As an English rugby fan, I’ve always had goosebumps when the All Blacks play here, and they’ve performed the haka.
There is something primal and clean about the honourable challenge to a worthy foe represented by the haka, and the fact that is is Maori tradition that has been adopted by the mainstream – and mainly white – culture warms the heart of this passionate anti-racist.
After the events of Friday when a racist prick attacked peaceful Muslims at prayer in their mosque, the last thing I expected was to see spontaneous hakas being performed on the streets by schoolkids, biker gangs and lone men. I shouldn’t have been so shocked though – after all the haka is not just a battlefield challenge – they are performed at weddings and funerals too, as a way to pay respect to the dead.
Seeing these has reduced me to tears: the way that the Kiwis have come together, and used the traditions of one minority to offer empathy and support to another minority is stunningly beautiful. I wish these hakas had not been necessary, but I salute the noble souls that are performing them.
Here’s a biker gang peforming one.
Here’s a bunch of schoolkids, paying respect to some of their classmates amongst the dead.
Here’s some more schoolkids, spontaneously bursting into a haka.
Here’s one man on his own who just had to pay respect and honour the dead – regardless of the time of night or who was watching.
A boys school close to the site of the attack walked down the road to perform a haka.
If you hear about any others, please let me know so I can include them here. I’m on Twitter as Brumguvnor.