Friday 28 October: 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Ancient India and Iran Trust, 23 Brooklands Avenue, CB2 8BG
The ‘walking mango tree’ at Sanjan is, according to local legend, a very ancient sacred tree, that was planted by the Zoroastrians (now known as Parsis, ‘Persians’) when they first landed in India. It is believed that this red mango tree has ‘walked’ several kilometres by putting out low branches that have taken root in the ground as a new trunk, the original trunk eventually dying and the process having been repeated many times, as if it is ‘walking’ into India. Whether or not the story of the tree is true, it is an apt metaphor of the arrival and assimilation of the Persian Zoroastrian migrants as the Parsis, to this day one of India’s most successful minority communities. In this talk Prof. Alan Williams (University of Manchester) discusses how the story pays respect to Iran, to India, and to the Zoroastrian migrants who dared to leave their homeland and set out for a new life, free from persecution in Iran.