Wheels are in motion for a Sydney precinct to be officially renamed following a lengthy push from the community that has intensified in recent weeks.
Part of Harris Park, near Parramatta in Sydney’s west, is set to be permanently renamed Little India – the name its large Indian community has informally called it for years.
The change would signal a “monumental friendship” between Australia and India, president of the Little India Harris Park Business Association Sanjay Deshwal told news.com.au.
“The relationship has been growing so much that it’s now so much more than cricket and curries,” he said.
Mr Deshwal was confident the name change would bolster already thriving Indian businesses in the area.
These signs have been erected in Harris Park ahead of the arrival of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Picture: Supplied
“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.
Locals have been placing increased pressure on Parramatta City Council for the renaming to occur prior to the hotly anticipated arrival of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi this week.
While the plan has the support of council, the precinct was unlikely to have a new name in time for Mr Modi’s arrival.
“It is pretty well set in stone. If we were to put a percentage, we’re in the 90s, there’s no doubt about that,” Parramatta City councillor Paul Noack told SBS News.
“We’ve been talking about this for a long time, the wheels are in motion and it’s not going to stop.”
Residents of a bustling multicultural precinct in Sydney will soon have the area officially named what it has been called for years.
According to 2021 census data, almost half of Harris Park’s residents were born in India, with 600,000 Australians in total being born in the South Asian country.
What will soon be known as “Little India” has descended into full-blown “Modi mania” in anticipation of the leader’s arrival.
Co-founder of local Indian restaurant Chatkazz, Suraj Panchal, has even developed a new menu item inspired by the Indian Prime Minister, whose Australian visit will be his first in almost 10 years.
“We’ve been trying to pump up the momentum of everyone here,” Mr Panchal told the publication.
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“We’re so excited. If the Indian prime minister walks into Harris Park, it will be a huge boost for businesses here.”
Owner of a Harris Park jewellery business, Gurmeet Tuli, said local businesses would be “very lucky” for the area to be developed as an official cultural precinct.
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