New Zealand, a normally peaceful country with a normally peacefully integrated, diverse population, was rocked last week by the massacre of 50 Muslims who were shot while they praying in Mosques in Christchurch. Prime minister Jacinda Ardern has vowed to change gun laws in response to this tragedy. There has been an enormous outpouring of grief and support for the victims, including a group of Maori bikers who performed a powerful and moving Haka dance in honor of the victims. This traditional dance is a war dance, but can also be a dance for unity. It is often performed at ceremonies like weddings, and sometimes funerals. I found it very emotional to see this ancient, intense ritual performed by the Maori, the native people of New Zealand, who have lived in that country longer than any other people, in honor of the Muslim victims of this senseless shooting, many of whom were immigrants and refugees fleeing violence in their home countries. To see the ancient honoring the new through this dance was, to me, a powerful reminder that goodness and unity prevail. Love is stronger than hate.
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