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Associated Press

Hindu Prayers Lifted for Kamala Harris in Her Ancestral Village in India

Courtesy AP

Hindu devotees in a small village in southern India prayed for vice president candidate Kamala Harris on Tuesday ahead of the U.S. presidential elections.

Villagers performed special ceremonial prayers called "Puja" in Thulasendrapuram, 350 kilometers (215 miles) from the coastal city of Chennai. 

The lush green village is the hometown of Harris' maternal grandfather who migrated from there decades ago.

At least 50 villagers, with folded hands, lined up at a local temple that echoed with sounds of ringing bells as a priest distributed religious offerings. 

"The special 'Puja' is for her success," said J. Sudhakar, 45, who organized the prayers. 

Sudhakar said he hoped Harris would visit the village if she became vice-president. "It will be a matter of immense pride for us," he said.

Harris has rarely delved into her Indian heritage, but that has not stopped Indians from claiming her as their own.

Posters wishing her success adorned streets in Thulasendrapuram, with residents rooting for an election result that would make her the second-most powerful person in the United States.

Inside the temple where the special prayers were held, Harris' name was visible on a stone that lists public donations made to the temple in 2014, along with that of her grandfather. 

Harris was born to an Indian mother and a Jamaican father.

(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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