Cupertino adds Bhubaneswar to its list of sister cities


The city of Cupertino, California in the United States, is welcoming Bhubaneswar, to the family, after the city council unanimously voted Aug. 16 to take on another sister city relationship.

The cities will spend the coming year working to foster a relationship and prepare for visits and cultural exchange. The 2,000-year-old Indian city shares a lot of similarities with Cupertino, as it has a rich melting pot culture and a strong high-tech sector in its region, according to Mahesh Pakala, co-president of the newly formed Bhubaneswar Sister City Initiative.

“Bhubaneswar is on its way to becoming a technology hub in eastern India,” he said at the city council meeting.

The sister city plan has been in the works for a while. Over the past few years, community members in Cupertino and Bhubaneswar have visited one another, with Mayor Gilbert Wong being one of the most recent visitors in February. Wong remarked that the city has a small tech center, many universities and numerous temples and businesses.

The city currently has strong sister city relationships with Toyokawa, Japan and Hsinchu, Taiwan. Those sister city programs see annual exchanges and visits from residents of their respective cities.

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Committees in both cities are made up of volunteers drawn from all sectors of the city. City manager David Knapp reminded the public and council that the sister city relationship will thrive if it is well maintained by community members in both cities. The city used to have a relationship with its namesake city of Copertino, Italy. However, with little activity that relationship has been dormant for years.

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