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Deepavali Arrives Early in Kamala Harris’ Ancestral Village in Tamil Nadu

The US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ victory on Saturday led to a massive celebration in her ancestral village Thulasendrapuram in Tamil Nadu.


Villagers burst crackers and drew rangolis to commemorate her historic win. With people viewing this as an “early arrival of Deepavali”, many of them distributed sweets on Sunday.

According to ANI, many of the rangolis had captions such as ‘pride of our village’ and ‘Vannakam America’.

Harris’s maternal grandfather PV Gopalan, a former Indian diplomat was born in the village. The Sri Dharma Sastha Temple at the village is said to house Harris’s family deity. According to a report by The Times of India, the temple has a plaque with Harris’ name engraved on it.

Speaking to Silverscreen India, the priest of the Sri Dharma Sastha Temple, SV Ramanan said: “There is a feeling of elevation and euphoria here. This is the general mood of the village.”

Villagers had been conducting special ceremonial worships for days before the election, praying for her victory. After the results were announced, they conducted a grand pooja at the temple and distributed food.

Banners and posters of Harris had been put up in the village since it was announced that she was running for the post of vice president.

“Ever since the village found out about her (Kamala Harris) connection, they have been inquisitive and curious about the elections,” added Ramanan.


Harris’ win makes her the first female, Black, Indian-American and Asian woman to become the vice president of the US. Born to an Indian mother and a Jamaican father, Harris recalled her mother in her victory speech who had migrated to the US when she was 19 years old.

“When my mother came here from India at the age of 19, she maybe didn’t quite imagine this moment. But she believed so deeply in an America where a moment like this is possible,” she said.

Harris’ grandmother hails from a village called Painganadu, close to Thulasendrapuram. Both the villages had been praying for Harris’ victory and have been celebrating since last night.