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Since she was profiled by the New York Times in 2009, “the situation has become worse,” she said, relying on the study by the FEZANA journal, where she used to be an editor; the rate of intermarriages, she estimates, has risen from 40 percent to 60 percent.
Otherwise, it can be tough to find a Zoroastrian to be with.
For those who do want to date and marry within the religion, there aren’t necessarily many options.
One approach is to visit a matchmaker: Roshan Rivetna, a Zoroastrian who lives in Illinois, keeps files on some 200 eligible Zoroastrians.
Patel said he has heard about a mobile dating app under development in India intended for Zoroastrians; he has seen no equivalent in the United States.
It is, he said, “a pretty big failing.” There doesn’t seem to be much youth programming in the community, although an organization called Zoroastrian Return to Roots has taken about 45 Zoroastrians, aged 22 to 35, on 15-day trips to India.
“While change is inevitable and the community needs to a bit more pragmatic on the issue of intermarriage, I still strongly believe that marrying within the community is the best possible safeguard for ensuring that we don’t get relegated to the history books in the next few generations.”Patel’s wife, Parinaz, 27, agreed.
“Even though we were from two different countries, we realized that we had a lot in common and that is, in large part, due to the fact that we share the same religious beliefs and values,” she said.
Parsis, the descendants of the Zoroastrians who fled Iran for India, represent the largest portion of the Zoroastrian population globally; the other portion lives in Iran.The program is designed to expose young people to their heritage, but not to make matches, said Arzan Sam Wadia, a New York-based architect who helps run the trips and serves on FEZANA’s board.“People have realized out of experience over the years that if you actually call it a dating event the turnout is not as much, because some young folks are taken aback,” he said.Although the North American Zoroastrian community actually grew during that period by 24.4 percent—numbering 20,847 in 2012—and by 33.5 percent in the United States, this population is relatively small compared to that of India, which saw a 12.4 percent decline from 69,601 in 2004 to 61,000 in 2012.These figures, though, weren’t gathered as part of a formal demographic survey. nor the Canadian census does enumeration by religion.”Patel, 34, who grew up in a Bakersfield, California, community with two other Parsi families, prioritized marrying within the faith, even though his parents didn’t pressure him to do so.
Dinyar and Parinaz, who grew up in India, met at a Zoroastrian community event in Dubai.