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'If I Need Her, She Will be Here Next Day': Kamala Harris' Aunt in India Says Her Niece is 'Too Kind'

Indian Roots: Kamala Harris, back row, left. From left: her grandmother Rajam Gopalan, grandfather P.V. Gopalan and sister, Maya Harris. Front row: Maya’s daughter, Meena, left, and Harris’ cousin Sharada Balachandran Orihuela.

Indian Roots: Kamala Harris, back row, left. From left: her grandmother Rajam Gopalan, grandfather P.V. Gopalan and sister, Maya Harris. Front row: Maya’s daughter, Meena, left, and Harris’ cousin Sharada Balachandran Orihuela.

Dr Sarala Gopalan said the family had been up since 4 am, which is when they first received the news about Harris becoming a vice-presidential candidate.

Kamala Harris has just made history, and her 'history' is now making news. Democratic candidate, Joe Biden named the California Senator as his running mate on Tuesday. While simultaneously being called the first Black woman to compete on a major party's presidential ticket, her Indian heritage is also being talked about.

Harris has both African and Indian roots, with her mixed parentage. Her father, Dr Donald Harris emigrated from Jamaica, and her mother Dr Shyamala Gopalan, after graduating in home science in Delhi, went to America for higher studies with a scholarship.

Her mother's younger sister, and Harris' aunt, Dr Sarala Gopalan, told CNN-News18 that the entire family was ecstatic after the good news reached them.

"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," Gopalan said.

Asked about how she remembered Kamala as a child, Gopalan said that she was a very nice, kind and affectionate person, adding that she was speaking this despite the fact that Harris was her niece.

"If I send her a message right now saying Kamala I need you, the next day she will be there. She is very caring and kind to people, and that's what I like about her most," Gopalan said.

She added that she had not yet spoken to Harris till then, citing how "busy" the vice presidential candidate might be at the moment.

Kamala Harris, in a 2009 interview to Aziz Haniffa, which discussed her campaign for California attorney general, talked about her Indian identity.

"My mother was very proud of her Indian heritage and taught us, me and my sister Maya, to share in the pride about our culture. We used to go back to India every couple of years. One of the most influential people in my life, in addition to my mother, was my grandfather P V Gopalan, who actually held a post in India that was like the secretary of state position in this country," Harris had said.

She recalled walking along the beach with him after he retired and lived in Besant Nagar, Chennai. "He would take walks every morning along the beach with his buddies who were all retired government officials and they would talk about politics, about how corruption must be fought and about justice," she had said, adding that it was those conversations, which had such a strong bearing on her learning to be responsible, honest and to have integrity.

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