Denial and disbelief are frequent reflexes when there is cultural confusion. The KNVB and national coach Andries Jonker also respond to the criticism the Dutch women’s team receives from New Zealand. If traditional Maori dance appears to be being mocked, that is certainly not the intention, the association said.
The Netherlands will play their first match at the World Cup in New Zealand on July 23, but the video was posted online a few weeks ago while they were in the Netherlands. In six seconds you can see how Sherida Spitze and Merel Van Dongen keep a fighting spirit while laughing. Van Dongen shouts: “Hakka! New Zealand.”
It is not surprising, therefore, that the association is made with the ritual dance of the indigenous Maori in New Zealand. The prevailing idea was that non-Māori could dance as well if they danced respectfully. Mocking tradition is certainly not the intention.
Not so according to the KNVB. According to the association, it is an exercise “aimed at summoning inner strength from the core of the body. This exercise is in no way related to the haka or its imitators.
The KNVB took the video offline “out of respect”, but at the same time national coach Jonger responded. AD triggered. “In my opinion, it’s nothing. If there’s one thing we’re doing better as a country, it’s respecting other countries and cultures. The Netherlands is at the forefront of the fight against countries that are open to other countries and aren’t. So I think we’re one of the last countries to be criticized for that.
Known from the rugby team
The haka is very popular in the sporting world, with the New Zealand rugby team performing a classic version of ‘Ka Mate’ before matches. Due to FIFA rules, other sports teams in the country also regularly dance the Haka, which happens after football matches.
The Netherlands team is not the only one in trouble. The video of the four Spanish footballers was also taken offline. It is famous New Zealand actor Jay Lakaya (among others Star Wars), it doesn’t stop there. “Your parents should be proud of you for choosing this international stage to show how stupid and insensitive you are. Go home,” he said.
“Introvert. Communicator. Tv fanatic. Typical coffee advocate. Proud music maven. Infuriatingly humble student.”