In a historic win that came days after the election day, Kamala Harris is all set to become the first woman Vice President of the United States of America, joining Joe Biden, the President-Elect. There are many firsts to Harris's win; she will be the first woman of colour to be VP, the child of a Jamaican father and an Indian mother, the first Black woman as well as one of Indian-American descent.
"While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last—because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities," she said in her dynamic address after the win. "I'm grateful to the woman most responsible for my presence here today, my mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris. When she came here from India at the age of 19, she maybe didn't imagine this moment. But she believed so deeply in America where moment like this is possible," she further said. Take a look at the entirety of her speech below.
While I may be the first, I won’t be the last. pic.twitter.com/R5CousWtdx— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) November 8, 2020
Throughout her campaign for office, Kamala Harris has given a nod to her Indian roots. When she was first nominated for Vice President, she spoke about how she had been taught to put family first, using a Tamil term in her address that went viral on social media. “Family is my uncles, my aunts and my chittis (aunts).”
I literally have tears in my eyes. @KamalaHarris just said “chithis” which means auntie. My heart is so full right now— Padma Lakshmi (@PadmaLakshmi) August 20, 2020
Born in California in 1964, to Shyamala Gopalan, who moved the United States from Tamil Nadu and Donald J. Harris, Kamala Devi Harris has also served as Attorney General of the state when she was elected in 2010 and later in 2014. She herself ran for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, ending her bid last year in December and then being picked as running mate by Joe Biden. She has earlier also talked about how her maternal grandfather inspired her at an early age, during her visits to Chennai with her mother and sister.
"Growing up, my mother would take my sister Maya and me back to what was then called Madras because she wanted us to understand where she had come from and where we had ancestry. And, of course, she always wanted to instill in us, a love of good Idli." Folks of her grandfather's ancestral village in Thulasendrapuram in Tamil Nadu had also held puja ceremonies earlier this week as ballots were still being counted.
A video of the Vice President-Elect's phone call to Joe Biden went viral on Twitter last night when the results were called by major networks, ensuring that both the Democratic candidates would be swearing-in in January. Scroll to take a look at it below.
Celebrations were also underway in many cities of the United States, where cheers and songs erupted as the results came in. On Twitter, women weighed in on what a big moment it was for young girls across the world. Kamala Harris has also spoken along the lines numerous times. Earlier this week, a video of her shared by her niece Meena Harris was reshared a number of times. In it, Kamala Harris can be heard telling her grand-niece that the four-year-old could be president one day.
Meena also shared a clip of her young daughter walking alongside her aunt as she took the stage for her address. Below, a look at it along with how women across the world responded to the 56-year-old's historic win.
Crying and holding my daughter, “look baby, she looks like us.” pic.twitter.com/Gy4MAPoNjy— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) November 7, 2020
This. It took 243 years to break the glass ceiling. Daughter of immigrants. A tough American woman. More power to you! You deserve every moment of this joyful dance! A very happy moment for women fighting for their place under the sun @KamalaHarris ! pic.twitter.com/j6ikONZ4Ng— Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) November 7, 2020
Will never forget how it felt to tell my kids that man won four years ago. Sitting next to them now, talking about the end of his presidency and what it means to see the first Black and Asian woman VP—there is so much work to do, but today we're celebrating.— Nicole Chung (@nicolesjchung) November 7, 2020
Madam Vice President. #USAelection2020 The daughter of immigrants, raised by a single mother, of black and brown heritage, lawyer, leader, Senator. Because ceilings are meant to be broken. @fayedsouza #KamalaHarrisVP https://t.co/UQIOHRPSCS— Menaka Guruswamy (@MenakaGuruswamy) November 7, 2020
Spontaneous street party in Brooklyn, with a chant: “This is what democracy looks like!” pic.twitter.com/RN4xGgRCul— Jodi Kantor (@jodikantor) November 7, 2020
My 4 year old is now yelling “GO AUNTIE! KAMALA HARRIS! GO AUNTIE! KAMALA HARRIS!” 😭— Meena Harris (@meenaharris) November 7, 2020
After the big win, Kamala Harris and Joe Biden will now face a number of challenges amid increasing COVID-19 cases and an economy in shambles as the new administration comes into place.
Featured Image: Twitter