The above video of a particularly moving wedding haka moved a newlywed couple to tears, and went viral on Facebook.
You can see Aaliyah and Benjamin Armstrong visibly trying to keep it together when the groomsmen perform the haka at their Auckland, New Zealand wedding reception. The BBC reports that Benjamin Armstrong’s best man organized the ritual as “a sign of respect.” The haka comes from Maori culture, and can be performed as a war cry, as a welcome to special visitors, and at celebrations, depending on the context.
Obviously, this was a celebratory haka.
The production values on the ensuing viral video (filmed by a cousin’s production company) are great. You can really see the fierceness in the groomsmen’s facial expressions and physical movements and chanting. By the second half of the video, the groom and even a bride and bridesmaid have joined in.
“I felt the need to show love and respect back. I was really blown away,” Aaliyah Armstrong said. At the end, Benjamin Armstrong embraces one of the groomsmen. The two touch foreheads in a traditional Maori greeting. Both Armstrongs are of Maori descent. The couple posted the video after their wedding, and from there, it went viral.