AUCKLAND, New Zealand – A video of a Maori tradition from a New Zealand wedding has gone viral because of the bride’s emotional response to her new family.
In the video shared on Facebook, the groom’s family can be seen performing a traditional haka dance.
Aaliyah Armstrong told the BBC that she was “blown away” by the performance.
The haka is a sign of respect and welcoming from her husband Benjamin’s best man and groomsmen. She said although it looks intimidating, it is not.
“They are quite strong, the men in their family,” she said.
In the Maori culture, the haka dance was used as a war cry to intimidate enemies, but is also welcoming at celebrations.
“I wasn’t planning on jumping in until one bridesmaid did,” Aaliyah said. “I felt the need to show love and respect back. I was really blown away.”
She said women usually do not perform during a haka but they can at weddings.
“Ben is a Maori; he is probably more Maori than I am,” she added.