As news of Barack Obama becoming the first African American president of the US came in, hundreds of his supporters who had gathered at the American Center in New Delhi to watch the live telecast of the announcement broke into cries of jubilation on Wednesday.
“It has been such a long campaign. We came here divided - as republicans or democrats, now we leave as Americans,” said an emotional Larry Schwartz, minister councillor of public affairs at the American Center.
”Most Americans here that I spoke with expressed a sigh of relief. They were earlier shy to be branded as Americans - with Obama's victory we are proud now to be Americans,” Sharon Lowen, a danseuse of American origin who lives in India, told IANS.
The feelings of a group of government schools and college students were clear. They proudly wore Obama-Biden badges and cheered hard as news of Obama's victory broke.
“He (Obama) won!” beamed 14-year-old Rizwan, a student of Jamia Milia School Delhi. “I have been following this election for long now.”
Pin-drop silence descended on the crowd of supporters, spectators and media persons as Obama began his victory speech.
His references about "reclaiming the American dream" and his victory being the victory of "every American - black, white, Hispanic, gay, straight" drew cries and whistles galore from the hysteric crowd.
An American Center official said: “There was probably a nine to one ratio of Obama versus McCain supporters present here - The euphoria speaks for itself.”