PM Modi, Australian counterpart rename Sydney suburb as 'Little India'
PM Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese

Sydney: A street here in Australia was on Tuesday officially renamed as “Little India” by Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese during a special community event here.

Harris Park is a hub in Western Sydney where the Indian community celebrates festivals and events such as Diwali and Australia Day.

“I had the opportunity to welcome the Prime Minister @AlboMP ji on the Indian soil in Ahmedabad. Today he joined me in unveiling the foundation stone of ‘Little India’ here: PM @narendramodi,” Prime Minister Modi tweeted.

“Harris Park is a thriving, dynamic, multicultural hub known for its blend of cultures and large Indian population,” the City of Parramatta said on its website.

“Sometimes referred to as Little India’, Wigram, Marion and Station Streets in Harris Park are home to more than 20 eateries, a variety of shops selling colourful saris, glittering arm bangles and Indian spices that will transport you straight to Mumbai, it said.

The announcement to declare Harris Park as ‘Little India’ was made by Australian Prime Minister Albanese as he welcomed Modi at the community event.

Modi thanked Albanese for this special gesture.

“Thank you my friend Anthony,” Modi said during the community event.

He said this is the recognition of the Indian community to Australian society.

“I thank the premier of New South Wales, the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of the City of Parramatta and Councillors for this special honour,” he said.

The first proposal for officially naming the area ‘Little India’ was made in 2015.

Earlier attempts to formally declare the suburb as ‘Little India’ was stalled after the Geographic Names Board told Parramatta Council to stop using the term in marketing material because it “creates confusion”.

Parramatta Council has said it is continuing discussions with the Geographic Names Board and is yet to receive a formal application to assign the name ‘Little India’.

Harris Park, a small suburb next to Parramatta is home to migrants from Lebanon, Italy, Greece, and China.

Members of the Indian community of a western Sydney suburb have also renewed calls to name their area as Little India’.

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In the last 10 to 15 years it has become the go-to spot for Indian migrants, local media reports said.

A 2021 census revealed that 45 per cent of the 5,043 Harris Park residents have Indian roots, the report said.

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