The Hakka, the national symbol of New Zealand

The Hakka, the national symbol of New Zealand

A global dance associated with the All Blacks’ team, the Haka, is beyond rugby, a practice through which New Zealanders represent and defend their land. But then, how is the Hakka a sign of identity for this South Pacific nation?

Tongue retraction, bulging eyes, mime decapitation, these are the hallmarks of the haka. ” It is an identity mark for New Zealanders. This dance is based on the gestures of Maori ancestors says Ian Borthwick, journalist specializing in New Zealand. She teaches Haka since childhood, practices it in colleges, high schools and even in the military, and appeals to the spirit of Maori warriors. Colonists have long feared these indigenous peoples of New Zealand. To defend their lands upon the arrival of many European immigrants in the 19th century, Maori established several rituals specific to their culture, including the haka.

Ian Borthwick insists on the mental, physical, and psychological investment this dance requires: ” When you practice the Hakka, you express your identity through your body. The idea behind it is a little bit: that’s what we are. We represent and defend this place “.

regional identity sign

The haka is a sign of the very strong identity relationship between Maori and their ancestors. ” Māori watch their land, and the concept of respect is very strong there Maxime Mermoz, the former French international who competed in the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, reports. The Hakka is a symbol of a culture based on the transmission of knowledge across generations.

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It is one of the rituals that has contributed to the persistence of Maori culture within New Zealand society. ” Maori culture is everywhere. Before the start of the competition, we had to perform several rituals as a token of gratitude to the elderly. “Remember Maxime Mermoz. The former rugby player also mentions the existence of museums essential to understanding the importance of this tribe in the country’s history, such as Te Papa Tongarewa, in Wellington.

All blacks are ambassadors

The All Blacks have always been ambassadors for their country, and they know it’s part of their mission. Remember Portwick. With their sporting displays as well as their planetary aura, the international players wearing the jacket with silver fern represent New Zealand’s identity in the eyes of the entire world. ” Their actions are monitored. They have behavioral obligations “, he continued.

The Haka is performed before the meeting, and is a way for all blacks to transcend themselves. Maxime Mermoz emphasizes the intensity of the moment when the full weight of their cultural identity is felt. ” Hakka has a lot of emotions. It’s a declaration to fight to defend their nation Explains the France team that was defeated by the blacks in the 2011 World Cup Final.

For Ian Borthwick, ” The Blacks gave the Hakka an international dimension and allowed New Zealand to become known “. The French-New Zealand journalist, expert in the history of this archipelago, can only confirm this: “ Hakkas, like rugby, are symbols of New Zealand’s heritage in their own right “.


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