As the world reels from a pair of shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand that killed 50 people, tributes to the victims are pouring in from around the world.
At home, New Zealanders have found a special way to honor the memory of the shooting victims: through a traditional dance called the haka.
A powerful Haka has been performed in Surfers Paradise to pay tribute to the victims of the Christchurch Terror Attack. “To the Muslim community here on the Gold Coast and in Australia, please don’t feel threatened and continue your ways.” @7NewsGoldCoast @7NewsBrisbane pic.twitter.com/OEVj56rmsi— Carly Madsen (@Carly_Madsen) March 17, 2019
The haka is a ceremonial dance of New Zealand’s indigenous Maori people, used to mark special occasions including both celebrations and funerals.
In the days since last week’s deadly shootings, multiple groups in New Zealand have performed hakas in tribute to the victims.
Students from across Christchurch, including at the Christchurch Boys’ High School, performed the dance, with some of the children tearing up in the midst of their classmates.
At a memorial to the shooting victims, the Mangu Kaha Aotearoa bikers performed their own emotional haka.
A lone man even performed a haka by himself in a moving tribute at the site of one of the attacks.
While the pain of losing so many will take more time to heal, it’s heartening to see New Zealanders paying tribute to the victims of the attacks, and lifting their country’s spirit through dance.
A 28-year-old Australian suspect has been charged with murder in relation to the attacks.