In a significant move to honour the Punjabi community, a street in Queens area of New York has been co-named as Punjab Avenue. 101 Avenue, which stretches from 111 Street to 123 Street and is said to be a hub of businesses run by Punjabis, was inaugurated last week on Friday (October 23.
The Richmond Hill area in Queens area was earlier known as ‘Little Punjab’, owing to the rich Punjabi culture — there are two largest Sikh shrines (Gurudwaras situated between Lefferts Boulevard and 113 Street. Besides, the entire stretch has businesses run by Punjabis.
The street was inaugurated by Council member Adrienne Adams who had moved the motion in the New York City Council for the renaming of the Avenue, keeping in view the strong presence of the Punjabi community in the area, according to a report in ANI.
Richmond hill, a commercial and residential neighbourhood located in New York, USA has been officially given the name Punjab [email protected] pic.twitter.com/XSVu3b2tDG
— Kanwal Singh (@KanwalSinghJK October 26, 2020
“It is important that we continue to celebrate the multicultural mosaic of our city!” she said in a tweet.
Thank you to everyone that joined today’s celebration to unveil Punjab Avenue. It is important that we continue to celebrate the multicultural mosaic of our city! pic.twitter.com/ceyGHztuoM
— Adrienne Adams (@AdrienneEAdams October 23, 2020
Adrienne Adams had told CBS New York (as quoted by ANI, “This community has been underserved, not really recognized… Invisible, which is a travesty, knowing everything that all of our community brings to this wonderful district.”
Adams further said that the Punjabi community deserved to be acknowledged as they have helped to build Richmond Hill.
Meet me on Punjab Ave in Richmond Hill. The newest street co-naming in Queens. It'll be on 101 Ave between 111th st and 123rd st aka Little Punjab. pic.twitter.com/zUtl9wTgev
— Jagga Singh (@JaggaS1ngh October 23, 2020
“Some of the hardest working people are of the South Asian community… Folks who have been here for a very long time,” Adams said further as quoted by CBS New York.
Meanwhile, Jenifer Rajkumar, the Democratic nominee for State Assembly District 38, who addressed the inaugural event, said that she was “standing proud”.
My speech today at the historic naming of PUNJAB AVENUE here in Richmond Hill. pic.twitter.com/NZwJTqmTXB
— Jenifer Rajkumar (@JeniferRajkumar October 23, 2020
Also, ANI quoted Harpreet Singh Toor, former president of the Sikh Cultural Society, as saying, “Just because we look different, it doesn’t mean that we are not humans or we are lesser Americans.”
Rajwinder Kaur, a member of the Community Education Council, District 28, said, “It means a lot. We really feel respectful that we are recognised,” ANI reported.
(With inputs from ANI