A Kazakh athlete recently took home a gold medal at an “international shooting event” in Kuwait (which, as I imagine it, involves shooting a goat carcass with a Kalashnikov then fetching it with a hawk), and during the official medal ceremony, she received her trophy to the tune of the parody anthem from Borat rather than her country’s actual national anthem.
She seems pretty calm about the whole thing, listening to lyrics like “Kazakhstan’s prostitutes cleanest in the region/Except of course Turkmenistan’s” and “Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan you very nice place/From Plains of Tarashek to Norther fence of Jewtown” with only a mild scowl. (Mind you, “mild scowl” is the official facial expression of Eastern Europe and Central Asia).
The team asked for an apology and the medal ceremony was later rerun.
The team’s coach told Kazakh media the organisers had downloaded the parody from the internet by mistake.
Coach Anvar Yunusmetov told Kazakh news agency Tengrinews that the tournament’s organisers had also got the Serbian national anthem wrong.
“Then Maria Dmitrienko’s turn came,” he said. “She got up on to the pedestal and they played a completely different anthem, offensive to Kazakhstan.”
The film outraged people in Kazakhstan and was eventually banned in the country. The government also threatened Baron Cohen with legal action.
Reports say the film is also banned in Kuwait. [BBC]
Of course, it’s also likely that Dmitrienko didn’t understand enough English to even know what she was listening to. In Kazakhstan, we have saying. We say “Woman with education is like a monkey with a gun!”