A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Friday, March 23, 2012

Kuwait Plays Borat Theme Instead of Kazakh Anthem

Oops. At a shooting competition in Kuwait, a Kazakh athlete won the gold medal, and as she prepared to receive it, the band struck up a fake anthem from the movie Borat, which made fun of Kazakhs and is banned in that country.

This must have been awkward. The BBC report says they also got the Serbian national anthem wrong. I'm reminded of a story of a US political convention some decades back. When each state delegation rises to speak, the orchestra plays a song associated with that state (California Here I Come, Sidewalks of New York, Missouri Waltz, etc.) When the state of Georgia's turn came, they played Marching through Georgia. It's about Georgia all right: but it's about General Sherman's March to the Sea during the US Civil War. It's about burning Georgia.

I never actually saw Borat, but this does sound undiplomatic.

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