Sydney suburb to be renamed for its Indian influences
A Sydney suburb is set to be renamed in recognition of the South Asian migrants who have made it their own.
A portion of a Sydney suburb is to be officially renamed Little India to reflect the enormous cultural and demographic features of the area and in the hope it will attract more visitors to the area.
Harris Park, adjoining Parramatta in Sydney’s west, is home to around 6,000 people, of which almost half of the suburb’s population is Indian-born. A further 6 per cent of residents are of Nepalese descent.
It is a suburb where an enormous 71 per cent of households are renters and more than half of residents are aged between 20 and 40.
Although no official announcement has been made, SBS reported that at least three streets in Harris Park will be officially renamed as Little India.
Parramatta City councillor Paul Noack told media he expects it to be ratified by the end of this year.
The move towards the name change had gathered steam in recent weeks as the imminent arrival of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Australia finally eventuated, his first visit in almost 10 years.
Speculation has been mounting that Mr Modi would visit Harris Park, where around 90 per cent of local businesses are Indian-owned.
The Federal Government last year granted $3.5 million for the development of Little India.
Mr Sanjay Deshwal, President, Little India Harris Park Business Association, said it took many years to realise the dream of Little India.
“When tourists come, they won’t just want to see the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, they will want to make sure they come to Little India and spend a day,” he said.
“The Australian government has assured us of their commitment towards making migration for Indians smoother and ensuring a good life in Australian as they realise the great potential of young Indians settling in Australia,” Mr Deshwal said.
“Australia extends a great opportunity and scope to flourish for Indian students and skilled personnel.”
In a further show of the Indian influence in the area, Councillor Sameer Pandey was on Monday night (22 May) elected as the new Lord Mayor, making history as the first person of Indian origin to hold this position.
Sydney’s CBD is already home to Chinatown, but this is not an officially gazetted designation.