A video of a passionate wedding haka that moved a New Zealand bride to tears has now been viewed more than 13 million times.
The spine-tingling rendition of the traditional Māori dance was performed by guests at Benjamin and Aaliyah Armstrong’s wedding in Auckland last week.
The emotional performance made the bride tear up, before the groom took off his jacket and joined in.
According to the Daily Mail, Mr Armstrong said he wanted to help continue the Māori tradition by including the haka at his wedding.
It was organised by the 23-year-old groom’s best man and led by his older brother, while the whole thing was filmed by the bride’s cousin’s production company.
Ms Armstrong told the BBC she was ‘blown away’ by the performance and that the haka was performed as a sign of respect from her husband’s best man and family.
The dance is used in traditional Māori culture as a war cry to intimidate the enemy – it is famously performed by the All Blacks rugby team before matches – but also at celebrations to welcome special guests.
In the video, the newlyweds watch on with emotion as the groomsmen and guests surprise them with a heartfelt performance of the traditional dance – before joining in themselves.
According to the BBC, Ms Armstrong said women don’t usually perform the haka in Māori culture, but they can do at weddings:
I wasn’t planning on jumping in until one bridesmaid did. I felt the need to show love and respect back and I was really blown away.Advertisement
The couple posted the video for friends to enjoy but its popularity has taken them by surprise:
We didn’t think it would shoot off, but yesterday afternoon I left my phone alone for about five minutes and I had so many notifications.
Honestly, this is incredible! All the emotions.