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Viral ‘Hakarena’ ignites debate

A video featuring former English rugby captain Matt Dawson imitating the haka has sparked debate.

The broad range of comments on social media ranges from anger over “cultural insensitivity”, All Black-mocking and an insight into English humour.

The video features Dawson backed by a group of rugby players discussing the upcoming World Cup held in England, which begins this weekend.

“England have an amazing chance to be crowned world champions for just the second time in history, but there’s a major obstacle, the All Blacks,” says the former player.

“The current world champions are in amazing form with awesome power, strength, depth, and one secret weapon, the Haka.”

The group then proceed to perform a mix of the haka with the music and dance moves to popular 90s song The Macarena.

The video, which was created by UK-based marketing company BJL Group for clothing manufacturer Jacamo, has had more than 100,000 views in just over 12 hours and sparked a range of reactions on social media.



Jacamo responded to the reaction on their Facebook page: “We’d just like to say that we think the Haka is awesome! In no way are we trying to disrespect it. We’re just trying to show how silly an English version would be in comparison.”

Some have not accepted the explanation. Ciaran Cryer replied to the post: “This is absolutely disgusting. The Haka is a symbolic cultural war dance. Which is to be respected not have the piss taken out of it.”

Mike Panapa wrote: “Lol as a kiwi/Maori i find it funny. It makes the wins even sweeter when your opponents are cocky and go quiet when they lose lmao stay hard All Blacks.”

Dan Mcleod
is an Auckland native with an interest in Sport, Politics, Maori History and Entertainment. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcLeodNZ or
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