Journal No.56 (103 pages, 1989)

This issue of the K R Cama Oriental Institute Journal is devoted to Ms Jenny Rose’s paper on “The Traditional Role of Women in the Iranian and Indian (Parsi) Zoroastrian Communities from the 19th to the 20th Century” presented to the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London in 1986.

In virtually all cultures women have been the main transmitters of traditions, especially social traditions such as those connected with marriage, birth, etc.; and so it has been with the Parsis. But with rapid urbanisation, Western education, careers for women and emigration to countries with different cultures, the old traditions have been eroded. Some are no longer practicable and many are no longer remembered. For example, pre-marriage ceremonies which used to be spread over a four-day period are now compressed into a twenty-four-hour period.

Ms Rose’s paper comes at an opportune moment when there are still older women who remember the traditions that they and their mothers followed in their youth. The author is probably among the first to describe in some detail the traditions connected with social and domestic events and the part played by Parsi women in their transmission.

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