Kazakhstan loathes Borat, but steals his line for new tourism slogan

Kazakhstan loathes Borat, but steals his line for new tourism slogan

Kazakhstan’s national tourism agency Kazakhstan Travel yesterday released a video online showing a compilation of the new ads.

Quite shockingly, the tourism officials of the home of the fictional journalist Borat, has appropriated the notorious character’s catchphrase, ‘very nice!’ for their new tourism ad campaign, marking a new phase in Kazakhstan’s rocky relationship with the films.

The videos subtitled “Borat response” revealed that Borat’s trademark phrase ‘very nice’ is now the “official new slogan” of Kazakhstan’s tourism industry.

The shorts clips show tourists hiking in the mountains, drinking fermented horse milk, and taking a picture with Kazakhs in traditional dress. At the end of each clip, the happy travelers declare that the experience was indeed “very nice!”

Both the original ‘Borat’ in 2006, and the recent sequel, which inspired the ‘very nice’ ads, took some hefty comedic liberties, showing Kazakhstan as rural, uncultured, and primitive. The original film sparked outrage in the country and the government said it would count on movie theaters to not show it.

However, Kazakh tourism board Deputy Chairman Kairat Sadvakassov said the 2020 ad campaign is quite apt. “Kazakhstan’s nature is very nice. Its food is very nice. And its people, despite Borat’s jokes to the contrary, are some of the nicest in the world,” he said in a statement.

Actor Sacha Baron Cohen himself told the Times that his portrayal of Kazakhstan in the movies has “nothing to do with the real country” and that he created a “wild, comedic, fake world.”

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