The Punjabi community in Queens area of New York came together last week to celebrate the christening of a street in its honour. The South-asian community's contributions were marked by co-naming the stretch of 101st Avenue between 111th and 123rd streets as Punjab Avenue.
The area that was casually known as 'Little Punjab' and has been now officially named as Punjab Avenue is known for its culture pertaining to the Punjabis including food, cuisine and clothing.
City Council Member Adrienne Adams, who worked hard to make the renaming a reality, was quoted in a news report saying, “Punjabis and South Asians deserve to be acknowledged, since they have helped build and shape Richmond Hill for 50 years.”
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
Members of the Punjabi community welcomed the decision and expressed their happiness on social media and also joined the renaming ceremony.
— Kanwal Singh (@KanwalSinghJK) October 26, 2020
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
Adams said that the community has some of the hardest working people who have been living and contributing to the area's culture for a very long time and hence their recongnising their value was a much needed step.
Harpreet Singh Toor, former president of the Sikh Cultural Society also expressed his happiness and said that the decision means a lot and it feels really respectful to be recongised by the city in such a manner.
Jenifer Rajkumar, the Democratic nominee for State Assembly District 38 was also present at the event and said she was “filled with pride.”
My speech today at the historic naming of PUNJAB AVENUE here in Richmond Hill. pic.twitter.com/NZwJTqmTXB
— Jenifer Rajkumar (@JeniferRajkumar) October 23, 2020
Members from the community said the co-naming of the street makes them feel like they belong to the neighbourhood and are a huge part of it in every way.
Thy city authorities said the co-naming is the first step towards recognizing the contribution of the Punjabi community. At the end of November, 97th Avenue from Lefferts Boulevard to 117th Street will be co-named Gurdwara Street, as a mark of respect for the temples in the area.