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Zoroastrianism does have holidays and rituals, and adherents go through an initiation rite, which some people compare to a bar or bat mitzvah, called “navjote.” Although it might appear to outsiders as though fire is worshipped in the temples, Zoroastrians say that fire is a symbol of the divine, due to its warmth and light, rather than the divinity itself.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. He also works in the yard and sometimes wields a scythe in the family's fields. While other children in his middle-class neighborhood overlooking the Haitian capital head to school, the 15-year-old puts on toeless sneakers and gets to work washing dishes, scrubbing floors and running errands at the market.

In Spanish, Portuguese, and French, the words used to describe the mixing of races are mestizaje, mestiçagem and métissage.

Roughly a dozen centuries later, many Parsis have settled in the diaspora, where they’re encountering a different challenge: assimilation and a not-too-distant scenario in which, some worry, there will be no Zoroastrians left in the world. This worry is often directed toward young Zoroastrians, whose minds—and perhaps more importantly, hearts—may determine the future of the religion.

Decisions about dating and marriage can also be decisions about whether to stay within their community: Zoroastrianism is a patriarchal tradition, so the children of Zoroastrian women who marry outside the faith are not accepted, and even shunned, in many communities.

There is little reward for his toil, except for food and a roof over his head.

And often, the quality of his work isn't good enough; his caretakers sometimes hit him with a switch or slap him on the back of the scalp.

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Once they tied his hands and put a bag over his head before beating him with a stick. "They tell me that I'm useless," Antoine said, speaking softly at a meeting secretly arranged by a teacher who taught him briefly and who fears for his future.

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