The Iranshah Udvada Utsav (IUU) is the brainchild of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who wanted the Parsi Zoroastrian community from across the world to visit Udvada and participate in one of the biggest Community festivals ever. He recommended that the IUU be held in December, as many Indian Zoroastrians residing overseas visit India during the festive season. Thus, the Foundation for Development of Udvada, the Udvada Samast Anjuman and Gujarat Tourism, helped birth the IUU.
Udvada hosted its first IUU in December 2015, followed by its second in December 2017. On both occasions, attendees came from across India, North America, UK, Iran, Middle East and Australia. IUU 2015 was graciously sponsored by Cyrus Poonawalla in memory of his wife Late Villoo Poonawalla, and IUU 2017 was sponsored by Shapoorji Pallonji.
IUU sets the stage for community members to come together, felicitate and recognize greatness, and showcase talent, enthralling audiences over the three day festivities. A fun exhibition of offering everything Parsi – from delicacies to and designerwear – lines the entrance of the main staging area, where attendees enjoy a spot of shopping and Parsipanu combined!
An important part of the IUU is to draw attention to the Parsi Zoroastrian community. Press and dignitaries are invited to partake in events and spread goodwill that the community is known and respected for. Prominent Community members are honoured each year. IUU 2015 had the great Ratan Tata address his Parsi brethren; in 2017, Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu felicitated eminent physician, Dr. Farokh Udwadia.
The IUU has done wonders for the Community in terms of offering a common and solid platform that fortifies our unity, and showcases our glorious heritage and culture. In Udvada, residents and visitors appreciate the benefits of improved infrastructure that comes along with keeping Udvada clean and safe as a priority.
Of course, the IUU is a great time to meet so many of our foreign community members and Parsis across India who come to pay their respects to Shreeji Pak Iranshah and to enjoy 3 days of celebrating our faith and fun-filled festivities.