“Ridgewood is going to be a Little Nepal,” said Shree Parajuli, president of the Ridgewood Nepalese Society.
They have a ways to go. So far, aside from the Gyawalis' nail salon and a few delis, Ridgewood boasts few Nepalese businesses—particularly eateries—that might act as magnets. But the society's members make up in energy what they lack in sheer numbers. For the past two years, they have held an annual blood drive and have organized events like street cleanings. But their largest project by far is the plan to erect a temple and cultural center in Ridgewood.
Last month, the society took a major step in that direction, signing a contract to buy a vacant 5,000-square-foot plot for $399,000. The scheduled closing date for the property—at 1647 Hancock St., a block from Myrtle Avenue and across the street from P.S. 75—is Oct. 25.
Construction of the Durga Temple and Nepalese Cultural Center, which will have a pagoda-style roof, should start early next year, according to Mr. Parajuli. With the help of Deen Bandhu Pokhrel, a Nepalese spiritual leader who visited New York for a week last summer, the society raised $537,000. The aim is to raise an additional $1 million to complete its project, a goal brought closer with every new Nepalese arrival in Ridgewood.
“The community has definitely grown a lot,” said Luna Ranjit, executive director of Adhikaar, a 6-year-old Nepalese nonprofit offering English-language classes and other services. While the most recent census counted only 6,000 Nepalese in the entire city, community leaders on the ground in southern Queens reckon that number is actually a between 20,000 and 30,000. More than three-quarters of them, according to survey conducted late last year by Adhikaar, arrived in the past decade. Ridgewood alone now boasts close to 1,900 Nepalese, according to Nepalese Society estimates.
Churches and synagogues closing? Hardly mentioned unless a media-savvy person pushes really hard to stop it.
Jews & Christians = bad
Everyone else = good
People from exotic lands coming here and building a temple? The local media will cream their jeans covering this one! Is this really Crain's type of material?
When Ringling Bros features elephants, they get called out for animal cruelty. When an Indian temple uses them in a special ceremony, the NY Times puts a video of it on their front page as a wonderful example of diversity.
The hypocrisy is enough to make you gag.