Two villages in Tamil Nadu celebrated this evening as Kamala Devi Harris took oath as the first woman Vice President of the United States. Mannargudi and Thulasenthirapuram-Painganadu villages in Tiruvarur district were the places from 56-year-old Ms Harris's maternal grandparents lived.
Ms Harris's grandfather PV Gopalan had moved out of Thulasenthirapuram village in his youth and got a job under the British government. Her grandmother Rajam belonged to the nearby Painganadu village.
The two villages have been waiting to celebrate for days, the 10-km stretch between them lined with huge digital banners decorated with flowers and leaves.
Many have been cleaning the roads and offering prayers for her at the village temple. The local traders have been distributing calendars with her photo. This morning, political leaders joined in, standing on the roads to distribute sweets to passers-by.
By evening, hours before the Presidential inauguration, the festivities started. Crackers were burst and sweets distributed as the villagers waited for the programme to begin.
Ms Harris -- born to a Jamaican father and Indian mother -- was roped into the re-election campaign by then US President Barack Obama in 2012, when she was the Attorney-General of California.
Her rise to the second highest office in the US was a watershed moment in tthe country's history, which she marked today with a special tweet.
"I have a message for all the little girls and boys out there who dream of growing up to be superheroes: Superheroes walk among us. They're teachers, doctors, scientists, vaccine researchers --and you can grow up to be like them too," her post read.
I have a message for all the little girls and boys out there who dream of growing up to be superheroes: Superheroes walk among us.— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 19, 2021
They're teachers, doctors, scientists, vaccine researchers—and you can grow up to be like them too.
In a tweet, former US First Lady Hillary Clinton said, "Let's just sit with this for a moment and what it means. Tomorrow, Kamala Devi Harris will be the first woman sworn in as vice president of the United States".
"It delights me to think that what feels historical and amazing to us today—a woman sworn in to the vice presidency—will seem normal, obvious, "of course" to Kamala's grand-nieces as they grow up. And they will be right," her second tweet read.