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Kazakhstan Thanks Borat For Boosting Tourism

Sacha Baron Cohen’s controversial character has increased Kazakhstan’s tourism tenfold.
By: Ashley Baylen
Published: April 24th, 2012 in Culture » Society » News
Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat

Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat has created quite a stir internationally, especially in Kazakhstan.

In 2006, the feature film, “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan”, was banned by Kazakhstan authorities. The government even threatened to sue Cohen after it’s release. It seems times are changing because on Monday, Foreign Minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov, told politicians that he was thankful to Borat for attracting tourists to Kazakhstan.

Cohen’s film, “Borat”, follows fictional journalist, Borat Sagdiyev, as he travels from Kazakhstan to America in pursuit of Pamela Anderson. Kazakhstan officials believed that the film portrayed their nation as a racist, sexist, and primitive country. Borat discusses incest, rape, and prostitution, and comes off as an ignorant, misogynist pig… but the film’s popularity around the globe led to ten times the number of people applying for visa’s to visit Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan’s government banned sales of the Borat DVD and even blocked users from visiting Borat’s website. Last month, Kazakhstan lodged a formal complaint with the Olympic Committee of Asia for a spoof national anthem performed by Borat at a sports event in Kuwait.

But, putting all of this information aside for a moment, tourism has been significantly increased… and for that, Kazykhanov is thankful.

“With the release of this film, the number of visas issued by Kazakhstan grew tenfold,” Kazykhanov said.

“I am grateful to ‘Borat’ for helping attract tourists to Kazakhstan.”

Related articles: Sacha Baron Cohen, Kazakhstan, Borat, Bruno, Ali G, Controversy, Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,
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