Twelfth World Zoroastrian Congress to be held in New York City

12th World Zoroastrian Congress Logo. Photo: WZC

The 12th World Zoroastrian Congress will be held in New York City July 1 through 4. The in-person congress, co-hosted by Zoroastrian Association of Greater New York (ZAGNY) and Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America (FEZANA), will be held at the midtown Hilton and is expected to be attended by over 1,000 Zoroastrians from around the world.

The 12th congress is co-chaired by Astad J. Clubwala and Arzan Sam Wadia, with Katayun Kapadia as the Administrator. The Executive Steering Committee includes Astad J. Clubwala, Behroze A. Clubwala, Katayun Kapadia, Adil Mistry, Nina Mistry, Mahrukh Motafram, Khursheed Navder, Gev Nentin, Kayomarz Sidhwa, and Arzan Sam Wadia, with Keki Dadachanji & Aban Rustomji as co-chairs of the Program Committee.

The 4-day program, with registrations the day before on June 30, will include talks and panel discussions on various subjects related to the Zoroastrian community which has been facing extinction in the last few years due to migrations and inter-marriages. Some of the topics related to health and wellness, particularly related to the Zoroastrian community, will be part of the daily features. Panels and programs for the Youth will be regular parallel features while discussions on other topics will be held simultaneously. There will also be daily program for young children with playroom and childcare for children under 4 years of age, and recreational and educational programs for ages 5 to 9 and 10 to 14.

Speakers and panelists at the congress will be leaders and scholars in various areas and include persons noted in their fields. A highlight of day one, July 1, will be an interfaith panel discussion Faith Matters. Some of the invited speakers include Father Brian E. McWeeney, Rabbi Potasnik, Swami Sarvapriyananda, Satpal Singh, Ervad Tehemton F. Mirza. Others attending the congress will be Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor, Ervad Kaivan Antia, Ervad Yazad Bhadha, Ervad Sheherazad Pavri, Ervad Arda-e-Viraf Minocherhomjee and more. There will also be a panel discussion on Contemporary Research on Modern Narratives to a Zoroastrian Identity.  There will also be a discussion panel on Zoroastrian Women.

Day two will be devoted to exploring the Zoroastrian identity in the changing world with panel discussions such as Identity, Belonging and Community in Zoroastrianism, Living Zoroastrianism, and Hidden Biases. Other panels will be on surveys of all generations of Zoroastrians and religious education.

The congress will also hold an award ceremony where notable achievers will receive World Zarathushti Community Awards.

Day 3, July 3, will be looking forward after recapturing the history and analyzing the lessons of having flourished and survived over generations. The main features will be focused on the Zoroastrian youth, innovations in religious education, digitalizing of ancient texts, Zoroastrian genes and disease susceptibility, entrepreneurship, and Zoroastrians at the United Nations. There will also be a panel on Zoroastrian Voices from Iran. The day will end with a gala banquet and dance.

Day 4, July 4, will end with recapturing the four-day events and analyzing them to come up with new ways of continuing the awareness and passing them on to the team of the next congress. An added attraction of the day will be a July 4 Fireworks Cruise which can be purchased separately. There will also be an option of buying Broadway Show tickets.

Some major related events have already been taking place prior to the Congress, such as launching of the Zoroastrian Youth Across Borders in August of 2021 and Jamwa Chaloji, a pre-congress celebration and fundraiser with a sit down banquet of Parsi and Persian culinary items, held in November of 2021 in New York. The special cuisine at the banquet included traditional Parsi wedding dishes and Persian appetizers, such as Rotli and Sariya, Patra-ni-Machi, Pulao-Daar, Lagan-nu-Custard, and more.

A Congress Legacy Project, Zoroastrian Footprints Worldwide, was announced in 2021 which will document the history of Zoroastrian communities and sites around the world. The project aims to record a brief history of Zoroastrian communities, their institutions, organizations, and structures, through photographs and data.



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