Indian village cheers for Kamala Harris swearing-in as US Vice President
THULASENDRAPURAM, India — People in a tiny Indian village surrounded by rice paddies flocked to a Hindu temple, burst crackers and uttered prayers Wednesday hours before its descendant, Kamala Harris, takes her oath of office to become the U.S. vice president.
Groups of women in bright saris and men wearing white dhotis thronged the temple with sweets and flowers, offering special prayers for Harris’ success.
“We are feeling very proud that an Indian is being elected as the vice president of America,” said Anukampa Madhavasimhan, a teacher.
The ceremony in Thulasendrapuram, where Harris’ maternal grandfather was born about 350 kilometers (215 miles) from the southern coastal city of Chennai, saw the idol of Hindu deity Ayyanar, a form of Lord Shiva, washed with milk and decked with flowers by the priest. Shortly after, the village reverberated with a boom of firecrackers as people held up posters of Harris and clapped their hands, the local Mercurynews writes.
Harris is set to make history as the first woman, first Black woman and first person of South Asian descent to hold the vice presidency. What makes her achievement special in this village is her Indian heritage.
Harris’ grandfather was born in Thulasendrapuram more than 100 years ago. Many decades later, he moved to Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu state. Harris’ late mother was also born in India, before moving to the U.S. to study at the University of California. She married a Jamaican man, and they named their daughter Kamala, a Sanskrit word for “lotus flower.”
In several speeches, Harris has often spoken about her roots and how she was guided by the values of her Indian-born grandfather and mother.
So when Joe Biden and Harris triumphed in the U.S. election last November, Thulasendrapuram became the center of attention in entire India. Local politicians flocked to the village and young children carrying placards with photos of Harris ran along the dusty roads.
Then and now, villagers set off firecrackers and distributed sweets and flowers as a religious offering.
Posters and banners of Harris from November still adorn walls in the village and many hope she ascends to the presidency in 2024. Biden has skirted questions about whether he will seek reelection or retire.
Photo Source : mercurynews.com