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Ancient Prayers, Modern Celebrations

Nothing demonstrates our straddling of two worlds, the spiritual and the material, better than our navjotes and weddings. We go from the solemnity of the ancient rites, to high-spirited celebrations with food and wine; an occasion to meet up with friends and family, a place to see and be seen. At the functions of the wealthy it is also an opportunity to bring out the family jewels from the family vaults; emeralds as big as rocks glitter and shine.

The navjote, initiation into the religion, takes place before puberty, between the ages of seven and nine and is the same for both boys and girls. It is the first time that the child will wear the "armour of the religion" the sudrah, kusti, which should then be worn everyday for the rest of their lives. Zoroastrianism believes that a young child cannot tell the difference between right and wrong, and therefore cannot sin. Once the child has freely chosen to be initiated, then the child becomes an adult, responsible for,..

Parizad Hodivala's navjote ceremony.

Parizad Hodivala's navjote ceremony. Bombay 1982.

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Chapter 7: Rites of Passage
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