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Thousands entertained and scared by haka in Taiwan streets

Oct 9th, 2014 | By | Category: Diversity, Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

KA ORA, KA ORA!: Paris Evans and Jahnelle Wright perform the Ka Mate to Taiwanese onlookers. IMAGE: Matthew Lau

KA ORA, KA ORA!: Paris Evans and Jahnelle Wright perform the Ka Mate to Taiwanese spectators. IMAGE: Matthew Lau

THOUSANDS of Taiwanese locals were wowed by Wellington’s Whitireia Performing Arts during the Nan Ying International Folk Festival parade in Taiwan on Saturday.

The streets were lined with people excited to see the 22 performing groups who have flown in from all across the globe to Tainan City, in the south of Taiwan.

Tour guide, Yu Chia “Johnny” Hu, was also given the opportunity to join the New Zealand line-up in the parade.

Hu, 24, was asked if he’d like to don the Māori piu piu of a student who sat out in order to rest his fractured foot.

“I was very excited to join the group. I’ve always wanted to do a parade with different countries.

“Two years ago my colleague was put on stage with the Serbian group during the closing ceremony.”

The participating troupes waved their national flags with pride as they showcased their talents to spectators ahead of the opening ceremony of the festival.

The Whitireia group amazed onlookers with pūkana and Māori renditions of waiata and haka during the two hour walk.

Tainan locals were impressed, scared, and entertained by the Wellington-based students.

Hu says the most challenging part of the experience was performing Ka Mate, which he practised for the first time just minutes before the performance was showcased to the public.

“I’m a big fan of rugby, so I’ve seen the All Blacks do the haka lots of times on TV. Actually being in one is harder than it looks, you have to do everything powerful.

HONOURARY INCLUSION: Johnny Hu (second left) takes part in the Haka. IMAGE: Matthew Lau

HONOURARY INCLUSION: Johnny Hu (second left) takes part in the Haka. IMAGE: Matthew Lau

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