Media Partner: Parsi Times
With the 8th World Zoroastrian Youth Congress (8WZYC) to be hosted by the Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe (ZTFE) in the United Kingdom (UK) in Summer 2023, a dedicated team of youth volunteers have already commenced early groundwork to start planning and organising this momentous event. Media Partner – PARSI TIMES shares the insights and visions of our 8WZYC organising team, as part of the ongoing series of articles – in keeping with which we are proud to introduce Ervad Yazad Tehmuras Bhadha – the Resident Priest for the Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe (ZTFE), London, who has taken on the role as Secretary for the 8th World Zoroastrian Youth Congress…
After graduating in Commerce from the Byramjee Jeejeebhoy College of Commerce (BJCC), I went on to complete my Masters in Commerce from Mumbai University. I was appointed the position of ZTFE’s Resident Priest in 2014 and came to the UK that November.
I am honoured to represent the Zoroastrian Community in the UK by participating in interfaith activities, where my role is to help spread awareness of our glorious religion. I also conduct various community ceremonies, run navjote prayer classes and teach our XYZ Children’s Education Fun Club.
In 2015, as part of my development in my role at ZTFE, I was fortunate to receive the ZTFE Faridoon and Mehraban Zartoshty Scholarship in Zoroastrian Studies, giving me the opportunity to study for a Masters in Religions of Asia and Africa at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. The course focused on Zoroastrianism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, as well as an introduction to both – the Avestan and Pahlavi languages.
I am extremely excited to be involved with the 8WZYC, as this will be my first Zoroastrian Youth Congress in both capacities – as an organizer as well as attendee! Here, I will be undertaking the role as the Congress Secretary as also the Central Liaison lead of the Speaker Committee. Being a member of such a dedicated and dynamic team, that is as passionate as I am about our community, is extremely motivational and encouraging. We aim to be inclusive for all – be it religious views, perspectives on the future of today’s youth within their communities, etc. – as we want to ensure these are represented in a fair and respectful manner.
In addition to inviting inspirational speakers from around the world, we in the UK are enriched with world renowned institutions that link heavily to Zoroastrian studies and its history, including the globally prestigious British Museum and the British Library, which currently contain comprehensive material on Zoroastrianism and Ancient Iran. We also are fortunate to have SOAS – the only university in the world that has a Chair / Professorship in Zoroastrian Studies – Zartoshty Brothers Professorship funded by beloved ZTFE patrons and benefactors.
SOAS is also home of the SOAS Shapoorji Pallonji Institute of Zoroastrian Studies (SSPIZS), funded by Mr. Shapoor Mistry, who felt inspired to fund the institute, following the success of the ‘Everlasting Flame: Zoroastrianism in History and Imagination’ exhibition at SOAS in 2013, core funded by the ZTFE.
It is exciting to see the 8WZYC start to take shape as we progress. It is an incredible opportunity to be a part of this once in a lifetime event and to work alongside so many passionate and creative young Zoroastrians!