(Add Harris’ quote about her mother, Sonia Gandhi’s invitation)
By Sudarshan Varadhan
CHENNAI, India, November 8 (Reuters) – Indians detonated firecrackers on Sunday and offered prayers of gratitude for the election of Kamala Harris as the next US vice president, saying it was a moment of pride for Indo-Americans.
Harris, born to an Indian mother and Jamaican father, both immigrated to the United States to study, made history by becoming the first woman to win the election for the post. his ancestral village in southern India, about 14,000 km (8,700 miles) from Washington DC, children clung to posters of Harris as people gathered at a Hindu temple to thank the gods for the victory that she and President-elect Joe Biden won.
The priests of the temple in the village of Thulasendrapuram bathed the local deity in milk and prayed. Women drew murals in the courtyard and musicians played traditional music.
“A woman from this small village now holds one of the highest positions in the United States. It’s a moment of pride, ”said R Kamaraj, Minister of the South Tamil Nadu State Government, NS, who joined in the celebrations.
Harris identifies as a black American, but she also spoke about her Indian heritage during the campaign. In her victory speech on Saturday night, Harris said her late mother Shyamala Gopalan was the “woman most responsible for my presence here.”
Sonia Gandhi, the Italian-born leader of the main opposition congress party, described Harris as a girl from India in a letter to the vice-president-elect, inviting her to visit.
“We hope that we will soon have the opportunity to welcome you to India, where you will be warmly greeted not only as a much admired leader of a great democracy, but also as a beloved daughter.”
Harris, who visited his village when he was 5, often recalled walks with his maternal grandfather on the beaches of the southern city of Chennai on annual trips from the United States.
Those conversations with her grandfather, who was among the millions who joined India’s independence movement, had a profound impact, Harris said in a 2018 speech.
She has been in close contact with her family in India and her uncle said he was planning to attend the inauguration in January.
“It’s great (the victory). It was necessary and it was good. And the next four years will be good,” said G. Balachandran, a leading defense specialist, at his home in New Delhi, partner. from Reuters, to New Delhi, where millions of people around the world, he watched every twist and twist of the election.
“I knew she was going to win. So I wasn’t nervous except that I wanted the end results to come in so I could go to sleep,” he said.
In Mumbai, people shot fireworks and a group of artists painted a portrait of Biden and Harris.
Dozens of Indians and Americans of Indian descent took to social media to congratulate Harris, including actors Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Mindy Kaling.
Kaling tweeted pictures of Harris and wrote “Cry and hold my daughter, ‘look baby she looks like us’.”