How to pronounce vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris’ name

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Biden Announces Sen Kamala Harris as VP Running Mate

The election is just weeks away, so you will hear her name quite a lot between now and then. The question is: Will you hear it pronounced correctly?

Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, picked California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate. Harris is the first Black woman and the first person of Indian descent to be nominated for national office by a major party.

ExploreBiden chooses Harris as running mate, making her first Black woman VP candidate

Pronouncing a candidate’s name correctly hasn’t been much of an issue before, especially in recent history. Joe, Mike, Donald, Bill, Al, Hillary and George are all common to us. Barack might have thrown a few people. But Kamala seems to trip some people up. Harris’ mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, was born in India, and her father, Donald Harris, in Jamaica. Both came to the United States in the 1960s.

Harris’ full name is Kamala Devi Harris. According to Behind the Name, Kamala means “lotus” or “pale red” in Sanskrit. It is also another name of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi. Devi, also derived from Sanskrit, means “goddess.” Devi is the Hindu mother goddess who manifests herself as all other goddesses, Behind the Name states.

So, if you’re having a discussion about the presidential race, remember the Democrat for vice president is not Carmela. She is not Kuh-MUL-uh. She is not Ka-MALL-uh.