On Wednesday, 19th August, Kamala Harris accepted the Democratic nomination for the Vice President. She became the first black woman and Indian descent individual to be selected as the vice presidential nominee of a major party in the US.
In her acceptance speech, she talked about several aspects including racism and the importance of her family.
While talking about her mother, who was born in Chennai, she gave a special mention to her chithis, which in Tamil means aunts.
She raised us to be proud, strong Black women. And she raised us to know and be proud of our Indian heritage. Family is my uncles, my aunts and my chithis.
Every Tamilian felt proud hearing the word chithis from a US vice presidential candidate. Desi Twitter couldn’t control its emotions and here’s how it reacted.
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
“Family…is my chithis” – Kamala Harris— Anand Raghuraman (@AKRaghuraman) August 20, 2020
Every Tamilian signs up to vote
Growing up I had help from quite a few chithis in my neighborhood that helped me get over my learning issues. Everyone needs a chithi. Go @KamalaHarris make us proud!!— PK for Biden Harris 2020 (@pk_koduri) August 20, 2020
Kamala: “My Chithis.”— Abby Kuhathasan (@abbyjourno) August 20, 2020
Tamil kids, right now: pic.twitter.com/JVIbD6Ra4g
Unless you grew up having to hide your heritage so you were not called cruel nicknames like “red dot special”, you have no idea how empowering it felt hearing Kamala say chithis tonight on the national stage. I wish everyone could feel this much joy every day. ❤️— chandrimasaysgovote (@chandrimatweets) August 20, 2020
Shoutout to all the chithis!!! 😭— Pavithra S. Mohan (@pavsmo) August 20, 2020
@KamalaHarris was amazing! Watched today starstruck, and then she gave a shout out to her “chithis”(mom’s younger sisters), and my kids sat up recognizing the word. We saw ourselves in her. Incredibly proud today. Anything is possible in America. #represent #JoeBidenKamalaHarris— Mythili Lahiri (@Mythlahiri) August 20, 2020
I never imagined that I’d get to hear the vice presidential nominee thank her “chithis” in her acceptance speech. Whatsapp groups are gonna go wild.— Saarang Panchavati (@saarang_p) August 20, 2020
As non-Tamilians across the world googled the word Chithis, Google trends registered a huge spike in search terms for it.
Later, Kamala Harris also posted a tweet about the values instilled by her mother.
My mother instilled in my sister, Maya, and me the values that would chart the course of our lives.— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) August 20, 2020
She taught us to put family first—the family you’re born into and the family you choose—but to also see a world beyond ourselves. #DemConvention pic.twitter.com/xU61nLrUXx
CNN News18 also reached out to one of Harris’ chithis, Dr Sarala Gopalan. She told them that the entire family was ecstatic after they heard about her nomination.
The entire family is so thrilled and happy after we heard the news. A friend of mine in the United States gave us the message at 4 AM in the morning, and we have been up, since then
Earlier too, Kamala won Indians’ hearts after expressing her love for idlis.