Hey Anthony, just in case you miss the comment on your 100 dull things about how you love ice cream and footy, here's the words to the haka, and what they mean:
Hope whai ake
Waewae takahia kia kino
Slap the hands against the thighs
Puff out the chest
Bend the knees
Let the hip follow
Stamp the feet as hard as you can.
Ka Mate! Ka Mate!
Ka Ora! Ka Ora!
Tenei te ta ngata puhuru huru
Nana nei i tiki mai
Whakawhiti te ra
A upane ka upane!
A upane kaupane whiti te ra!
It is death! It is death!
It is life! It is life!
This is the hairy person
Who caused the sun to shine
Keep abreast! Keep abreast
The rank! Hold fast!
Into the sun that shines!
I'm not convinced by the translation, though. Clearly it's not literal.
I die! I die! I live! I live!
This is the hairy man
who fetched the Sun
And caused it to shine again
One upward step! Another upward step!
An upward step, another... the Sun shines!!!
is another translation of the second half. Take your pick.
I find the Maoris interesting. That whole thing of setting out into the boundless ocean, with little idea what you would find. I wonder what the truth of it was. For Kupe, the navigator, an explorer of true courage, who really didn't know what he would find, the myth is probably true. But those who followed after and settled New Zealand, you have to suppose they had a good idea of what they would find. Still, it's never easy to leave home.
The fierce warrior tradition -- and cool tattoos -- impress us meek types. It's good, I think, that that energy, passion and aggression can be channelled into sports, art, music: these too are things that are worthy of men's efforts.
Why sports? Surely, I can almost hear some who know me saying, you don't think that sport is very, erm, cultural? Well, yes I do. It brings us together, huge bands of us, to sing, to shout, to love, to hate, to praise. Is this not culture? And our sportsmen are artists performing for us. They have no other purpose. They will dedicate their whole lives, make sacrifices, give their all in some cases to entertain, edify and move us. It provides glue, a means to differentiate one from another without real rancour. Like the haka, it can be fierce, but it's pantomime.
Okay, so I just got cable and can't keep myself away from it and this is my halfarsed attempt to justify that.
BTW, I wondered who "the hairy person" in the haka is and found this explanation. I won't be able to stop thinking of the wife on top of the sweet potato pit next time I watch the All Blacks.