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Politics Banners and prayers for Kamala Harris in her ancestral Indian village

10:05  27 october  2020
10:05  27 october  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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With the nomination of Harris as the running mate of Joe Biden in the upcoming US Presidential elections, the support of the locals was palpable in her ancestral village in India . The village is one of the native places of Harris ' mother, where she spent a significant amount of time during her childhood.

Painaganadu village residents in Mannargudi region of India 's southern Tamil Nadu state put up banners of Kamala Harris talking about her achievements, her roots in the village and wishing her the best for the upcoming polls.

By Sudarshan Varadhan

Kamala Harris riding a motorcycle down a road: A man drives past a banner of U.S. Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris at the entrance to the village of Thulasendrapuram © Reuters/STAFF A man drives past a banner of U.S. Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris at the entrance to the village of Thulasendrapuram

THULASENDRAPURAM, India (Reuters) - A big banner of U.S. vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris welcomes visitors to Thulasendrapuram, a lush, green south Indian village that is praying for her Democratic Party's victory in the Nov. 3 presidential election.

The village, located about 320 km (200 miles) south of the city of Chennai, is where Harris's maternal grandfather was born more than a century ago.

Its residents beam with pride at what the first U.S. senator of South Asian descent has already achieved, and many are rooting for an election result that will make her the second-most powerful person in the world's richest country.

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Villagers in Painganadu, Harris ' ancestral village , put up banners of Harris . Harris ' mother, who migrated to the United States to study, traces her Further south, in Tamil Nadu's Rameswaram town, priests held special rituals and prayed for Harris ' victory. " Kamala Harris - she is of Indian descent

Painaganadu village residents in Mannargudi region of India 's southern Tamil Nadu state put up banners of Kamala Harris talking about her achievements, her roots in the village and wishing her the best for the upcoming polls.

"From Thulasendrapuram to America", declares one of the nearly dozen banners from where Harris smiles out in the village.

"We, the people of Thulasendrapuram, wish for the electoral success of American vice president nominee Kamala Harris, whose ancestors were a native of Thulasendrapuram."

Harris's grandfather P.V. Gopalan and his family migrated to Chennai nearly 90 years ago, where he retired as a high-ranking government official.

Harris, who was born to an Indian mother and a Jamaican father who both immigrated to the United States to study, visited Thulasendrapuram when she was just five and has repeatedly recalled her formative walks with her grandfather on the beaches of Chennai.

Gopalan's childhood home in Thulasendrapuram does not exist anymore, villagers say, and cows and goats were seen grazing on empty plots of land where the house he grew up in once stood.

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Painaganadu village residents in Mannargudi region of India 's southern Tamil Nadu state put up banners of Kamala Harris talking about her achievements, her roots in the village and wishing her the best for the upcoming polls.

Villagers in Painganadu, Harris ' ancestral village , put up banners of Harris . Harris ' mother, who migrated to the United States to study, traces her Further south, in Tamil Nadu's Rameswaram town, priests held special rituals and prayed for Harris ' victory. " Kamala Harris - she is of Indian descent

The banners, with messages written in Tamil, were put up on the directions of M. Gurunathan, the head of Thulasendrapuram's village committee that oversees its more than 200 mostly farming families.

One banner at the village bus stop has Harris smiling with the White House in the background.

"We are really hoping she wins," said Gurunathan, who is planning to hold a special prayer at the local temple on election day. "The village has received global fame because of her. She is our pride."

Locals of neighbouring areas are also in touch with the temple to conduct an "abhishekam" - which sometimes involves pouring milk over the idol of a Hindu god - to pray for Harris's victory.

Harris's name is seen sculpted into a stone that lists public donations made to the temple, along with that of her grandfather who had donated decades ago. Her aunt offered 5,000 rupees ($67) in her name after she was appointed the attorney general of California, the temple's caretaker, S.V. Ramanan, said.

"But I think she is not proud of her Hindu roots, she identifies herself as a Christian," Ramanan said.

"Though she has reconnected with her Indian connection on the campaign trail, she has mostly played up her image as an American."

Harris has been widely described as a church-goer and a person of Christian faith, and was raised in a household that was tolerant of both Hindu and Christian religious practices. The democratic vice-president nominee has previously acknowledged https://reut.rs/3mvi8jN her Indian roots.

(Reporting by Sudarshan Varadhan; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

Indian village where Kamala Harris's grandfather born holds prayer ceremony for her .
The Indian village where the maternal grandfather of Democratic presidential nominee Kamala Harris was born held a prayer ceremony Tuesday in support of an election win for Harris and presidential nominee Joe Biden. According to The New York Times, dozens of people gathered in a Hindu temple in Thulasendrapuram as men wearing white dhotis, a sarong-like wrap, and women in bright saris draped Hindu idols with flowers and chanted hymns."She isAccording to The New York Times, dozens of people gathered in a Hindu temple in Thulasendrapuram as men wearing white dhotis, a sarong-like wrap, and women in bright saris draped Hindu idols with flowers and chanted hymns.

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