, which will be open from 10am to 8pm, marks the 150th year of the Calcutta Zoroastrian Community’s Religious and Charity Fund. Such an exhibition was last held in Calcutta in 2003.

“We want more people to come and get an idea about the Zoroastrian life and culture. We have been part of this city for so many years,” said Noomi Mehta, the senior-most trustee of the Religious and Charity Fund.

On display at the exhibition is an 1896 Gujarati translation of Avesta, a primary collection of religious texts of Zoroastrianism. In India the Parsis had first arrived in Surat, Gujarat.

A miniature version of Avesta, called the Khordeh Avesta, is also on display.

There are panels bearing the history of the community.

Mehta said the Parsi population in Calcutta dwindled from around 2,500 in the 1960s to 450-odd now. “Young people are migrating to other places as there aren’t enough jobs in Calcutta,” a community elder said.

A Parsi food festival is being held on the sidelines of the exhibition. “One should try Dhansak, which is the among the most popular items. A visitor can also try Akoori, which is scrambled egg,” said Cyrus J. Madan, a trustee.

The other popular dishes include Chingri No Patio (prawns in spicy gravy).

Students from three schools – The Heritage School, Modern High School for Girls and Akshar – visited the exhibition on Thursday.

Published on Telegraph India