RESEARCH PAPERS, ARTICLES AND PUBLICATIONS
To see publications funded, researched or assisted by the Parzor Foundation, click here.
Textiles and Embroidery
- Threads of Continuity : Ashdeen Lilaowala's extensive study and detailed documentation of the sacred Zoroastrian art of Kusti weaving. [READ]
- Rita Sridhar's paper titled "Nature Captured in Thread", on the motifs and symbolism of Parsi embroidery.
- "A Vision in White": Ashdeen Lilaowala writes about Parsi wedding saris. First published in Marie Claire, October 2010
- "Painting with a Needle": Ashdeen Lilaowala writes about Parsi garas and their global appeal in the fashion industry. First published in Marie Claire India, February 2009
- David Knaute is writing his PhD on Zoroastrianism at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), France. More specifically, his research concerns the outmigration of Zoroastrians from Pakistan and contemporary diaspora communities in the UK and USA. David spent ten months in Karachi, Pakistan, in 2009-2010. During this time, he was also introduced to Zoroastrian communities in Gujarat, with support received from the Parzor Project. The present report is based on a questionnaire distributed to the Zoroastrian community of Karachi in partnership with the Young Mazdayasnian Zoroastrian Association (YMZA) and inspired by a previous survey carried out by the Parzor Project in 2004.
This survey was first administered in Gujarat, and owing to its popularity, published in Jam-e-Jamshed and Parsiana for those who wished to undertake it voluntarily. The response was considerable, and the findings were later published as a report entitled "Oral Traditions: UNESCO Parzor Report on Questionnaire-1(a) Reet Rivaj" by Dr. Rumy Mistry and Dr. Shernaz Cama, providing important data on the Reet Rivaj or Oral Traditions of the community. Over the years, several researchers have used the format of this questionnaire to frame their specific questionnaires in Cultural Studies and Demographics.
David Knaute has extended the scope of the questionnaire to Pakistan.
- A summary report and detailed report of the Promoting Marriage Survey by Dinyar Patel of Harvard University.
- Extended version of the paper delivered by Dinyar Patel of Harvard University at the North American Zoroastrian Congress (NAZC), Houston, 30 Dec 2010
Summary: This paper attempts to provide a realistic estimate of the worldwide Zoroastrian population based on the best scholarly and community estimates available. It questions, due to lack of evidence, the idea that thousands of people are converting to Zoroastrianism worldwide. Having established the actual small size of the community, this paper furthermore highlights the staggering demographic crisis that it faces. Amongst the Parsis of India, at least, population figures are dropping rapidly and the prime reasons are not out-migration to the West or even, for the moment, intermarriage. Rather, a large corpus of scholarly studies indicate that the Parsi population crisis is due to stunningly low fertility rates; that is, an incredibly limited number of children born to the community. Low fertility rates are not due to biological problems but rather due to cultural and attitudinal factors that prompt late marriage and non-marriage amongst Parsis. Quite simply, Parsis’ decisions to marry late, or not marry at all, have translated into a drastically shrinking population.
Arts and Crafts
- Dr. Shernaz Cama's article "Parsi Crafts" Gifts from the Magi" on the website of the Craft Revival Trust, first published in UNESCO Power of Creativity Magazine, vol. 2, August 2008.