May 11, 2004

Zoroastrian community

I have just stumbled across an article about the Zoroastrian community – which the author compares to the Jewish community. There are many similarities: an ethno-religious community with a large diaspora, which has had a disproportionate influence on the world:

“In numbers, Parsis [Indian Zoroastrians] are beneath contempt, but in contribution, beyond compare” – Mahatma Gandhi.

As a community, Zoroastrians face the same existential challenge as the Jews: assimilation and low birth rate – but even worse. According to this document, there are less than 200,000 Zoroastrians in the world. I don’t believe that the Jews will become extinct, partly because of the existence of Israel, and partly because a core group of Jews have developed institutions which will preserve them. I don’t know if this is true of Zoroastrians. I would hate to see them disappear.

You can find a lot of interesting Zoroastrian links on this page (intended for Zoroastrians, which makes it more interesting), including this page on the Gujarati script for Avestan prayers, and this page comparing Gujarati script to other Indian scripts.

Posted by David Boxenhorn at May 11, 2004 05:21 PM
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