Return to Roots is a youth-initiated programme designed to strengthen community identity amongst Zoroastrian youth the world over.
The idea of a Zoroastrian Return to Roots (RTR) Programme was born out of the increasing disconnect between Zoroastrians in the diaspora and their ancestral communities in Iran and India. It is a unique means of fostering community links and identity by taking small groups of Zoroastrians between the ages of 20 and 35 years on trips to explore their religious, social and cultural heritage.
The vision of Return to Roots is to reconnect Zoroastrians in the diaspora with their origins in India and Iran. By creating a network of Zoroastrian youth who will be leaders of the next generation, RTR will foster a stronger Zoroastrian community and identity. The network of RTR global alumni will grow with each trip and eventually establish a Return to Roots foundation and corpus of funding for future generations of Zoroastrians.
The pilot launch of RTR in January 2014 focused on exposing the participants to learning, understanding and connecting with Zoroastrianism and its rituals in India and Parsi material culture (food, art, music). The second trip, which will take place in Spring 2015, will draw participants from the Zoroastrian diaspora who want to explore their culture, community, and potential opportunities in Zoroastrian India. Participants will meet local Zoroastrians at the forefront of business, science, government, philanthropy, arts and music. This track will also include religious elements, for example in the forms of visits to Zoroastrian religious institutions that are open to all and viewing a demonstration of the Jashan ceremony.
We also plan to introduce similar trips to Iran in the future; however current political circumstances in the country make it very difficult at this point in time. As we plan to organize future trips to Iran, we especially want Iranian Zoroastrian youth to participate in the India trips.
If you are interested in applying for the programme or want further information, please visit the dedicated RTR website http://zororoots.org/.