Khojeste Mistree Visits Western Australia - 2002
Yet again, a number of Zoroastrians in our community were enlightened by one of our well-recognised scholars, Khojeste Mistree. Just like his visit to Perth three years ago, Khojeste provided us with a weekend of informative and inspiring messages based on the teachings of Zoroastrianism. The talks were held over the weekend falling on the 5th and 6th of October 2002. Topics were randomly called upon by Khojeste's audience. To name a few:
- The importance of the religion,
- Wearing the Sudreh and Kusti,
- An overview of our rituals and their meanings,
- Translation of our basic daily prayers,
- Significance of lighting the Divo everyday,
- Why Zoroastrianism does not encourage conversion,
- Possibilities for the youth to meet and marry fellow Zoroastrians, considering the obvious geographical barriers
- Zoroastrian burial and issues relating to the Dokhmas
These topics comprised only a fraction of Khojeste's knowledge base. His memory bank impressed us all as he confidently answered to every query expressed. He also provided us with his advice on building a community hall and practical ideas for funding, development and maintenance if the plan was to be implemented. Short breaks were taken during the day for lunch and tea - more so because the audience needed them - Khojeste was happy to go non-stop!
Advantageously, Khojeste was able to share his wisdom with us into the following week as his scheduled trip to Malaysia was cancelled - no complaints from our end! He met with some families during the week either at their homes or at restaurants where he continued to satisfy their curiosity about the religion. But it was on Tuesday night when the serious grilling was done. The Zoroastrian youth met at Villie and Cyrus Mistry's residence at 7:30pm and carried on past midnight (Dinner was not forgotten no matter how interesting the discussion was - we stopped for pizza and pillau-daar and may I please say that the pillau-daar was better than any pizza). Questions about equality within the religion, inter-marriages, pre-marital sex, wearing the sudreh/kusti and the meaning of being a young Zarthusti were evidenced as being the most eminent throughout the night's discussions. Khojeste gave sufficient explanations on these issues, which provided the youth with an enhanced understanding of the Zoroastrian religion and helped them appreciate it in new light. It was an enjoyable night in a relaxed, casual environment. Everyone brought along his or her sense of humour …in true Zoro spirit!
Khojeste showed us all how blessed we are to be a part of a religion as pure and elite as Zoroastrianism. The religion offers us direction and guidance to lead a healthy and prosperous life, and have that reflect upon those around us. ZAWA would like to thank Villie and Cyrus Mistry for accommodating Khojeste. It was a pleasure to have him visit us again. The members value the privilege of meeting such scholars and would like to see more in the future!
Here then, are some photographs of Khojeste Mistree's visit to Perth, taken by Geive Nanvati