I love the Haka, it is powerfully emotive and more than any other aspect of Maori culture it is an expression of the passion, vigour and identity of that race.
I am not Maori; I am a white boy that grew up in the middle of the South Island in a small town with wide streets and narrow views. Most of the inhabitants were Pakeha which wasn’t really even that relevant a term given there was only 1 Maori family.
I had an appreciation of Maori culture from my father (a teacher) who taught me what he had learnt from his time living in Taranaki (where I was born).
As a New Zealander I cringe at the way that the Haka has been overcooked. Lately it seems that everywhere I look I see it being rolled out like a well-used party trick.
There has been some incredibly poignant use, like the funeral of Sir Paul Reeves, but this seems to get undermined by a bunch of Brisbane based ex pats or a flash mob in a shopping mall.
It is sad that if you Google the word Haka you deal with All Black images galore, advertising agencies, tea towels and tee shirts.
Personally I would never do it and I dare all those that do to ask themselves this question.
Can you sing the National Anthem in Te Reo?