Harris's ancestral village celebrates U.S. election win

In the small Indian village of Thulasendrapuram they set off firecrackers and offered prayers of gratitude on Sunday (Nov 8) after Kamala Harris' U.S. election victory.

This is the new U.S. vice president's ancestral village and more than 8,000 miles from Washington D.C. residents like Raj Shivam are sharing in her victory.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) VILLAGE RESIDENT RAJ SHIVAM, SAYING:

"The thing we take we do take immense pride in her victory and what she has or whom she has become today."

Harris, born to an Indian mother and a Jamaican father, both of whom immigrated to the United States to study, made history by becoming first Asian American to hold the second highest office in the US.

She is also the first woman and the first Black American to be elected vice-president.

Priests at the temple in Thulasendrapuram village bathed the local deity in milk and prayed.

Harris visited the village when she was five, and has often recalled walks with her maternal grandfather on the beaches of the southern city of Chennai during annual trips from the U.S.

She's been in close touch with her family in India including her uncle Gopalan Balachandran.

"I didn't need them to tell me anything, I knew she was going to win."

He says he plans to attend her swearing in ceremony in January.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Harris's win was historic late on Saturday (Nov 7).

Video Transcript

[INTERPOSING VOICES]

- In the small Indian village of Thulasendrapuram they set off firecrackers and offered prayers of gratitude on Sunday after Kamala Harris's US election victory. This is the new US vice president's ancestral village, and, more than 8,000 miles from Washington DC, residents like Raj Shivam are sharing in her victory.

RAJ SHIVAM: We do take immense pride in her victory and what she has and whom she has become today.

- Harris, born to an Indian mother and a Jamaican father both of whom immigrated to the United States to study, made history by becoming the first Asian-American to hold the second highest office in the US. She's also the first woman and the first Black American to be elected vice president.

Priests at the temple in Thulasendrapuram village bathed the local deity in milk and prayed. Harris visited the village when she was 5, and has often recalled walks with her maternal grandfather on the beaches of the southern city of Chennai during annual trips from the US. She's been in close touch with her family in India, including her uncle, Gopalan Balachandran.

GOPALAN BALACHANDRAN: I didn't need them to tell me anything. I knew she was going to win.

- He says he plans to attend her swearing in ceremony in January. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Harris's win was historic late on Saturday.