Friday, March 23, 2012

Why the World Needs Diplomats

Borat anthem stuns Kazakh gold medallist in Kuwait - from the BBC

Kazakhstan's shooting team has been left stunned after a comedy national anthem from the film Borat was played at a medal ceremony at championships in Kuwait instead of the real one.

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.

The song was produced by UK comedian Sacha Baron Cohen for the film, which shows Kazakhs as backward and bigoted.

The original Borat movie offended the Kazakh authorities Footage of Thursday's original ceremony posted on YouTube shows gold medallist Maria Dmitrienko listening to the anthem without emotion and finally smiling as it ends.

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 spoof song praises Kazakhstan for its superior potassium exports and for having the cleanest prostitutes in the region.

The film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, released in 2006, follows Baron Cohen's character, the journalist Borat Sagdiyev, as he travels to the US and pursues the actress Pamela Anderson.

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.

From the Associated Press, Updated: Saturday, March 24, 7:40 AMAP MOSCOW — Kazakhstan has called the playing of a spoof of its national anthem at an international sporting event “a scandal” and demanded an investigation of the incident.

Maria Dmitrienko won a gold medal for Kazakhstan on Thursday at the Arab Shooting Championships in Kuwait, but during the award ceremony the public address system broadcast the spoof anthem from the 2006 movie “Borat,” which offended many Kazakhs by portraying the country as backward and degenerate.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ilyas Omarov told the ITAR-Tass news agency the incident “is, of course, a scandal and demands a thorough investigation, which we intend to conduct.”

ITAR-Tass quoted shooting team member Oksana Stavitskaya as saying that Asian Shooting Federation President Sheikh Salman al-Sabah had apologized to the team.

“Sheikh Salman personally apologized to us. He recognized that the use of the music from the scandalous film in place of the anthem of Kazakhstan was completely a mistake of the organizers. He explained that the awards ceremony was conducted by a firm under contract,” Stavitskaya said.

The Kazakh news agency Tengri quoted team Coach Anvar Yunusmetov as saying tournament organizers had downloaded various countries’ national anthems from the Internet.

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