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Tamil Nadu and Jamaica celebrate Harris victory

Photograph: News 18

There have been celebrations in both Tamil Nadu and Jamaica today, as it was announced that Kamala Harris has become the first Black and Tamil woman to be elected the Vice President of the United States.

In Thulasendrapuram, a village in the Tiruvarur district of Tamil Nadu, firecrackers were lit and rangoli patterns were drawn in celebration.

"We are celebrating this as a woman whose roots are in our village is getting elected as the Vice President of America,” local resident Malar Vendhan told the News Minute. “It is a matter of immense pride. Not only for Tamilians in Tamil Nadu, but this victory is a matter of pride for all Tamilians across the world.”

"I'm extremely glad that Kamala Harris is the first woman to be elected as the Vice President of US,” tweeted Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister this morning. “She has made Tamil Nadu proud with this astounding victory.”

Tamil Nadu Food Minister R Kamaraj visited the village on Sunday, where he prayed at a local temple and said the election of Harris is a “proud moment”. "A woman hailing from this small village now holds one of highest positions in the US,” said Kamaraj.


"Especially pleased that American people has chosen a woman with Tamil heritage as their next Vice-President in this historic election," added DMK leader M K Stalin. “Let her actions be a matter of pride not just for Thulasenthirapuram, but all Tamils,” said Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) leader T T V Dhinakaran.

''Congratulations Kamala Harris, pride of our village,'' read a rangoli pattern drawn by local Tamil women. ''Vanakkam America,” it added. 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also added his congratulations to Harris, adding that he is “confident that the vibrant India-US ties will get even stronger with [her] support and leadership.”

Meanwhile, celebrations also took place in Jamaica, where Harris can also trace her roots.

"I extend congratulations to the President-elect and Vice President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. America will have its first female Vice President in the person of Kamala Harris, and we are proud that she bears Jamaican heritage," tweeted Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

"Her ascension to this role is a monumental accomplishment for women all over the world and I salute her. We look forward to working with the new administration.”

Harris was born in Oakland to two immigrant parents. Her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, is a Tamil woman who grew up in Chennai, whilst her father Donald grew up in Jamaica. Delivering her victory speech last night Harris paid tribute to her mother Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who she called “the woman most responsible for my presence here today”.

“When she came here from India at the age of 19, maybe she didn’t quite imagine this moment,” said Harris. “But she believed so deeply in America where a moment like this is possible, and so I am thinking about her and about the generations of women, Black women, Asian, white, Latina, Native American women — who throughout our nation’s history have paved the way for this moment — women who fought and sacrificed so much for equality and liberty and justice for all.”

Read more:

Kamala Harris - the first Black and Tamil woman to become Vice President of the USA

Kamala Harris becomes first Black and Tamil woman to run on major US ticket

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