Firstly, thanks to Paul Nemo for the title of this post.
For Matariki, which is the Maori name for a cluster of stars which comes once a year to herald the start of a new year in July, there were various free events around Auckland in celebration so off we went to a Haka contest.
Haka is pronounced as “harcar” rather than “hacker” (just so you can correct your friends in future!), and is a traditional ancestral war cry of the Maori people. Most people will be familiar with it from watching the All Blacks play Rugby Union, but of course it has much deeper cultual roots.
In the contest, teams of 12 people (men and women together) performed a variety of contemporary dances merged with cultural roots…who ever thought you would hear people in traditional dress singing Burt Bacharach or Frank Sinatra in their own tongue?
Great occasion to visit, great to be surprised, and it must be said that when you see a more traditional haka up close it is pretty intimidating…especially the women!!