Pune’s Asha Vahishta Dadgah celebrated Jamshedi Navroze on 21st March, 2019 with great religious fervor, and a packed venue, with extra seating arrangements made for the overflowing crowd. A thanksgiving Jashan was performed by the priests at 10:00am, followed by a contributory Maachi. A ‘Haft-seen’ Navroze table – replete with fruits, mewa, Iranian gaz, and other Iranian sweets – was also set up in the main Prayer Hall; all the devotees partook of the lovely spread laid out on the Navroze table.
Talented musicians and artists from Iran (Sepideh, Armaan, Poorya, Meherdad and Mahsa) performed live, soulful, traditional Zoroastrian Persian and rendered Kurdish songs and music in the open compound area of the premises. The gathering greatly appreciated the performance and expressed gratitude for being able to witness original Zoroastrian Iranian culture and heritage. To further the Iranian flavour in the Navroze celebrations, traditional Iranian food including – ‘Ash Reshteh’ (thick soup made of thin noodles, lentils, herbs, beans and whey), ‘Chicken Zereshk Berry Pulao’, ‘Irani Aloo Murgh Salad’ – and falooda and malido was served to the gathering, after the function.
Established in 2017, ‘Asha Vahishta – The Zoroastrian Center’ houses a community hall, a prayer hall, a library and a Dadgah fire, and is built over 5,500 square feet. Located at Pune’s NIBM Road (Kondhwa), the Dadgah keeps its doors open to intermarried Parsis and their children, as also Zoroastrian enthusiasts who seek a greater understanding about the religion. It is spearheaded by brothers Vispy and Kerssie Wadia, who aim to provide a dignified alternative to Parsi Zoroastrians who are discriminated against or excommunicated from entering religious places of worship.
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