Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Haka

This letter was published in the New Zealand Herald in an abridged form Wednesday 14 September, 2011.

Jan Pearson is out of touch with her ideas about the haka .New Zealand to most foreigners means our clean and green environment Lord of the Rings and the haka.
We were in a restaurant in Buenos Aries last month and the staff immediately gave us their version of the haka. Elderly Italian and German visitors were impressed by the Maori battalion and their haka no doubt helped Jan’s grandfather as it terrified the Germans.
Flash mob hakas at the moment are going over the internet and thousands of people send them on. On Friday night at Eden Park tens of thousands loved both the haka and Tongan reply.I was surrounded by French and Argentinian supporters who were passionate in their love of the haka
When Sarah Ulmer won gold at the 2004 Olympics all the kiwi fans leapt to their feet and did a haka as she biked past. Most of them were Pakeha. I was trearful watching on television.
On the walk along the waterfront hakas were performed by school boys as the waka party passed. Unlike Jan, I loved it as did everyone around me. She will have to get over it as there are many more Pacific Island teams yet to play and they will all reply to the haka. What has really made this World Cup is the Polynesian flavour.