Kazakhstan’s shooting team was reportedly taken by surprise at a championship in Kuwait recently. Instead of their national anthem, they heard a parody version from Sacha Baron Cohen's controversial film Borat.
Judging from the YouTube video of the gaffe, the team’s reaction to hearing the English lyrics about “Kazakhstan’s prostitutes cleanest in the region” instead of the Kazakh original’s “sky of golden sun” was restrained.
Ironically, Borat was banned from theaters in Kuwait for being too offensive.
Of course it could well be a cruel hoax.
Kazakhstan experienced a similar gaffe on its own soil back in March. Organizers of a domestic skiing festival played Ricky Martin’s Livin’ la Vida Loca instead of the Kazakh national anthem.
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan is a 2006 mockumentary film starring British comedy star Sacha Baron Cohen. The titular character travels from Kazakhstan to the US to improve his home country’s image abroad. Most of the people he encounters are not aware the character is an actor.
The film’s satirical depiction of Kazakhstan initially caused outrage in the country, but eventually the Kazakh government decided that it should rather utilize the international success of the controversial movie to promote the real Kazakhstan around the world.