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India's Punjab celebrates Nikki Haley's election

Nov 8, 2010 2:08:00 AM - thestate.com
When Nikki Haley won election last week as governor of South Carolina, a small town halfway across the world in India's Punjab exploded in celebration.

The Randhawa family in the town of Verka distributed sweets to neighbors, set off firecrackers and broke into traditional Punjabi dances to demonstrate its pride that a relative had been elected the first Indian-American female governor in U.S. history.

"We were eating lunch when we saw the breaking news headline on TV that Nikki had won the elections. We just abandoned lunch and ran to tell family and neighbors," said Kanwaljit Singh Randhawa, Haley's cousin.

"My wife began dancing the bhangra and our neighbors joined in. My son ran out and bought firecrackers," he said.

Haley was born Nimrata Randhawa to Sikh parents who had immigrated to the United States from India in the early 1960s. The 38-year-old mother of two is widely known by her Americanized first name, Nikki, and her married name, Haley.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)