Singapore, September 14, 2012
A New Zealand bar and restaurant in Clarke Quay has come forward to apologise for "misunderstandings", after about 20 of its staff performed a traditional haka dance along a walkway in busy Orchard Road last Sunday.
The haka - a traditional Maori dance made famous by New Zealand rugby team All Blacks - was performed in a flash-mob style.
It received mixed reviews among netizens after a video of the performance was posted online earlier this week, on websites like citizen-journalism website Stomp, with some calling it "cringe-worthy" and others calling it "good fun".
The video shows participants, some topless, breaking out into loud chanting in a crouching stance, slapping their hands against their bodies and stamping their feet, all of which are part of a haka dance. my paper understands that the restaurant, Fern & Kiwi, had not applied for a public-entertainment licence from the Singapore Police Force prior to its staff appearing in Orchard Road.
Any public performance requires such a licence.
The restaurant's owners were called in by the police for questioning yesterday. They declined to give more details as the case is ongoing.
On the incident, Fern & Kiwi director Simon Dunlop said: "We admit we were not clear on local regulations on haka-style performances, and are sincerely sorry for any offence caused."
my paper understands that the restaurant's staff were joined by some passers-by in the street during the roughly one-minute-long dance.
A police spokesman said that investigations are ongoing.
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