Kamala Harris mentions her “chithis” in speech, sends Twitter into a frenzy

Screengrab courtesy: Twitter/@KamalaHarris
Screengrab courtesy: Twitter/@KamalaHarris

Democratic vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris sent the Indian-American Twitter community into a frenzy with a shout-out to her “chithis” (the Tamil word for aunts) in her speech at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday. 

During her vice-presidential nomination acceptance speech, Harris made special mention of her mother Shyamala Gopalan, who was born in Chennai and immigrated to the US at the age of 19.

"She raised us to be proud, strong Black women. And she raised us to know and be proud of our Indian heritage," she said.

The 55-year-old then went on to thank her family, including her husband Doug, their "beautiful children, Cole and Ella", nieces, godchildren, uncles, aunts and her chithis. 

"Family is my uncles, my aunts and my chithis," said Harris. 

Her comment set Twitter abuzz. Celebrity chef Padma Lakshmi tweeted, “I literally have tears in my eyes. @KamalaHarris just said “chithis” which means auntie. My heart is so full right now.”

Harris’ niece, Meena Harris also tweeted saying, “Chittis for America!!!!!”


Harris, who gets her Indian heritage from her mother and Jamaican heritage from her father, was picked as running mate by Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden last week. She is the first Black woman as well as the first Asian-American woman to be selected as the vice presidential nominee of a major party in the US.