As Kamala Harris made history on Wednesday when she was sworn in as the first female, Black and South Asian American vice president of the United States, a tiny village in India celebrated her ascension in politics with firecrackers and prayers.
Harris, 56, is a daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants.
Her maternal grandfather was born in the village of Thulasendrapuram, about 215 miles from Chennai in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu more than 100 years ago, the Associated Press reported.
Groups of women in bright saris and men wearing white dhoti pants — a type of sarong worn by men in India — watched Harris’ inauguration live in Thulasendrapuram, according to the AP. The villagers chanted “Long live Kamala Harris” while holding portraits of her and blasted off fireworks the moment she took the oath, the AP reported.
Harris’ late mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, was also born in India before she moved to the U.S. to study, where she received a Ph.D in nutrition and endocrinology from the University of California at Berkeley, and met Harris’ father, Donald Harris. On numerous occasions, Harris has credited her mother with being a “force of nature and the greatest source of inspiration in my life.”
As an alumna of Howard University and member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, Harris is also the first vice president to have graduated from a historically Black college and to be in a historically Black Greek letter organization.
It takes a village to celebrate Kamala Harris
Preparing the fireworks
People light firecrackers to celebrate the inauguration
Making traditional snacks
A boy watches Kamala Harris’ inaugural ceremony
Villagers offer prayers at a Hindu temple
Celebrations begin after she’s sworn in as the U.S. vice president