Cheers for Kamala Harris from her ancestral Indian village

·2-min read

As Senator Kamala Harris looks set to become the first female, black and Asian vice president is US history, her ancestral village in southern India is erupting with joy.

Posters adorn Thulasenthirapuram village in the state of Tamil Nadu where, for the past three days, people have been making a beeline for the local temple to offer special prayers and well wishes.

In this village is the ancestral house of Kamala Harris's diplomat maternal grandfather P V Gopalan, who she says had a great influence on her when she was a child.

“Everyone in the village wants her to win. It will be such a big honor for us and the entire country itself if she gets to become Vice President,” Meenakshi Kumari, a school teacher told RFI.

Early this week, just as counting began in the US, there was a special prayer at the temple and Harris’s 2014 contribution for the temple's consecration was recalled.

The temple's inscription also has her name engraved besides those of many other donors, acknowledging her contribution of 60 euros or 5,000 Indian rupees.

The village, located about 320km south of Chennai, is where Harris’s maternal grandfather was born more than a century ago.

Interestingly, at the local government school many of the students have been following Harris’s campaign speeches and plans to use them to motivate the students.

Many were also hooked to their television sets following the Tamil news channels, which were reporting the bitterly contested US presidential elections.

“It has been a really tough election, but now it is almost certain that the Democratic Party is winning,” Selva Kumar, a villager told RFI.

Many across India are thrilled by the prospect of a woman of Indian origin occupying the second-highest political office in the US.

This was seen days after the announcement was made in mid-August, when banners and placards of Harris popped up across the southern city of Chennai, the hometown of Harris' mother, Shyamala Gopalan.

Harris was born to an Indian mother and a Jamaican father.

Besides stoking national pride, her candidature sparked speculation in the Indian media over what it could mean for US-India relations, which have significantly improved over the past couple of decades.

Although Harris has not visited this village, the people here are proud of her. Many view her as a future US president in the making.

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