This coming Saturday the Springboks face the All Blacks in what is being billed as the most important international rugby fixture outside the Rugby World Cup in France later this year.
It has always thrilled me to watch the New Zealanders perform their traditional 'haka' before each encounter. The passion and intensity is awesome as they try to intimidate the opposition. The opposition is expected to wait and watch while this happens. In an interview with the Daily News, Schalk Burger said,
It's a really tense time, so I just put my head down and wait for it to be over. I obviously respect the haka and I think it's a great tradition.In the same newspaper, Gary Botha who is due to face his first 'haka' on Saturday said that facing the 'haka' was in fact motivating for the opposition.
Wouldn't it be great if the Springboks could retaliate with something of their own? However in the cultural melting pot that is South Africa, what would they do?
Perhaps a Zulu war dance, a COSATU-style toyi-toyi, volkspele dances, maypole dancing, a Venda snake dance, a San ritual cleansing ceremony, a Xhosa initiation dance? I am not sure that we have our South Africa identity clear enough for any of our national teams to carry onto the field something which is uniquely South African. The national identity crisis is, I'm afraid, still too raw for some elements of our society. What a pity as it would be grand to see the All Blacks receive back what they give. Maybe in a few years' time ...
That all said, I put my full support behind the Boks for Saturday. Let's hope the politicians interfering ways in South African rugby do not scupper preparations again! We have had enough of that already - just let the boys (of all colours) play the game and lets give our island friends a good klap!