‘Mom’s the word’ as Kamala Harris talks about her influence

Sharing childhood photos, the US V-P elect said her parents went to America in pursuit of a dream

US Vice-President elect Kamala Harris with her mother and sister | Photo: Instagram

In a heartfelt Instagram post on Wednesday, US Vice-President elect Kamala Harris spoke about her mother Shyamala Gopalan Harris and her influence in her life.

Sharing three photos from her childhood in which she was seen along with her mother and sister Maya, she said her parents, who were born half a world apart from each other, went to America in pursuit of a dream.

“My parents were born half a world apart from each other: my mother in India and my dad in Jamaica. But like so many others, they came to America in pursuit of a dream. And that dream was a dream for themselves, for me, and for my sister Maya,” she said.

Related news | ‘In Madras, I would…’: Kamala Harris takes trip down memory lane

One of the photos shared by Harris, the first Asian American to become US Vice-President, showed her mother feeding her when she was a baby; another was of sisters Kamala and Maya; and the third one showed them with their mother.

“Born in Oakland, I was raised by my mother Shyamala Gopalan Harris, one of the few women of color to have a position as a scientist at the University of California, Berkeley,” wrote the Vice-President elect about her mother who had migrated to the US from Tamil Nadu in India.

“She was all of five feet, but if you ever met her you would think she was seven feet tall. It’s because of her that I was raised in a community where we were taught to see a world beyond just ourselves. To be conscious and compassionate about the struggles of all people,” said Harris.

She added: “My mother always used to say, “don’t sit around and complain about things, do something.” I’ve tried to follow that advice every day and live by the example she set.”

Harris said that over the next week before inauguration, she’ll be sharing stories about the people, places, and moments that have had an influence on her life. “Stay tuned.”

In an earlier address, when she was a vice-presidential nominee, Harris had recalled that her mother wanted to instill in her a “love for good idli” and how she would take long walks with her grandfather in Chennai. She had said that her mother would take her and Maya to Madras (now Chennai) to make them understand where she had come from.

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