New Zealand students perform haka in tribute to mosque attack victims

New Zealand students perform haka in tribute to mosque attack victims
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A group of New Zealand high school students on Monday performed a haka, a traditional Māori dance, as a way to pay tribute to the victims of last week's Christchurch mosque shootings. 

The Christchurch Boys' High School students performed the ceremonial dance at Hagley College, which is currently doubling as a welfare center for families impacted by the terror attack, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.


Video shows dozens of students dressed in their school attire performing the haka for about one minute before greeting spectators. 

"It's something that's really special," Fergus Kilpatrick, a student, told the news network. "It's a part of our culture and it's what we've done growing up, and to share that with someone through their grieving period."

"It's an honor," Kilpatrick added. "It really is."

Mohammed Daud Kahn, a member of the Christchurch Muslim community, told the network that "we are very fortunate to be here in New Zealand with people … who understand our culture and our religion."

A gunman opened fire at two different mosques in Christchurch on Friday in a terrorist attack that left dozens dead. Authorities said that the Australian man charged in connection with the shooting killed 41 people at one mosque and seven at another. Two others died after being hospitalized.  

The Guardian noted that students from multiple schools have performed a haka to mourn the victims.