© 2020 WKSU
Public Radio News for Northeast Ohio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
NPR News

Indian Americans Celebrate Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris delivers an address to the nation from Wilmington, Del., on Saturday. Harris will not only be the first Black, and first female, vice president. She's also the first Indian American and the first Asian American elected to the office.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris delivers an address to the nation from Wilmington, Del., on Saturday. Harris will not only be the first Black, and first female, vice president. She's also the first Indian American and the first Asian American elected to the office.

After Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris paid tribute to her mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, an Indian immigrant, in her victory speech Saturday night, Twitter erupted in celebration of Indian moms.

One Twitter user posted a video of his own mother, dancing to Indian music.

"Thinking about Shyamala and all the Indian moms out there feeling the emotions my mom is feeling right now; to vote for, and elect, someone who was raised around the same food, the same discipline, the same culture," read the tweet from Vibhor Mathur.

Harris will not only be the first Black, and first female, vice president. She's also the first Indian American and the first Asian American elected to the office. Her late mother was born in India and immigrated as a teenager to California, where Harris was born.

Some Indian Americans are calling Harris' election an early Diwali present. The Indian festival of lights begins this weekend.

Along with Harris' victory, all four other Indian American Democrats in Congress were re-elected this past week. (Though another Indian American lost his bid for a House seat in Texas.) Together with Harris, who served in the U.S. Senate, they have been dubbed by some Indian media as the " Samosa Caucus" — after the popular Indian snack.

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, an Indian-born Democrat from Illinois, called Harris' election "a transformative, meaningful moment for our country."

"I'm very grateful that my children will see Kamala Harris, along with Joe Biden, as a role model when she enters office," Krishnamoorthi said in a statement.

In a statement emailed to reporters, the U.S.-India Business Council congratulated Harris and President-Elect Biden, calling their victory "truly a barrier breaking moment, and one that celebrates the diversity of America."

The U.S. India Political Action Committee on Sunday called Harris' election "one of the most inspirational days for young girls everywhere, especially Black and Indian girls. A victory for decency, class, truth, maturity and unity."

The Washington-based Hindu American Foundation also issued a statement noting Harris' South Asian background, congratulating her and Biden, and pledging to work with their administration.

Despite President Trump's friendship with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, surveys done before the election showed Indian Americans overwhelmingly planned to vote for Biden and Harris.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.