Below is the conclusion of a study done by Dinyar Patel titled “What can FEZANA do to promote marriage?”. The conclusions of this survey throw some interesting light on the state of affairs and what NEEDS to be done.
With the support of NextGenNow, I administered a survey earlier this month on the theme of “What can FEZANA do to better promote marriage?”
More than 200 individuals kindly sent in their responses to seven survey questions. Over the past two days I have put aside my dissertation research and have gone through the few hundred responses generated from this survey. Here, I present the community with both a) a summary report and b) a full listing of responses.
The survey highlights some very critical issues faced by youth and young adults in North America — inability to find Zoroastrian spouses, sparse and disconnected populations of Zoroastrian youth, and limited youth interaction in associations — and provides several suggested ideas for tackling these, and other, problems. In addition, the full listing of responses, which stretches to 113 single spaced pages, provides us with rich information on the various issues that concern the “next generation” — oftentimes well beyond the relatively narrow scope of this survey.
It is hoped that this report will be given due consideration by the community, especially those meeting in Montreal this weekend for the FEZANA Annual General Meeting (this survey, I must remind you, has been done independent of FEZANA, but for the purpose of informing FEZANA about some very critical issues that it must address).
Many, many thanks, to all the youth and young adults who took the time to respond. Please do forward these reports widely, especially to those who participated. This is very much a first step. Zoroastrians, at least the Parsis, have over the past century endlessly discussed many burning social issues without taking much concrete action (trust me on this, as a historian of the community). We simply cannot afford to do the same here. This report contains several ideas for what we must DO rather than simply discuss further. As a concerned youth, I am happy to do my part, and there are others in NextGenNow and elsewhere who are ready to do the same. But many, many more youth need to step up to the plate, become more involved in the community, and do their part to bring about a resolution.
Dinyar Patel Ph.D. Candidate, Modern South Asia, Department of History, Harvard University