Memo From Kazakhstan: Stop Playing That Fake National Anthem From Borat When We Win Stuff

  • Eric Goldschein

Tonight in “Probably Honest Mistakes That Seem Intentional And Have Hilarious Consequences,” a segment that we hope will have more than one entry, we bring you the story of a Kazakh gold medalist who was serenaded with a version of “O Kazakhstan” during  the awards ceremony. One slight problem: “O Kazakhstan,” a fake anthem that speaks of “clean prostitutes,” is from the comedy smash hit Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan and is not, in any way, shape or form, the actual anthem of Kazakhstan. Needless to say, people were upset.

Maria Dmitrienko placed first in an international shooting competition in Kuwait, which was surely a great honor in the circles where that’s a big deal. But Maria was upstaged by the appearance of “O Kazakhstan,” a song that was written by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen to make Kazakhstan seem gross and lame. Choice lines include:

Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan you very nice place/From Plains of Tarashek to Norther fence of Jewtown.


Kazakhstan’s prostitutes cleanest in the region/Except of course Turkmenistan’s.

The anthem of the Serbian national team was apparently wrong as well. So perhaps somebody took the hint and hit the record button, which brought us video evidence of this cultural mishap.

This didn’t go over so well with the shooting team, despite Maria seeming to take it all in stride and not acting at all pissed or unhappy, which she had a right to be (can you imagine an American athlete receiving a medal to “America, Fuck Yeah“? [NSFW link, by the way]). The coach of the Kazakh team demanded an apology, and the ceremony was later done over again.

Wherever Sacha Baron Cohen is at this moment, he is laughing. Even though his film, which was pretty demeaning to the Kazakh people (though, in his defense, it was funny), was banned in Kazakhstan, the song still managed to find a way into the ears of Kazakh citizens. And during a medal ceremony no less!

Kazakhstan needs to step it’s anthem game up. Just a few weeks ago, this happened:

[h/t A.V. Club]