Kazakhstan Still Haunted by ‘Borat’

March 26, 2012 Updated: October 1, 2015
Epoch Times Photo
Borat Sagdiyev, played by actor Saha Baron Cohen, in 2007. (Vince Bucci/Getty Images)

The fake Kazakhstan national anthem that was used in the parody movie “Borat” was played during a sports ceremony in Kuwait several days ago, drawing the ire of Kazakh officials.

The organizers of the International Shooting Grand Prix in Kuwait apologized on Sunday for using the parody anthem instead of the real one, reported Al-Bawaba news.

“The committee gave an official apology to the Kazakh delegation to the tournament, and the national anthem was replayed correctly,” the statement reads.

Borat, the creation of British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, was heavily panned by Kazakhs, who said it misrepresented the country, and it was later banned. Some Kazakhs have said that the film heavily damaged the image of the former Soviet country.

In ‘Borat,’ Cohen acts as a fake Kazakh journalist in America who often makes racist, anti-Semitic, and sexist comments to rile others. The film was widely praised in the West.

Kazakh foreign ministry spokesperson Ilyas Omara said, “It is, of course, a scandal and demands a thorough investigation which we intend to conduct,” referring to the fake anthem being played in Kuwait, according to quotes appearing in the London Telegraph newspaper.

Anvar Ynusmetov, the head of the Kazakh shooting team, said the Kuwaiti officials likely downloaded the wrong anthem on the Internet.

This isn’t the first time Kazakhstan has dealt with a national anthem mix-up. Earlier this year, the Ricky Martin song “Livin’ la Vida Loca” was accidentally played instead of the anthem during a skiing festival.