‘Very nice!’: Kazakhstan adopts Borat’s slogan for the tourism campaign
- Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat comes from the Central Asian nation of Kazakhstan
- After the release of his first film in 2006, Kazakh officials were outraged by his portrayal of the country as sexist, homophobic and anti-Semitic.
- They are now using his tagline ‘very nice’ in a new tourism campaign
Kazakhstan has adopted Borat’s ‘very beautiful’ slogan for a new tourism campaign.
Borat, the fictional character played by Sacha Baron Cohen, is from the Central Asian nation of Kazakhstan and often paints the country as homophobic, sexist and anti-Semitic – a place where women are not allowed to drive and the annual Jew ‘is intensely popular.
In a new tourism campaign – released on Sunday – tourists can be seen visiting a range of sites in Kazakhstan and uttering Borat’s slogan ‘very nice’ in four 12 second clips.
Kairat Sadvakassov, vice president of Kazakh tourism, said the slogan perfectly summed up his country’s tourism potential in a “short, memorable way.”
Borat (pictured), played by Sacha Baron Cohen, is from the Central Asian nation of Kazakhstan
In one of the clips, a man is seen drinking traditional Kazakh wine, which he says is ‘very tasty’. In the first Borat movie, the character claims that Kazakh wine is made from fermented horse urine
‘[Very nice] provides the perfect description of Kazakhstan’s tremendous tourism potential in a short, memorable way, ”he told the Huffington Post.
‘The nature of Kazakhstan is very beautiful; the food is very delicious; and his people, despite Borat’s opposing jokes, are among the nicest in the world.
“ We would like everyone to come and experience Kazakhstan for themselves by visiting our country in 2021 and beyond, so they can see that Borat’s homeland is more beautiful than they may have heard. ”
After the release of Cohen’s first Borat film in 2006 – Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan – the country’s leaders were outraged by the way the comedian had portrayed their country.
In this photo, still taken from a video, a woman visits locations in the capital Almaty before uttering Borat’s signature catchphrase
A man says ‘very nice’ while exploring the mountainous region of Kazakhstan. In 2006, the initial reaction of government officials to the Borat character was negative
The Kazakh government ran advertisements in American newspapers to contest the claims and tried to portray the country as progressive and modern, boisterous suggestions of religious intolerance and sexism.
In the first film, Borat drinks what he calls traditional Kazakh wine, which he says is made from fermented horse urine.
Government spokesman Roman Vassilenko was even forced to officially deny that this was common Kazakh practice.
In a statement, Vassilenko added: ‘Mr. Cohen couldn’t have been more wrong when he chose Kazakhstan as the homeland for his mythical, misogynist and anti-Semitic reporter.
“I am offended and the people of Kazakhstan are offended by the choice.”
Despite official outrage, the number of visas issued to the country has increased tenfold after the film’s release, AFP reported, prompting Foreign Minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov to thank Borat for “ helping to lure tourists to Kazakhstan. ”
Dennis Keen, an American who lives in the Kazakh capital of Almaty, was behind the new ads.
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