Mumbai Parsis Divided On Intermarriage

January 3, 2010

Author: Hanna Ingber Win

Source: Global Post

A group of about a dozen young Parsi professionals gather around a table at the Pars i Gymkhana or social club at Marine Lines in Mumbai. They drink Pepsis and snack on toast topped with akuri, a spicy mixture of scrambled eggs and tomatoes, as they wait for others to arrive.

“What’s up, homies?” says 23-year-old Peshotan Kapadia as he makes his entrance. Sporting a goatee, jeans and T-shirt, Kapadia — like the rest of the group — looks like a typical modern young adult.

But despite the modern scene, the group’s underlying purpose is a reflection of their traditional beliefs: to foster marriage between young Parsis.

The group, Zoroastrian Youth for the Next Generation (ZYNG), was launched in mid-December and aims to provide social, cultural and employment opportunities for young people in their community. Zoroastrianism is the religion that the cultural group Parsis follow.

The main objective is “social interaction,” says Viraf Mehta, a good-looking 32-year-old who wears stylish glasses and a button-down shirt and has his hair gelled back. “We are hoping to have a Parsi meet another Parsi to …” Mehta clasps his hands together, interlocks his fingers and smiles widely.