Homecoming Haka for missionary at SLC Airport caught on camera

Posted at 5:33 PM, Mar 12, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-13 22:17:42-04

SALT LAKE CITY – Emotional homecomings for missionaries who served The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are a common sight at Salt Lake City International Airport, but a video posted Wednesday shows a homecoming with a unique Maori twist.

According to a video posted by the parents of the missionary, Sister Tarawhiti, it had been a while since her father had performed the Haka for his daughter. The Haka is a traditional ancestral war cray of the Maori people in New Zealand and for some Polynesian cultures that share ancestry with the Maori.

A large crowd gathered to watch the energetic greeting, and when it was finished the returned missionary can be seen hugging her loved ones. See the video above for the footage.

The Facebook post says the missionary is Kotahi Tarawhiti, who just returned from serving in the New Hampshire, Manchester Mission. Her father says he is proud of his daughter's service.

The Haka is a familiar sight for some in Utah, as Utahns with Polynesian heritage and others perform the Haka for some sporting events, most notably the football team at Bingham High School.