Indian village cheers for Harris before swearing-in as US VP

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A child reacts as villagers hold placards featuring U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris after participating in special prayers ahead of her inauguration, outside a Hindu temple in Thulasendrapuram, the hometown of Harris’ maternal grandfather, south of Chennai, Tamil Nadu state, India, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. A tiny, lush-green Indian village surrounded by rice paddy fields was beaming with joy Wednesday hours before its descendant, Kamala Harris, takes her oath of office and becomes the U.S. vice president. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

THULASENDRAPURAM, India (AP) – People in a tiny Indian village surrounded by rice paddies have flocked to a Hindu temple, burst crackers and uttered prayers hours before its descendant, Kamala Harris, takes her oath of office to become the U.S. vice president.

Groups of women in bright saris and men wearing white dhotis thronged the temple with sweets and flowers for special prayers for Harris’ success. Her maternal grandfather was born in Thulasendrapuram, near the southern coastal city of Chennai. In several speeches, Harris has often spoken about her roots and how she was guided by the values of her Indian-born grandfather and mother. Posters and banners of Harris from the November election still adorn walls in the village and many hope she ascends to the presidency in 2024.

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