- 開催日時：2018年12月22日（土）13:30 - 17:00
- 開催場所：国立民族学博物館 第1演習室（本館4階）
- 13:30 -
- 13:30 - 15:00
- 15:00 - 15:15
- 15:15 - 16:45
- 16:45 - 17:00
Formation of Shiite Muslim Community and “Iranian” residents in Mumbai
The speaker explored historical formation and contemporary reconfiguration of “Iranians” in Mumbai.
Historically close ties between today’s Iran and Mumbai have often been noted. A certain presence of a migrant population from today’s Iran has always been felt in Mumbai, especially during the modern period. As a result, “Irani” (literally, Iranian) had taken an important position in the cosmopolitan city in various terms, even in the middle to late 20th century.
However, according to field research conducted in the Shiite community in Mumbai, a speaker describing “Irani” does not always mean an Iranian or Persian. Rather, the signifié of “Iranian” has been reconfigured in the social context based on statistical, religious, and linguistic aspects. In a religious context, the Shiite Muslim context, “Irani” means a Twelver Shiite, the majority religion in Iran, irrespective of ethnicity. Although “Irani” people are still quite numerically important in terms of religion, “Irani” people came to stand for quite a small figure in the data according to linguistic usage. In recent years, Iranians as Persian speakers came to account for a negligibly small number. However, the speakers describe that point carefully to devote attention to this figure of the data in terms of religious education among Shiites, who are supported by Iranian education to encourage the Persian language as a religious language. In his conclusion, he proposed and argued the static notion of Irani in Mumbai.
Parsi community from the immigration era to the present: specific examination of funeral ceremonies
Parsis, the Zoroastrians in India, whose ancestors came from Iran to the west coast of India from approximately the tenth century to the present, are maintaining their community and identity as a unique minority, mainly in and around Mumbai. They are known as rich people because they created enormous wealth during the British Raj.
By contrast, their religious customs have degenerated progressively. That degeneration is most readily apparent in their understanding of Zoroastrian funeral ceremonies. Following the Zoroastrian tenets, an extremely important signification is the return to their legendary homeland Aryana vaejah through the dakhma system, generally called the Tower of silence. However, present Parsis understand it rationally and scientifically. That understanding originated from explaining their funeral ceremonies to Europeans as speedy, economic, and hygienic. Reinterpretation of religious customs independently under the concept of European values has accelerated their globalization, not only geographically, but also in terms of their family customs.
As a matter of course, with a critical feeling, they are trying to build a Zoroastrian identity in their young generation within and beyond India. Nevertheless, their teachings apparently cannot surmount a compliant understanding with present values. Ultimately, their attempt varies greatly from their imagination. This phenomenon is one that they cannot believe in Zoroastrianism as their ancestors did anymore, even though they know the tenets through scriptures.