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Kamala Harris: Honoring her Mother's Legacy as a Trailblazer in the 1950s Indian Immigration Wave to the US


May 14 :
During a health forum discussion for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander organisations on May 13, US Vice President Kamala Harris discussed her mother's arrival to the US in the 1950s, her childhood travels to India every two years, and the chance meeting of her parents at a US civil rights protest.

When my mum, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, came to the US on her own, she was 19 years old. My grandparents had four children, the first of whom was this woman. There was a comparatively small influx of Indians to the US in the 1950s, and she was among them. This was, therefore, very early on, as anybody from a South Asian background will attest. "At that point, there weren't many Indian Americans or Indians who had come in," Harris remarked at the conclave.

And my mum told her dad, 'I want to cure cancer.'' This happened when she was 19 years old. What I found out afterwards is that she applied to UC Berkeley covertly, which is something I really desire. "And she was accepted," the VP stated.

Harris, the first US vice president of Asian descent, also mentioned her childhood tradition of spending the Christmas holidays in India twice a year.

As children, we would return to India every two years. Essentially, evading the monsoon season is the goal. In other words, it was typically around the Christmas season, which is in the months of October through December. "And I, being the first grandchild in my family, had the privilege of being invited by my grandfather to join him on his morning walks with his retired friends," she added.

The Indian government servant and Harris's maternal grandfather, PV Gopalan, was someone she has praised as "very progressive" and a personal hero of hers. Wearing her sari, my mum marched for civil rights. She first crossed paths with my dad, Donald J. Harris, in that way. Furthermore, that has all played a significant role.

At the twelve-minute mark, Harris gave some inspiring counsel to the younger audience members, but he did it while using an F-bomb. We must be aware that there will be occasions when others will hold doors open for us and then close them again. At one point, she yelled out, "Kick that f***ing door down!" because there are instances when they won't.

Let me tell you anything about removing obstacles. It is not the same as beginning on one side of the barrier and finishing on the other. It involves breaking something. Plus, you risk cuts and bleeding if you smash something. Moreover, the USVP emphasised that the effort is consistently worthwhile.