From the book of faces:
This follows on from the Sydney suburbs of Leichardt and Haberfield being renamed to “Little Italy”.
What a great idea and an utterly genius way to improve the social cohesion between various ethnicities living in the melting pot of Australia.
Let’s step through some versions of the possible logic behind this decision:
- Everyone is envious of Chinatown having a name other than “the southern part of Sussex Street”, so we should let everyone else name their place accordingly, or
- We love multiculturalism so much, although we can’t really explain what it means but it feels like it’s a warm and lovely version of that 1971 advert for Coca Cola, or
- There’s a majority of a particular ethnic group in my constituency and this locks their vote in for me next election.
As with all political decisions, the implications of this are only considered when they directly impact the next election cycle.
More curious minds might ask whether naming areas of a city after the majority ethnic groups residing there is a sound long term strategy?
Where might this lead?
Slippery slope fallacies are to be avoided but, if we now have three areas named in such a way, there’s obviously some level of trend to be observed.
It’s not hard to imagine a situation in the near future where tensions are inflamed because of a perception that this is “our area” and a particular ethnicity isn’t welcome.
It probably happens already to a certain extent but now such an attitude has a perception of legitimacy through Council decree.
Where might this end? Here’s some suggestions for future naming changes:
Lakemba: Little Lebanon
Glebe: Big Lesbos
Mascot: Little Guangzhou
S’nives: Little Jo’burg
Point Piper: Little Taxation
Paramatta Road: Little Hope And Maintenance
Gosford: Little Dentistry
Mosman: Little Empathy On Sea
Canberra: Little Accountability
Bondi: The Irish and the Jewish communities will have to fight it out for naming rights. The clever money is betting Mossad will beat Continuity Backpackers by a cricket score.
As fun as this is, there’s a couple of versions of the future that could be reasonably envisioned. They are both probably unrealistic, but I suspect only one was ever in the minds of the people behind this push to rename suburbs: