The intersection of Homelawn Avenue and Hillside Avenue in Jamaica will forever be known as “Little Bangladesh Avenue.” The co-naming ceremony took place on International Mother Language Day.
Dozens of Bangladeshi businesses line Hillside Street, from the savory sweets at Dhaka Sweets to the authentic Bangladeshi cuisine spots Ghoroa and Sagar.
Councilman Jim Gennaro said that the Bangladeshi community is an example of people who live in peace and love their faith and families.
“Today is a great day for the country of Bangladesh and for all the citizens of the world,” said Gennaro. “They are a model community that I really embrace and want to thank in a very special way for what they do for New York City.”
With both American and Bangladeshi flags waving in the backdrop, the new street sign was revealed to a chorus of cheers.
“We’re gonna remember this day,” said Gennaro. “We’ll be able to tell our kids and our grandchildren and our grandkids.”
Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar, the first South Asian woman elected to statewide office, said the event hit close to home.
“In the 1970s, my parents immigrated and they settled on Hillside Avenue,” she said. “It’s special that I get to stand here today at the naming of Little Bangladesh Avenue. We have so many leaders in this community who are here today. I stand on your shoulders.
“The sky’s the limit for our community because I want to see a Bangladeshi-American as mayor,” Rajkumar added. “I want to see a Bangladeshi-American as senator and a Bangladeshi-American as president. We have just begun, and with all of the Bangladeshi youth in my office right now that we’re bringing up, it’s going to happen very soon.”