Young retailers fight to keep culture alive as Vancouver’s Punjabi market celebrates 50 years


Content of the article

The Punjab market turns 50 on May 31 and a group of young people are working to maintain their South Asian culture, but in some ways, it is no longer your uncle’s little India.

On May 31, 1970, Sucha Singh Claire opened the first of dozens of South Asian stores that would eventually transform the indefinable commercial strip on Main Street between 48 and 51 avenues in Vancouver’s “Little India” neighborhood.

“It was an exciting field, very popular and in the 1980s. There was a real boom,” said Claire, 82, who owned and operated Shan Sharees and Drapery until 1995, when he took over. his retirement. “It was a very good deal. “

Vancouver, BC: MAY 27, 2020 - Sucha Singh Claire stands at Main Street and 50th Avenue in Vancouver, BC Punjabi Market on Wednesday May 27, 2020. Claire opened a fabric store there in May 1970. (Photo by Jason Payne / PNG) (For the story of Sue Lazaruk) ORG XMIT: punjabimarket1 [PNG Merlin Archive]
Sucha Singh Claire stands at Main Street and 50th Avenue in Vancouver, where he opened a fabric store in May 1970. Jason Payne/PNG

Claire was looking forward to celebrating the anniversary, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the street party has been postponed until it is safe to meet in groups, said Gulzar Nanda, president of Punjabi Regeneration Collective, a group of professionals, artists and entrepreneurs who want to revitalize the market.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here