To celebrate the growing Southeast Asian and Indo-Caribbean population in Queens, two thoroughfares were proposed for street co-namings for the Gurdwara and Punjab populations in the borough by Councilwoman Adrienne Adams (D-Jamaica).
Of the five boroughs Queens has the largest Southeast Asian population, according to the American Community Survey.
On Christmas Eve, Adams announced that the co-namings of Gurdwara Street and Punjab Way in Richmond Hill were both poised for passage, according to her office.
Richmond Hill is home to the first gurdwara in the Metro New York area, according to unreachedny.com. Young Punjabi professionals started coming to this area in the 1960s to 1970s, then again since the mid-1980s after an assassination attempt on a former prime minister.
Indo-Caribbean started coming to the U.S. since 1965 after the British government put tighter restrictions on migration in the United Kingdom in 1962, according to unreachedny.com.
There are at least eight gurdwaras, or Sikh places of worship, in Queens, according to Sikhsofny.org.
“We have a beautiful multicultural mosaic not only in my District but the City as a whole and believe that it should be celebrated,” said Adams. “It is important that diverse communities see themselves and their varying cultures represented in the landscape. The historic co-naming of Gurdwara Street and Punjab Avenue is long-overdue recognition for the contributions of the Sikh and Punjabi communities both locally and throughout the City.”
Those from the Punjabi and Sikh communities can be found working in construction, as cab drivers, in hospitals, in government and throughout the fabric of this city, according to Annetta Seecharran, Executive Director, Chhaya CDC.
“We are excited to see that our community is finally being represented for its contributions,” said Seecharran.
101st Avenue between 111th Street and 123rd Street is slated to become “Punjab Way” after the region in India where Sikhism originated, according to Adams’ office. In addition, 97th Avenue between Lefferts Boulevard and 117th Street is slated to become “Gurdwara Street.”
“Sikhs are part of the wonderful diversity that makes Queens a vibrant mix of global influences,” said Councilman Barry Grodenchik (D-Oakland Gardens). “Gurdwara Street and Punjab Way honor the contributions of this great community that enriches New York City.”
A date for the street co-namings was not announced.