A tiny, lush-green Indian village surrounded by rice paddy fields is beaming with joy hours before its descendant, Kamala Harris, takes her oath of office and becomes the U.S. vice president
THULASENDRAPURAM, India — A tiny, lush-green Indian village surrounded by rice paddy fields was beaming with joy Wednesday hours before its descendant, Kamala Harris, takes her oath of office and becomes the U.S. vice president.
Harris is set to make history as the first woman, first woman of color and first person of South Asian descent to hold the vice presidency.
In her maternal grandfather’s hometown of Thulasendrapuram, about 350 kilometers (215 miles) from the southern coastal city of Chennai, people were jubilant and gearing up for celebrations.
“We are feeling very proud that an Indian is being elected as the vice president of America,” said Anukampa Madhavasimhan, 52, a teacher.
Harris’ grandfather moved to Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu state, decades ago. 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.”
“For the next four years, if she supports India, she will be the president,” said G Manikandan, 40, who has followed her politically and whose shop proudly displays a wall calendar with pictures of Biden and Harris.
Ahead of the inauguration, special prayers for her success are expected to be held at the local temple during which the idol of Hindu deity Ayyanar, a form of Lord Shiva, will be washed with milk and decked with flowers by the priest.
On Tuesday, an organization that promotes vegetarianism sent food packets for the village children as gifts to celebrate Harris’ success.