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Americans Secretly Learn Haka Dance For Grieving Coworker

@jarom_ngakuru / Instagram
Uplifting News

Heartbroken Man Misses Grandmother's Funeral - His Coworkers Go on a Secret Mission

He calls them his "American brothers."

Living far from family is never easy, especially when you’re in a different country. The miles can feel insurmountable, particularly when tragedy strikes.

For Jarom Ngakuru, a New Zealander of Māori descent living in the United States, this reality hit hard when he was unable to return home for his grandmother’s funeral.

The Distance Was Heartbreaking

When Jarom Ngakuru's grandmother passed away, he faced the devastating realization that he couldn’t afford to make the trip back to New Zealand to say his final goodbye. The pain of missing such a significant family event weighed heavily on him, leaving him feeling isolated and heartbroken in a foreign land.

Ngakuru's coworkers, aware of his deep sorrow, were determined to find a way to support him. They understood that being unable to attend his grandmother’s funeral was a profound loss, and they wanted to help him honor her memory despite the distance.

Bringing New Zealand To America

In a remarkable act of solidarity and respect, Ngakuru's American colleagues embarked on a heartfelt mission. They secretly learned the Haka, a traditional Māori dance performed at significant events such as weddings, funerals, and other major life milestones. The haka is more than just a dance; it is a powerful expression of respect, love, and unity.

The group of coworkers, led by Ngakuru’s brother-in-law, who is Tongan, dedicated themselves to mastering the intricate moves and deep significance of the haka. They worked tirelessly, and within a day, they were ready to surprise their grieving friend.

Ngakuru was unaware of his coworkers’ plan until the moment they gathered to perform for him. The emotional weight of their gesture was overwhelming. As they danced, the depth of their respect and understanding of his culture shone through, bringing tears not just to Ngakuru’s eyes but to everyone who witnessed the powerful display.

He shared the poignant moment on his TikTok page with the caption, "Hardest part about living in America is that we live so far away. I couldn't make it home for my nan's funeral and I was BROKEN! So my boys at work learned the haka without me knowing and brought home to me."

A Viral Video That Touched Many Hearts


Hardest part about living in america 🇺🇸 is that we live so far away. I couldnt make it home for my nans funeral and i was BROKEN! so my boys at work learned the haka without me knowing and brought home to me 🇳🇿🏠 #haka #grateful #maori #newzealand #brothers #fyp #foryou

The video quickly went viral, touching the hearts of countless people. Comments poured in, each one reflecting the profound impact of the haka and the extraordinary act of kindness shown by Ngakuru's coworkers.

"I don't think they even understand how beautiful of an act this is," one person wrote.

"There is so much depth of emotion attached to the Haka I uncontrollably cry every time. This was beautiful," another said.

"Well I'm sobbing like a baby in my office now," a commenter revealed.

"You can feel the mana [spiritual power] and the aroha [love] they have for you. They know your mamae [hurt], what a beautiful tribute to you and our culture. Arohanui [deep affection] for your loss," someone else wrote.

Ngakuru's brother-in-law, who led the haka, explained that he had taught their friends the dance in just one day. The impressive dedication and heartfelt effort showcased the true spirit of friendship and support.

A Lasting Memory

This incredible act of compassion and cultural respect created a memory that Ngakuru will carry with him forever. It was more than just a performance; it was a profound gesture of unity, understanding, and love. His coworkers’ willingness to embrace and honor his heritage in such a meaningful way brought a piece of New Zealand to America, bridging the distance and providing comfort during his time of grief.

This story is a testament to the power of human connection and the lengths we can go to support one another, even across vast cultural and geographical divides. It reminds us that no matter where we are in the world, we can find ways to bring home to those who need it most.

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