Kamala Harris’s speech at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday created a buzz on social media among the Indian-American and Tamilian community after she gave a special shoutout to her “chithis” while emphasising the importance of family. Tamil word ‘chithi‘ means aunt.
Harris, who made history by being the first Black woman and the first woman of Indian descent to contest US elections on a major party’s ticket, made the remark during her vice-presidential acceptance speech. In her speech, Harris spoke about the importance of family support in shaping an individual.
“She raised us to be proud, strong Black women. And she raised us to know and be proud of our Indian heritage. She taught us to put family first. The family you are born into and the family you choose,” said Harris while talking about her mother Shyamala Gopalan Harris. Describing what family means to her, she said, “Family is my uncles, my aunts, and my chithis”.
“That I am here tonight is a testament to the dedication of generations before me,” says Kamala Harris, who is now the first Black and South Asian woman nominated to a major party’s presidential ticket. #DemConvention https://t.co/CRIM0fK2jF pic.twitter.com/c2ew7ysFUP
— CNN (@CNN) August 20, 2020
The speech soon went viral, taking desi netizens by surprise as people started googling the meaning of “chithi”. Here is how netizens reacted:
I literally have tears in my eyes. @KamalaHarris just said “chithis” which means auntie. My heart is so full right now
— Padma Lakshmi (@PadmaLakshmi) August 20, 2020
Millions of Americans are googling “chithi,” so next time someone @ me that Kamala Harris isn’t proud of her Indian heritage… 💪🏽
— Vipin Narang (@NarangVipin) August 20, 2020
Kamala Harris used chithi in her DNCC speech, Tamilians RISE UP!!!!!!
— Minu (@MinuNagash) August 20, 2020
Watching Kamala Harris speak with such pride about her South Indian mom, while I sit next to my Amma, and my nephew who calls me Chithi, is so special. https://t.co/hLMNKrBBte
— Aarthi Gunasekaran (@aarthikaran) August 20, 2020
Me when Kamala Harris said Chithi on national television pic.twitter.com/m3A3iwOpLU
— Ebenezer (@EbbyBhaskaran) August 20, 2020
“Family is chithi ….” -Kamala Harris
“chithi” is Tamil for aunty. #tamil
— Senthil Rajasekharan (@sprcmdysenthil) August 20, 2020
— udita samuel (@UditaSamuel) August 20, 2020
Growing up I had help from quite a few chithis in my neighborhood that helped me get over my learning issues. Everyone needs a chithi. Go @KamalaHarris make us proud!!
— PK for Biden Harris 2020 (@pk_koduri) August 20, 2020
She said uncles, anuties and chithis. That’s like saying naan-bread or chai-tea. At least make the effort to appease properly!
— Gubbachiii (@LaterOnBob) August 20, 2020