Now a street named Punjab Avenue in New York

Its a proud moment for every Punjabi in the world as a street in New York's Queens has been named Punjab Avenue to honour the thriving Punjabi community living here

Oct 30, 2020
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Its a proud moment for every Punjabi in the world as a street in New York's Queens has been named Punjab Avenue to honour the thriving Punjabi community living here. The busy 101 Avenue, from 111 Street to 123 Street, has been co-named as Punjab Avenue. The entire stretch has many businesses run by Punjabis.

The street was named Punjab Avenue as a part of a celebration commemorating the contributions made to Queens by its thriving South Asian community, according to amny.com.

The Queens community came together on Oct 23 to witness the installation of the new local landmark as the intersection of 101st Avenue and Lefferts Boulevard in Richmond Hill as it was officially given a new name, according to media reports.

Council member Adrienne Adams played a key role in renaming the street along with committee members from the Sikh Cultural Society, Baba Makhan Singh Lobana Sikh Centre.

Speaking at the event, Adams said: “Today is a celebration of our great multicultural mosaic. It is so important that diverse communities like ours see themselves and their cultures represented in the historical landscape and we see the Punjabi community in every corner of Richmond Hill and our city as a whole.” 

This area also has the two largest gurudwaras. According to reports, these gurudwaras fed over 10,000 people during the pandemic. They even provided free meals to Americans living in self-isolation.

Adams praised the community and said they are "been underserved, not really recognized… Invisible, which is a travesty, knowing everything that all of our community brings to this wonderful district."

“Today is a celebration meant to unite. We are one district. We are one people. And we must have unity in our entire community,” Adams said.

Sikh Cultural Society former President Harpreet Singh Toor said: “One of the reasons why Punjab Avenue was picked up as a street name was because we as a Punjabi represent a diversity back home in Punjab and we represent diversity right here in Richmond Hill,” said Toor.

“This opportunity, this dream we always carried with us to be part of the fabric of this amazing city,” he said.  

Jenifer Rajkumar, the Democratic nominee for state Assembly District 38, was also present at the occasion, which was hailed by many Indian Americans who took to Twitter and other social media platforms to express their joy and to share the proud moment.

“I am a proud American, and most of all I am a proud Punjabi American. I stand before you today as the first Punjabi soon-to-be elected to the New York State Assembly.

“I cannot think of a better way to celebrate that than coming here and celebrating the opening of Punjab Avenue,” she said.