At a championship in Kuwait recently, Kazakhstan’s shooting team got a bit of a shock. When standing for their national anthem, what they heard instead was Borat's parody version, from Sacha Baron Cohen's controversial movie.
Judging from the video above, the team's reaction was very restrained when they heard the English lyrics, instead of their own language.
But hearing the words “Kazakhstan’s prostitutes cleanest in the region” instead of the Kazakh anthem's original “sky of golden sun” must have come as a bit of a surprise.
After the championships
in Kuwait, the team asked for an apology and officials later decided to rerun the medal ceremony. The coach revealed to the media in Kazakhstan that organisers had downloaded the parody from the internet by mistake.
says that apparently the movie was banned in Kuwait, so this could possibly be how the error came about.
Kazakhstan experienced something similar back in their own country in March. Apparently organizers of a domestic ski festival, instead of playing the Kazakh national anthem, played Ricky Martin's "Living' la Vida Loca" instead, which definitely has a different melody!
The satirical movie from which the parody of the anthem was taken was "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. The 2006 "mockumentary" film starred British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. Cohen plays Borat, a character who travels between the USA and Kazakhstan to improve the image of his country abroad. In most cases, the people he encounters while filming the movie are not aware that he is an actor, which causes some hilarity. They believe he is the real deal.
When the film was first released, it initially caused outrage in the country, but the Kazahk government, after pondering for a while, decided it would be in their interests to utilize the success of the controversial movie to promote their country to the world.