Unraveling the Legacy of the Parsis: Insights from the Bawa Bhonu & Gupshup Event

The recent Bawa Bhonu & Gupshup event held in Kolkata served as a delightful prelude to Navroz, offering attendees a profound journey into the rich history, culture, and cuisine of the Parsi community. Organized by Vibha Mitra’s Own the Past, a group dedicated to preserving and celebrating heritage, the event drew both Parsis and history enthusiasts alike, eager to delve into the fascinating world of this vibrant community.

At the heart of the evening was a captivating conversation between philanthropist, sportswoman, and author Prochy N. Mehta and Yezdi Karai, centered around Mehta’s book, “Who is a Parsi?” Mehta’s journey to uncover the essence of Parsi identity began as a response to her grandchildren’s experiences with discrimination, leading her on a quest to challenge myths and misconceptions surrounding the community. With invaluable guidance from the late Fali Sam Nariman, Mehta meticulously researched and crafted her book, offering profound insights into what it means to be Parsi in today’s world.

One of the central questions explored during the event was the elusive nature of Parsi identity. Mehta eloquently articulated that there is no singular definition of being Parsi, with interpretations ranging from religion and caste to mannerisms and cuisine. Her book, hailed for its scholarly approach, has even found its place in academic institutions such as St. Xavier’s University and the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, underscoring its significance as a scholarly resource.

The evening was not only intellectually stimulating but also infused with cultural richness. Attendees were treated to anecdotes, historical facts, and even a music video featuring Samara Mehta Vyas, granddaughter of Prochy Mehta, which encapsulated the essence of Mehta’s book.

In conclusion, the Bawa Bhonu & Gupshup event served as a poignant reminder of the importance of preserving and celebrating the diverse tapestry of our cultural heritage. Through insightful conversations, scholarly pursuits, and artistic expressions, attendees were invited to embark on a journey of understanding and appreciation for the Parsi community and its profound legacy.


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