As part of her trip to India this week, Governor Nikki Haley appeared on New Delhi-based NDTV and said she would never disown her Indian heritage.
“I’ll never deny that I grew up in the Sikh faith, I’m very proud of that.” Haley said. The governor was born in Bamberg, South Carolina, although her parents Ajit and Raj Randhawa emigrated to the U.S. from India in the early 1960s.
“I am very, very proud of being the daughter of Indian parents and I talk about it. Because it’s something that’s very special to me, it is who I am.” Haley said during her appearance on NDTV.
She went on to talk about her conversion to Christianity. Haley said that she had trouble embracing the Sikh faith fully because she could not speak Punjabi, the primary language used in the religion. “I grew up and when I would sit in a Gurdwara I’d feel the faith, I felt it, but I couldn’t understand it. So as I got older I needed more and being able to go into Christianity and really understand and connect to it.” Haley said.
“Christianity spoke to me at a time where I needed a connection,” she said, adding that political pressure was not a factor. Gov. Haley, her husband Michael, and children Rena and Nalin are Methodist.
The governor is currently on an 11-day trade mission to India. The trip there is the first for Haley as an adult, she was last there when she was 2 years-old.