Kiwi expats educating London on haka

Published:  9 Feb at 2 PM
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A group of New Zealanders in London aim to teach fellow Kiwis about the history and tradition of the haka, insisting that drunken people attempting to perform it is disrespectful.

The Kiwis took to the street on the UK capital’s annual Waitangi Day in which hundreds of people partake in a pub crawl and perform hakas as a way of paying recognition to their homeland.

Expat Kerrin Leoni had a message for the revellers, however, saying that they should enjoy their day but not forget the pride and integrity associated with the haka, adding that it would be better not to do it if too drunk.

The New Zealander, who is fronting a group hoping to educate Kiwi expats in the UK about the haka’s origin and significance, was speaking outside Westminster as Kiwis gathered to celebrate the day.

She noted that as many of them did not grow up in New Zealand, they did not learn the full story behind it and, therefore, believe they can express their pride in their country by doing the haka. However, she pointed out that the most important thing was to respect its tradition.

Fellow Kiwi expat Tredegar Hall added that they should understand that they should not be intoxicated when doing it as it devalued the meaning.
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