India's Republic Day, January 26, has been declared Indian-American Day in Virginia in recognition of the immigrant community's contribution in changing the American state's face.
"The face of Virginia is changing, and the immigrant community is a powerful force in urban and suburban Virginia," said Lt Governor Bill Bolling announcing the day following a state assembly resolution.
"I want to do everything I can to reach out to the immigrant community and involve them in our efforts to build a better Virginia," he said.
Bolling recalled that during his campaign for the post he had promised to do his best to develop closer ties with Indian community and involve them more in the state leadership.
"Over the past year, I have come to realise how much the Indian-American community contributes to the Commonwealth. In appreciation of their efforts and all they have done for the Commonwealth and its people, it is my pleasure to announce the creation of Indian-American Day in Virginia," he said
Bolling noted that the proposed day, Jan 26, coincides with "India's Republic Day, which celebrates the nation's independence and adoption of a constitution following centuries of British colonial rule."
Though exact estimates of the influential Indian American population in Virginia is not available, Asians, including of Indian origin, constitute only five per cent of Virginia's population of 7.65 million.