EbeneMagazine – US – How Kazakhstan reacted to Borat

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According to Borat 2, Kazakhstan is a country where women are not allowed to drive, are kept in « women’s cages » and where the most famous celebrity is Jonny the Monkey, a TV host simian tv and a pornstar

Of course the Kazakhstan of the two Borat movies has nothing to do with the real country The language we hear the character speak is usually Hebrew rather than Kazakh, for example Borat is not a real one Kazakh name, and the character’s hometown as seen in the first film is actually Glod, a small village in Romania

Generally speaking, reactions to Borat in the real Kazakhstan have been one of two options: either to offend that this character portrays the country in such a bad light or to enjoy the country seeing his profile. enhanced by being mentioned a hilarious movie

Writing for BBC Culture in 2016, for example, Yerlan Askarbekov, former public relations manager for the British Council in Kazakhstan, said: « Frankly I found it very funny Of course I realized that it is was a satire of British attitudes towards the rest of the world, poking fun at the isolationism of the UK »

They later added: « A number of my colleagues in the Kazakh media world, including senior executives, confessed to me that they also watched Borat on Da Ali G Show and saw the character as an opportunity to public relations We wanted Baron Cohen to do the show in the real Kazakhstan We agreed that we Kazakhs should be grateful for any promotion he gave our country « 

However, not everyone in the country was so happy with the movie The Kazakh government, in fact, placed ads in American newspapers at the time of President Nursultan Nazabayev’s visit who challenged some of the claims of Borat, claiming the country is a place of religious tolerance and equal rights for women rather than anti-Semites misogynist country portrayed in film Kazakh government spokesman Roman Vassilenko also found himself in the strange position of officially denying that Kazakhstanis drank fermented horse urine

After the character appeared at the MTV Europe Awards in 2007, Vassilenko released a statement saying: « M Cohen couldn’t have been more wrong in choosing Kazakhstan as the country of origin of his mythical, misogynistic and anti-Semitic journalist I am offended and the Kazakh people are offended by the choice « 

Of course, this led Borat actor Sacha Baron Cohen to strike back as a character, saying, « There is a man by the name of Roman Vassilenko who claims to be the press secretary for Kazakhstan Please don’t not listen to him He is an Uzbek impostor

« If there is another piece of Uzbek propaganda claiming that we do not drink fermented horse urine, do not impose the death penalty for baking bagels or export over 300 tons of pubic hair every year, then we will have no other alternative than to start the bombardments of their cities with our catapults « 

Although at one point Borat’s DVD sales were banned in the country and Baron Cohen’s website was blocked.However, over the years, opinions about the character’s impact have grown. softened In 2012, for example, Foreign Minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov said: « With the release of this film, the number of visas issued by Kazakhstan has increased tenfold I thank Borat for helping to attract tourists to Kazakhstan « 

Tensions frayed again, however, as Borat 2’s release approached Part of the promotional campaign saw the creation of a fake Kazakhstan government account, crudely searched tweets on the ‘Uzbekistan and tweets such as: “We currently cannot follow the debate due to poor WiFi signal despite recent government purchase of broadband account. Please let us know about developments!” This led to Kazakhstani tweeting #CancelBorat

As always, opinions are divided on the film Some still view the portrayal as racist, while others see the portrayal of Kazakhstan as central to the point of the character of Borat who, playing on people’s worst impulses about ignorant strangers, let down the guard of the people he interviews, leading to their worst selves emerge

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Kazakhstan, Borat: Cultural lessons from America for the benefit of the glorious nation of Kazakhstan, Sacha Baron Cohen

EbeneMagazine – United States – How Kazakhstan reacted to Borat


SOURCE: https://www.ebenenews.com/news/ebenemagazine-us-how-kazakhstan-reacted-to-borat/?remotepost=107684

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