Kazakhstan’s foreign minister thanks Borat for boosting tourism

Yerzhan Kazykhanov, Kazakhstan's foreign minister thanked the character played in the hit film by Sacah Baron Cohen for boosting tourism, despite the fact Borat is sexist, homophobic and anti-semitic.

Kazakhstan’s foreign minister thanks Borat for boosting tourism

Yerzhan Kazykhanov, Kazakhstan’s foreign minister thanked the character played in the hit film by Sacah Baron Cohen for boosting tourism, despite the fact Borat is sexist, homophobic and anti-semitic.

“After this film the number of visas issued to Kazakhstan grew by ten times. This is a big victory for us and I thank Borat for attracting tourists to Kazakhstan,” Mr Kazykhanov said on Monday.

Borat featured in the 2006 feature-length film “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan”.

In the film, Borat travels around the United States as a television reporter making a documentary. He dupes ordinary Americans, who do not realise Borat is a spoof, into interacting in the movie which details his ultimately failed effort to marry actress Pamela Anderson in Los Angeles.

Many critics said the film was anti-Semitic and homophobic and the authorities in Kazakhstan, which prefer to view the country as progressive and modern, resented the impression it gave of the Central Asian state.

But Borat keeps on reappearing, frustrating Kazakh officials.

Last month at a shooting tournament in Kuwait, officials accidentally played the fake Borat national anthem, which describes the cleanliness of Kazakh prostitutes, rather than the real one.

The Kazakh authorities were not amused and they have issued strict instructions to their athletes travelling to the Olympic Games this summer in London to ensure that the correct national anthem is played.

Mr Kazykhanov told Kazakhstan Today he had also sent similar instructions to Kazakh embassies around the world.

“All our embassies are under strict instructions to make all the foreign ministries aware of the Kazakh national anthem,” he said.

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