Social Media Put To Great Use!

FB’s Worldwide Zoroastrians Sets The Right Precedent!

Veera is a published Author (‘Endured’ and ‘#LoveBitesLifeHacks’) and Columnist; a passionate Educator and Counsellor; Poet and Philosopher… but most of all, a lover of all things literary. 

The pandemic has popularised Social Media Platforms (SMP) to another level altogether. Some of today’s most popular SMPs used are Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, etc. Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram definitely mark the top three most used SMPs by our community members. While WhatsApp is the unrivalled messaging service, Facebook (FB) is the favoured platform for personal expressions and its various Group activities. There’s some brilliant Parsi/Irani Zoroastrian groups on FB which provide great information and even more than that, serve as useful platforms for Zoroastrians the world over to meet, greet, discuss and debate over every conceivable topic – including food, culture, religion, music, jokes, politics, news, and so on…

I can wager most of you wouldn’t know the exact number of FB groups that you’re members of. I surely couldn’t! Also, when you try and recall, I’m certain there are only a few groups which spring to mind almost immediately. Now that is the strength and shine of a really active and popular group!

In keeping with Parsi Times’ endeavours to encourage all efforts that drive unity and togetherness in our community, when I was approached to share the success of a group that most community members on FB are familiar with – the evolving and dynamic ‘Worldwide Zoroastrians’ – I thought it a good idea. All of just six months old but probably qualifying as the page with a great reach and great numbers for connecting community members globally, ‘Worldwide Zoroastrians’ pretty much offers ‘Everything Zoroastrian’!

This exponentially expanding group is a robust mix packed with interactive fun, entertainment, information and talent. Looking for Mamaji’s old authentic recipe for tangy prawn curry the Parsi way? Within minutes, a member will share it! Old Parsi songs, long forgotten, you may trip upon them for sure here. If you seek a better understanding of our ancient religion and rich history, you’ll find innumerable posts covering these topics. The best part is ‘Worldwide Zoroastrians’ (WZ) promotes open discussions, opinions and debates. Members come together to engage, enjoy, promote businesses, seek jobs and share their highs and lows!

WZ was conceptualised and co-founded on 8th May, 2020, by a family of five – Persis, Shernaz, Dilshad, Jamshid Zack and Darayush Mistry. The brainchild of Persis Zack Printer, WZ was inspired by her late father and role model, Firoz Printer – an empathetic, kind and generous soul, who encapsulated the principle, ‘service to humanity first’. WZ endeavours, “to bring together Zoroastrian contacts we had as a family together, to connect and help especially during the global lockdown.” It took the family all of ten minutes to name the group ‘Worldwide Zoroastrians’ and a few more to create it, from the time the very idea sprung up!

The overwhelming response from the word go was a complete surprise! Then again, every member who joined the group was made to feel special by a personal welcome message. This coupled with the uniqueness in which the group operates, saw the group grow by nearly a thousand members per day in the initial weeks! Having completed six months on 8th October, the group boasts of 15,000 members. In keeping with our population, that number speaks for itself – the response, participation and engagement has been mind-boggling.

Today, nearly 2.8 billion people are FB users worldwide and half this colossal userbase are members of what FB deems ‘meaningful groups’ – the kind that attracts one by virtue of like-mindedness, commonality and interests. Founded on these very premises, WZ is the perfect fit for all who are Parsi/Irani/ Zoroastrians by religion as also enthusiasts

WZ offers ample posts on everything we love – music, comedy, short films, photography, cultural and traditional topics like chowk and Garas; it facilitates free-marketing for seekers and sellers alike of all Parsi products including sadras, kastis, embroidered scarves and masks, artworks and furniture, real estate and automobiles, books, jokes, experiences… everything! It also promotes old age homes, sports, hobbies like reading, cooking, magic shows, et al. The elements of seriousness and humour, information and fun, as also insightful content and creative conversation starters, are all threaded together, making it a very engaging platform for all ages!

And the talent that graces this group is immense, the fervour – palpable. There’s gifted writers, composers, singers, dancers, cooks, chefs, magicians, musicians with amazing talent… and some that may surprise you with an undeniable lack of! But then, it’s their passion and zeal that captivates you every single time. And that’s why this group does stand out as one of the community’s favourite! There’s equal opportunity for all Zoroastrians seeking to showcase their skills or simply their fun side – all is welcome!

WZ as a global platform offers you unconditional participation – something the co-founders sought in their three-fold vision for this group: To Connect – get together to have fun, help and support each other, encourage Zoroastrians across all ages engage and network with each other through varied interests; To Provide A Global Platform – provide a unifying stage for all Zoroastrians to voice their ideas, share experiences and knowledge, teach, seek, learn and yes, highlight initiatives/groups from different parts of the world to keep the Zoroastrian community thriving, and importantly to get businesses and entrepreneurs to connect with talented people and recruit or network, forging global partnerships; and To Be Inclusive – (this one is my favourite!) by providing ample opportunity to like-minded individuals who can use this 15,000-strong Zoroastrian group to share their potential, find what they seek, learn and network. Basically, an ‘Of The Zoroastrian, For The Zoroastrian, By The Zoroastrian’ group, meant for those who are Zoroastrians by birth, or simply anyone interested in the Zoroastrian faith, ethos and way of life. It basically promotes a sense of belonging to our global Zoroastrian family! As for the thumb rule? All that you need here is what you are meant to practise every single day, not only as true Zoroastrians, but as good human beings, in tune with our tenets of ‘Good Thoughts, Good Words and Good Deeds’!

Here’s attributing the much-deserved kudos to all such digital efforts – be these websites, blogs, pages or groups – which offer a platform that nurtures unity and connect, alongside fun, learning, entertainment and excellent helpfulness across all areas to us all!

Veera Shroff Sanjana
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