predominately Zoroastrian ethnic group

Parsi (or Parsee) are an ethnoreligious group of the Indian subcontinent adhering to Zoroastrianism. They are descended from Persians who migrated to Medieval India during and after the Arab conquest of Iran (part of the early Muslim conquests) in order to escape persecution by Muslims and preserve their Zoroastrian identity.

Portrait of a Parsee Lady by Raja Ravi Varma.
Portrait of a Parsee Lady.


  • Parsi culture is also an alien culture, but alien in name only, for, tolerant from the first, it has got blended with Indian culture almost beyond recognition.
    • Harsh Narain, Myths of Composite Culture and Equality of Religions, 1990, p.28.
  • The Parsees have ever been working shoulder to shoulder with the Hindus against the English domination. They are no fanatics. From the great Dadabhai Nowroji to the renowned revolutionary lady Madam Kama the Parsees have contributed their quota of true Indian patriots, nor have they ever displayed any but goodwill towards the Hindu Nation which to them had proved a veritable saviour of their race. Culturally too they are most closely akin to us.
    • V.D. Savarkar, Hindu Rashtra Darshan, p. 23, also quoted in part in Elst, Koenraad (2014). Decolonizing the Hindu mind: Ideological development of Hindu revivalism. New Delhi: Rupa. p.272
  • The Parsis of India are divided into two sects, the Shehenshais and the Kadmis. They do not differ on any point of faith, as the Protestants do from the Romanists; nor does the distinction between them at all resemble that which divides the different castes of the Hindus, or the Shias and Sunnis among the Mahomedans. Their forms of worship and religious ceremony, as well as all the tenets of their religion, are the same in every respect. The cause of the division between the two sects is merely a difference as to the correct chronological date for the computation of the era of Yazdezard, the last king of the ancient Persian monarchy.
    • Dosabhai Framji Karaka, History of the Parsis: Including Their Manners, Customs, Religion, and Present Position, vol. 1, p. 105.
  • I am proud to belong to the religion which has sheltered and is still fostering the remnant of the grand Zoroastrian nation.
    • Vivekananda, At the World's Parliament of Religions, Chicago 11th September, 1893 CW Vol I.
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