Parsi

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Parsi

 

(Parsee), a member of one of the religious communities of India. Parsis number more than 100,000 (1973). They live chiefly in Bombay and are descendants of the Zoroastrians who fled Iran during the seventh to tenth centuries, after the conquest of Iran by the Arabs, and who settled primarily in Gujarat. Their religion is Zoroastrianism. The Parsis worship fire in their temples. They do not bury their dead but allow them to be torn to pieces by vultures in “towers of silence,” in order not to defile the elements sacred to them: fire, water, air, and earth.

Material prosperity is considered the reward of religious virtue, and therefore the majority of Parsis have long occupied themselves with moneylending, trade, banking, and entrepreneurial activity. The Tatas, a family of the largest monopolists in India, are Parsis. The Parsis speak Gujarati, while their canonical literature is written in Avestan and Pahlavi. The Parsi community is predominantly endogamous, although the young people have begun to deviate from the ancient marriage regulations. The priests exert a great influence not only upon the religious but also upon the secular life of the Parsis.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Sidhwa's second novel, The Crow Eaters (1980), although reflects much of the life of her Parsee community, was also about the national politics and the gender issues in Pakistan.
hence Parsi as opposed to Parsee. The phonetic nature of Parsi and Indian names lends to innumerable ways for their spelling, including among contemporaries.
The civic minded of Bombay--Hindus, Muslims, Jains, Parsees, Christians--decided that their first major public institution would be a museum dedicated to their Queen-Empress.
Her focus on Parsees, a community that was numerically in a minority but otherwise occupied a class position, and the significance that Sidhwa might have attached to its role in the nationalist construction is both refreshing and complex in complicating the story of partition that often gets viewed around the Hindu/Muslim axis.
As a result, all the religious communities in India today, except the Parsees, have an ingrained caste system prevalent in all spheres of life."
At the same time, he understood that to rule such a huge area required the support of all its people and though himself brought up as a Muslim, he did away with much of his predecessors' discrimination against Hindus, Parsees and Christians, and recruited them to the service of his regime.
The brewery ostensibly caters only for the country's small communities of Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Parsees and foreigners.
The Parsees, who were early players in the west of the country, were mostly from rich communities and they continued to be prominent until the 1970s when Farokh Engineer represented the country.
The reason is that, in India, personal law and religion are closely intertwined, and "India is a land of religions, Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Muslims, Parsees, and Sikhs ...
In the process, other groups-Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists, Parsees, Orthodox Christians, and others who have also long been silent--have also emerged to national prominence and are insisting on their rights.
He and the meeting organizers admitted that many Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains and Parsees attended the prayer rally led by Dinakaran, a Protestant evangelist, and his team.