With Indian-origin Kamala Harris all set to be sworn in as the first woman Vice President of the US on Wednesday, people of two villages in Tamil Nadu, native to her maternal grandparents, are in a festive mood bursting crackers, distributing sweets and calendars with her photo embossed. The 10-km stretch between Mannargudi and Thulasenthirapuram-Painganadu villages in Tiruvarur district is lined with huge digital banners carrying the photo of Kamala Harris.Also Read - Tomato Prices Cross Rs 100 In Tamil Nadu, State Plans to Sell It At Minimal Prices In ‘Pannai Pasumai’ Shops
To celebrate the occasion, various business organisations distributed calendars with her photo to people, while politicians cutting across party lines offered sweets to passers-by. Womenfolk of almost all houses drew rangolis with congratulatory messages and firecrackers were burst at many places. Also Read - 5 Ideal Summer Destination Weddings in India
Special prayers were held at the local temple praying for her successful stint as US Vice President. Some villagers are just waiting to see her being sworn-in on television. Thulasenthirapuram-Painganadu villages are located very close to each other near Mannargudi in Tiruvarur district, a part of the fertile Cauvery delta region. Also Read - Man, Accused Of Misbehaving With Women, Hacked To Death By 4-Member Gang In Busy Street In Chennai
Harris’s grandfather PV Gopalan moved out of Thulasenthirapuram village as a young man and took up a job in the British government service. Her grandmother Rajam belonged to the nearby Painganadu village.
The 56-year-old Kamala Harris, born to a Jamaican father and Indian mother, scripted history by becoming the first daughter of immigrants ever elected to national office in the United States. People of these villages consider her as the daughter of their soil.
Though Harris’s ancestors left the village many decades ago, they had kept their connections with the temple at Thulasenthirapuram intact.
Gopalan and other family members have made donations for temple renovation during various periods. In 2014, a donation was made in the name of Kamala Harris, according to temple authorities.
The villagers are now hoping that she would make a visit to the village where her grandfather lived.