A tribute to Nepali Mountaineer, Tenzing Norgay Sherpa in Queens, New York
On the 70th anniversary of the first summit of Mount Everest, New York’s Queens Street has officially been named “Tenzing Norgay Sherpa Way” after the veteran Nepali mountaineer, Tenzing Norgay Sherpa.” The 75th street, between Broadway Avenue and Woodside in the Queens Boro, is now known as Tenzing Norgay Sherpa Way.
Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Sir Edmund Hillary were the first humans to reach the world’s highest point, Mount Everest (29,031.7 ft), on 29 May 1953. Time magazine honored Norgay as one of the 20th century’s 100 most influential people.
Proud Nepali Moment
Over forty associations have come together in the co-naming ceremony program for The Platinum Jubilee International Everest Day.
Prior to the co-naming ceremony, a light vigil was organized at the Sherpa Kyidug monastery in Elmhurst, Queens, New York City, to honor those who died on the mountain. Further, the program also exhibited a 15-minute documentary on a global issue: climate change.
Then, from 11 am to 12 am, City Council Member Shekhar Krishnan led the Tenzing Norgay Sherpa Way Street Co-Naming ceremony. The event is a synergetic effort that became possible with the joint hands of the Sherpa Association in America, the United States Nepal Climbers Association, and United Sherpa Association (USA), Inc.
Further, the 2023 Everest Day celebration was concluded with the Nepalese original traditional and cultural dances.
Celebration Of Norgay’s Determination Of Teamwork and Friendship
In this historic moment, Curtis S. Chin, the former U.S. Ambassador to the Asian Development Bank, spoke that the co-naming ceremony recognizes the legacy of a legendary mountaineer all over the world. But more than that, the ceremony is a tribute to the Nepali-Sherpa community across the United States. He further added, In this growing self-absorbed world, the naming of Tenzing Norgay Sherpa Way is seen as an important tribute to Norgay’s anchor on teamwork and perseverance.
Norgay prominently stated, ‘No man on a mountain or elsewhere gets more out of anything than he puts into it… Be great, make others great.’
Prolonged Endeavour To Co-name “Tenzing Norgay Sherpa Way”
In May 2017, Sherpa Kyidug pitched the proposal to co-name 75th Street, reflecting the Nepaliness to then Newyork 25th District City Council member Daniel Dromm (In office: January 1, 2010 – December 31, 2021, Succeeded by Shekar Krishnan).
Initially, the project was designed to rename the entire street, which includes 30th Avenue, to Woodside, between two different districts.
In March 2019, then-22nd district New York City Council member, Costa Constantinides, approved to co-name of the corner of 31st Avenue and 75th Street “Mount Everest Way.”
Subsequently, Sherpa Kyidug pitched another proposal to Dromm regarding co-naming 75th Street from Roosevelt Avenue to Woodside Avenue “TN Sherpa Way.”. However, the second proposal did not pass easily as Tenzing Norgay Sherpa wasn’t an American national nor made significant contributions to the United States.
After Urgen Sherpa became the Community Board, it made little easier to gain knowledge regarding street naming.
In 2021, the “Tenzing Norgay Sherpa Way” proposal was presented for the third time with allocated information about Norgay’s contributions to the United States. Thereafter, the proposal got passed by Daniel Dromm in 2021.
After six years of hardship, 75th Street ultimately co-named Tenzing Norgay Sherpa Way, A huge appreciation to the Nepali community in New York.
The Tiger of the Snow: Tenzing Norgay Sherpa
The original date of Norgay’s birth is unknown; the mountaineer knew it was in late May 1914. After the historic ascent of Everest, Norgay celebrated his birthday on 29th May thereafter.
Again, there are diverged reports on Norgay’s early life. Norgay, in his autography, penned that he was born and raised in Tengboche, Khumbu, of Nepal. But his son’s interview in 1985 with All India Radio has created conflicting accounts. He said his dad came from Tibet and moved to Khumbu, Nepal, to work for a Sherpa family.
Later, Norgay, at 19, permanently settled in the Sherpa community of Darjeeling in India, where he started as a high-altitude Sherpa porter for the British Mount Everest Expedition.
In 1953, Tenzing Norgay was John Hunt’s expedition member, a porter, and a sherpa, where he became a companion for the New Zealander Mountaineer Edmund Hillary. The duo eventually wrote history, pioneering the mighty Everest on 29th May.