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updated: 11/23/2011 4:53 AM

Schaumburg now Sister City to Hyderabad, India

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Schaumburg officials hope strong enthusiasm among village residents will make a new Sister Cities relationship with Hyderabad, India a success for decades to come.

The village board signed off on the agreement Tuesday night, but that's only the first step in making the relationship work through semi-regular cultural exchanges.

"I wouldn't be interested in pursuing this if we hadn't been approached by this high-tech community," Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson said. "We have a lot to gain, and they probably feel they have a lot to gain as well. We have a very vibrant South Asian community here in Schaumburg."

The village already has two long-running Sister Cities relationships with Schaumburg, Germany and Namerikawa, Japan.

But Larson doesn't believe this new relationship will take anything away from the others as it will be implemented by a separate subcommittee and likely a whole new pool of volunteers.

Since the idea was first brought forward, Larson has already come across both residents and workers in Schaumburg originally from Hyderabad.

About 19.8 percent of Schaumburg's current population is of South Asian descent, and the new Sister Cities relationship is hoped to reflect that diversity.

Hyderabad has a population of 8.9 million people and is located near the center of India's southern half.

Founded in 1591, it's now best known for its food, architecture, art and growing technology industry.

Members of Schaumburg's Health & Human Services Committee recommended pursuing the relationship last month, but only if every effort was put into making it work.

Larson said the relationship with Schaumburg, Germany has been consistently strong. The relationship with Namerikawa did lapse for a while, but has seen a resurgence under its new mayor.

The invitation to a Sister Cities relationship with Hyderabad came from that city's mayor after her visit to Schaumburg about a year ago.

Because Hyderabad already has relationships with two other American cities -- Riverside, Calif. and Indianapolis -- Schaumburg must still receive permission from them before proceeding further.

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