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8WZYC Spotlight on Co-Chair Xerxes Panthakee

My name is Xerxes Panthakee, and I am one of the Co-Vice Chairs for the upcoming 8WZYC in 2023. After graduating as a Chemical Engineer, I switched paths and am currently a Technical Business Analyst for Investec Bank, a mid-sized Global Investment bank, in the heart of London’s Financial District. Chemical Engineering taught me how to think and adapt to challenges and I practise this not only in in my daily working but also try and bring this to congress planning, especially during a covid environment where there has been so much uncertainty and changing requirements.

Being born into a family of swimmers, I was always told that I was one of those children who’s laugh would echo and fill the swimming pool walls when I was thrown in for the first time. This enthusiasm has continued to present day where I now participate and play in a Water Polo team. It is a real passion of mine and I enjoy being part of the community and the energy I get after every practice or match is a wonderful feeling to have!

Being part of the Zoroastrian community here in London has had a very strong influence in my day-to-day life. I have been a part of this wonderfully special community for as long as I can remember and have had the opportunity to become a Priest.

It was a great honour and privileged opportunity to become a Priest at such a young age, whilst I was still learning about the wider world was especially enlightening and gave me a true purpose and level of clarity. During my Navar preparations and ceremony, I learnt that each prayer whether it’s from an Ashem Vohu to the Yasna hā’s has a special purpose to help us and our loved ones walk the path of prosperity and happiness. For me, personally, the prayers help me achieve a state of Mushin and energy that I cannot get from anything else. It’s that enlightenment which I hope to be able to instil and give to the community here in London.

In recent years I decided to take a more active role in helping to grow, shape and network with our Youth Community by being a part of the Young Zoroastrian Committee here in the UK. Having the privilege of being on the Committee for me is a way to bring the next generation of Zoroastrians together through the beauty of activities such as sports, socials and other events. I have always found these to be natural ice breakers for friendships to blossom and a great way to catch up with long-distance friends. Our YZ committee ensures that we arrange events for mixed interests to ensure the YZ community is an inclusive space, and to encourage unity among the YZ community.

When I heard that the next Youth Congress was heading to London for 2023, I knew this was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me to help organise one of the biggest events in any Young Zoroastrian’s calendar! For me, this is my first experience of a congress, having never attended before, and will be extremely interesting going as an attendee but also with my organising hat on at the same time. These events are so important in bridging the gap between our global youth and to create a collaborative community. I want to help put my stamp on the congress as well as create a social experience, as I have done on the YZ committee, for Zoroastrians around the world in London!

As one of the Co-Vice Chairs, my main duties are to help support the Co-Chairs in their duties of the overall congress as well as liaising with sub committees to ensure they are always motivated and engaged and moving along the path to 2023, whilst meeting interim deadlines. At the end of the day, we all want to ensure the attendee's experience is rememberable whether it’s their third time attending a congress or their first. My role requires me to be involved with all the various sub committees we have, with focus on the marketing subcommittee as I act as their central liaison. Rest assured that the attendee's experience is being placed in very capable and committed hands to ensure there is something for all who attend no matter from which side of the globe you are coming from. This congress will contribute towards a legacy for the global community, and I am immensely proud to be a part of it!

Despite the global pandemic and uncertainty surrounding it, the organisation committee has not let that hinder our progress and I am in awe of all the work we have been able to do thus far. We have only another 2 years to go before we welcome you all with open arms to the United Kingdom and I for one cannot wait!

To keep up to date with the latest information make sure to follow our Instagram page @8wzyc_2023 or visit our website



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