Kamala Harris’ Shout Out To ‘Chitthis’ Sets Desi Twitter Abuzz
Ever since her nomination as running mate to Joe Biden, social media in India had been divided about how to react to the news. A section of people believes Kamala Harris never owned up to her desi roots enough and Indians are overreacting in welcoming her as one of their own. However, Kamala Harris has now taken the desi Twitter by storm with one single reference to her “Chitthis” during her speech at the Democratic National Convention. The Indian-Americans could not keep calm and Google searches on Chitthis spiked. Chitthis is Tamil means aunt.
Kamala who has always spoken about the importance of family said, “Family is my husband Doug. Family is our beautiful children, Cole and Ella, who as you just heard, call me Momala. Family is my sister. Family is my best friend, my nieces and my godchildren. Family is my uncles, my aunts and my chithis” in her speech.
Well-known Indian born American author, Padma Lakshmi shared her thoughts on Twitter saying, “I literally have tears in my eyes. @KamalaHarris just said, “chithis” which means auntie. My heart is so full right now.”
It was just last week when Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden picked 55-year old Kamala Harris as his running mate. Thus, making Harris the first black and the first Asian-American woman to be selected to run for the post. Harris’ mother Shyamala Gopalan Harris was an Indian born Tamil person and her father is from Jamaica. She made history on Wednesday by accepting the Democratic nomination for the post of the vice president.
In her speech, Harris also said, “ She raised us to be proud, strong Black women. And she raised us to know and be proud of our Indian heritage. She taught us to put family first—the family you’re born into and the family you choose.”
Kamala Harris’ candidacy is bound to generate excitement in a country as multicultural as the USA. Even though Harris primarily identifies as being black, she seldom has spoken about her father, and it is her breast cancer researcher mother who is the inspiration in her life. Harris mentioned in her memoir that though her mother made sure they stayed in touch with their Indian roots she understood that the US her girls would be viewed as “blacks”. She says, “My mother understood very well that she was raising two black daughters. She knew that her adopted homeland would see Maya and me as black girls.”
Over the years, things have changed and according to newly released data from the Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey (ACS), the population of Indians living in the US has increased by near nine lakh in last eight years, according to a report by Business Today. Thus, Indian American’s are a large and potentially powerful demographic group. Can any political party afford to overlook them?
Earlier, the Democratic vice presidential nominee while talking about her mother mentioned her love for idlis. “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 instil in us, a love of good idli,” Kamala said.
Picture Credit: nbcnews.com