Organisers of the Arab Shooting Championships Award Ceremony in Kuwait have faced criticism after a comedic song from the 2006 film and pop culture phenemenon Borat was played instead of the Kazakh national anthem.
Kazakh gold medallist Maria Dmitrienko looked bemused as the song was played in full during the ceremony on Thursday. The comedic lyrics – which include references to Kazakh prostitutes being the “cleanest in region” and offers “come grasp the mighty penis of our leader” – were made famous by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen in the 2006 film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.
An investigation is under way and an official apology has been released by the competition officials.
It is shocking, albeit somewhat amusing, that such an offensive mistake was made at an international event. What is also amusing is the blasé attitude taken by many of the Arab interviewees in the Kuwait Times who commented on the event. One Kuwaiti teacher said:
“It is an embarrassing mistake of course. I know that anyone can make a mistake but it is not represented that way in the press… I understand that mistakes can be made, but I really wish it hadn’t received quite so much attention.”
I can’t help but wonder if she’d be arguing the same point if Kazakh officials accidentally played a song that mocks Kuwaitis or Arabs instead of the Kuwaiti national anthem. Something tells me that an affront to the Kuwaiti royal family would not be taken so lightly.
Judge for yourself and watch the cringe-worthy anthem (with subtitles) in all its horrific glory: