Harris’s ancestral village in India hopeful as Biden leads count

Thulasendrapuram village in India’s southern Tamil Nadu state is where Kamala Harris’s maternal grandfather was born.

A woman applies finishing touches to a message for Harris in Thulasendrapuram village [P Ravikumar/Reuters]

Villagers in the Indian ancestral home of Kamala Harris have painted slogans on roads wishing her victory as Joe Biden, her Democrat running mate in the United States presidential election, moved closer to the White House.

Thulasendrapuram, located about 320km (200 miles) south of the coastal city of Chennai in Tamil Nadu state, is where Harris’s maternal grandfather was born more than a century ago.

“From yesterday, we are excited about the final result,” said Abirami, a resident of the village. “Now, we are hearing positive news. We are waiting to celebrate her victory.”

Villagers pose for photographs after making a Kolam, traditional artwork using coloured powder, wishing success for Harris in Thulasendrapuram village [Aijaz Rahi/AP]

Women in the village wrote “We Wish Kamala Harris Wins” in bright colours on the ground, alongside a thumbs-up sign.

Many of her neighbours watched updates from the vote count on their mobile phones.

The lush, green village in the south of the country has been decked out in posters of Harris, and prayers for her have been offered at the local Hindu temple.

A poster of Kamala Harris displayed on a temple at her ancestral village of Thulasendrapuram [Arun Sankar/AFP]

Biden leads the count and has predicted he will win.

But closely contested states – including Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and North Carolina – were still tallying votes, leaving the election outcome uncertain.

Harris’s grandfather PV Gopalan and his family moved to Chennai nearly 90 years ago. He retired there as a high-ranking government official.

Harris, 56, was born to an Indian mother and a Jamaican father who both immigrated to the US to study.

She visited Thulasendrapuram when she was five and has often recalled walks with her grandfather on the beaches of Chennai.

A woman walks past a poster of Kamala Harris,at her ancestral village of Thulasendrapuram [Arun Sankar/AFP]
Source: News Agencies