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Will Kamala Harris wear a sari on Inauguration Day?

Last updated on: January 19, 2021 09:45 IST
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Will she or won’t she, is the question that has set social media abuzz.

For those wondering, the question is whether or not US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will wear a sari on Inauguration Day to invoke her Indian heritage.

IMAGE: Kamala Harris will be taking the oath of office on January 20 along with US President-elect Joe Biden. Photograph: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

In the US, Inauguration Day is set for January 20 every four years. This year, it will fall on Wednesday, and the prospect of Kamala Harris -- who has scripted history as the nation's first Black and South Asian Vice President -- wearing a sari is one that has led to spirited discussions on social media.

 

The question has been posed to Harris before -- during her own presidential campaign in 2019.

At an event hosted by Asian American group, One APIA Nevada, an audience member lightheartedly asked Harris if she would commit to wearing the traditional Indian garment to her inauguration if she were elected president. "Let's first win," Harris said, smiling. "My mother raised us with a very strong appreciation for our cultural background and pride. Celebrations that we all participate in regardless of how our last name is spelled. It's the beauty of who we are as a nation."

Kamala Harris's mother, Shyamala Gopalan, was born in Chennai and immigrated to the US. Her father belongs to Jamaica.

IMAGE: This image of a young Kamala Harris (extreme left) in a sari with her grandparents has gone viral, with many speculating if she will repeat the feat and wear the traditional Indian garment for her swearing-in on January 20. Photograph: @krupali/Twitter

Discussing the same, fashion designer Bibhu Mohapatra was quoted as telling CNN, "I wouldn't be surprised if we see her show up to the inauguration ball in a beautifully woven Banarsi sari."

"Madam VP @SenKamalaHarris I am standing by. It will be an honour to dress you," the New York-based fashion designer, who was born in Odisha, wrote on Twitter.

His statement further fueled speculation that Harris could don the six yard garment on Wednesday.

Many people took to social media to say that they hoped to see the 56-year-old in a sari.

Others thought it would be unlikely from a politician who has so far stuck to wearing formal suits.

"I predict she's going to wear something appropriate, and likely what she generally wears: a suit. She's been in the public spotlight for years, especially in California, and that's what she wears. Vogue UK notes the same thing: 'Harris has always worn suits, but she has replaced the skirts with trousers'," wrote one Reddit user.

While Kamala Harris has rarely been seen in a sari, an old photograph that has being widely shared online does show her wearing one. The pic shows her on a couch with her grandparents, wearing a red sari.

For now, however, expecting eyes wait for January 20.

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