The choreographer who posted the video described it in the caption as a #bollyhaka. Photo/Instagram/jarmila_chromikova
Footage posted online of a group of dancers from the Czech Republic performing a fake haka has caused anger and upheaval, with several people calling it “disgusting” and “offensive”.
The video was posted on Instagram this week, angering New Zealanders who accused the dancers of “cultural appropriation”. It had over 22,000 views in three days.
The caption of the post, translated into English, reads “When girls have Haka on the hook” and includes hashtags such as #bollyhaka, #facepainting, #dancefusion and #newzealandinspiration.
In the comments, many people are asking the user to take down the video and apologize.
“This is not fusion dancing. This is truly awful cultural appropriation. Please stop,” one person said.
“This is really not right. Delete and apologise,” another Instagram user said.
“Please educate yourself, the cultural appropriation that is presented here is very disrespectful,” someone else commented.
The same Instagram account, maintained by a choreographer and dancer, also posted portraits of each of the dancers involved in the video, with their faces painted.
Maori cultural adviser Karaitiana Taiuru said the video “represents an emerging trend in online caricature depicting Maori as wild, uneducated and aggressive people, disguised in humor in the same way Black Face is/was to African Americans”.
“This is blatant racism which frankly affects all Maori and especially those who choose to revive our ancient customs of face tattoos called Ta Moko (men) and Moko Kauae (women),” Taiuru added. .
He says the people in the video are “pure racists” and their portrayal of Maori “will only incite and promote further cartoons online against Maori”.
“They have no idea what the haka or Maori tattoo art represents, and their actions imply that Maori are sexually aggressive, which is another colonial stereotype that does not reflect Maori culture,” a- he added.
Expert calls for government intervention
Taiuru believes social media such as Instagram has a broad impact on Maori children, “who might be put off by their culture and be ashamed of such videos”. “A near-digital recreation of the Native Schools Act and the Tohunga Suppression Act,” he added.
He calls on the government to step in and legislate against online racism.
“The current protection afforded to these racists by social media conglomerates and free speech advocates, in addition to a lack of legal protection in New Zealand, only fuels such unacceptable behavior,” he said. he declared.
“This highlights the need for the New Zealand government to legislate against online racism and the need for Māori organizing – for Māori Internet Safety where Māori do not feel culturally unsafe to engage and report such despicable content.”