On March 15, 2019, the news hit of a horrific mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand. The attack in the capital city of a usually peaceful nation shook the world, and not least New Zealand. Shootings at Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre left 50 people dead and another 50 injured.
The country has been left reeling from these attacks, but has already put in place stricter gun control measures and bans on semi-automatic weapons. However, none of this helps the New Zealand people to mourn or grieve.
A group of schoolchildren came up with an idea to pay tribute to those that had lost their lives, especially honouring two students who were killed in the attacks.
Students from a number of schools gathered to perform a traditional Maori haka, a dance you may be aware of if you’ve seen the All Blacks (New Zealand’s rugby union team) play a match. A haka has enormous power and meaning, and is most often used to symbolise strength and community, known as whanau in the local Maori language.
The power and emotion in this haka is palpable, and it is the perfect way to honour those who died, while expressing grief and anger at what happened.
New Zealand is slowly coming to terms with the tragedy, and putting measures in place so that it never happens again. The New Zealand government has confirmed that it will pay for the funerals of all victims as a sign of solidarity, and people are coming together to help each other out all over the country. But for now, the people of New Zealand are still grieving.
Watch the emotional haka below, and see for yourself how powerful a peprformance these school kids give. They are a credit to their schools and their country, and it’s no wonder their haka has captured the hearts of millions.