Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Haka

I just watched the start of Scotland's Rugby World Cup match against Western Samoa, and more specifically the two national anthems followed by the Samoan's Siva Tau (their equivalent of the better-known Haka). And it does occur to me that something is a little out of joint here.

See, the Haka and its equivalents are just being treated as a little local colour to the events. And I agree that they're no bad thing in themselves. However, they are also descended from the warrior traditions of those regions, where they would be performed before battle, for the dual purpose of firing up one side while trying to demoralise the other. Hence the chanting, the shouting, the gurning, and the staring.

So one side performing a Haka while the other does not is surely an unfair advantage? (And it's not as if New Zealand, in particular, need any more advantages!)

So perhaps Scotland, when we come up against a team performing a Haka, Siva Tau, or similar should respond by painting the faces blue, while the team captain strides back and forth giving Mad Mel's "Freedom!" speech from Braveheart?

(And England, not to be outdone, should use the St. Crispin's Day speech from "Henry V". Which, frankly, is even better.)

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