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Farrokh Bulsara:


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Proud mother Jer with little Farrokh:


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Freddie Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara on September 5 in 1946 in Zanzibar, a tropical island off the east coast of Africa, as the first of two children of Jer and Bomi Bulsara (Freddie’s sister, Kashmira, was born in 1952). His father Bomi worked as a High Court cashier for the British Government as Zanzibar was a British protectorate at that time. He was well paid and the family had servants and a relatively high standard of living. In their home they would initiate Farrokh in their own Parsee culture, reading to him fables and legends like The Arabian Nights.


The Parsee community was then a far larger group than today with only two people in Zanzibar; the Parsis often went to gatherings on religious festivities and held parties in the Fire Temple. Farrokh’s Mother Jer recalls: We used to go to functions and parties and he would always sing … and he used to feel so proud to make everyone happy, even at that age.”


At the age of one, little Farrokh experienced the first taste of fame when his baby picture won the Local Photo of the year contest.


It was at the Fire Temple that Farrokh was ceremonially accepted into his faith, Zoroastrianism.


Zoroastrianism was founded by Prophet Zarathustra around 1500 BC and is one of the oldest religions still in existence. It had a big influence on pre-Christian Armenia, elements of Buddhism and Judaism.


Zoroastrianism was the favoured religion of the two great dynasties of ancient Persia. In the 7th century AD, one of the dynasties was conquered by Muslim Arabs who forced the Persians to convert to Islam. As a result, many Zoroastrian Persians fled to India; those who remained in Persia, modern-day Iran, were treated as religious minorities and survived centuries of persecution; those who went to India became to be known as Parsis or Parsees who have enjoyed tolerance and even admiration from their Hindu and Moslem countrymen for their education and influence in all aspects of society and economic development of the country. India was very tolerant of other religions and it is also there that the largest Parsee community in the world is to be found.


The Parsis are not Persians, nor longer speak any dialect of Persian, nor do they follow any Persian traditions other than their religious belief, namely Zoroastrianism. Therefore, they are culturally, nationally and linguistically Indian.

Today, only a relatively small Zoroastrian community of 2 to 3.5 million people worldwide exists.



Freddie Mercury’s stamp collection:


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Little Farrokh:


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Flat in Stone Town, Zanzibar:





Farrokh with sister Kashmira in Bulsar, India – their grandparent’s hometown:


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With his parents Jer and Bomi Bulsara in the early 1980s:


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The Bulsaras:


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Kashmira in 2000:





Jer Bulsara in 2000:





Bomi Bulsara (1908 – 2003):


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Roger, Kashmira and Brian (probably around the year 2000):


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