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NPR: Kazakhstan Embassy Responds to Borat

borat1.jpgOk, we all know my two main obsessions are Public Radio and… Borat. At last, the two have been brought together in this story from NPR:Kazakhstan Embassy Responds to Borat I hope you all have the premiere of the Borat movie in a few weeks marked on your calendar. But in all fairness, I’d like to share some of the truths about Kazakhstan, as compared with Borat’s claims, courtesy of NPR:

Ten Borat “Facts”

Kazakhstan embassy spokesman Roman Vassilenko disputes Borat’s facts on Kazakhstan.

Borat says: Kazakhstan is the No. 1 exporter of potassium.
Vassilenko says: Kazakhstan’s oil industry is responsible for the country’s economic boom.

Borat says: Prostitution is one of the major industries in Kazakhstan.
Vassilenko says: Women in Kazakhstan are more likely to be doctors, lawyers, and teachers than prostitutes.

Borat says: The traditional Kazakh beverage is fermented horse urine.
Vassilenko says: The traditional Kazakh beverage is fermented horse milk.

Borat says: The Kazakhstani greeting is “jagshemash.”
Vassilenko says: “Salamatsyz ba” is “good afternoon” in Kazakh.

Borat says: The Running of the Jews is a favorite pastime in Kazakhstan.
Vassilenko says: Horse racing and other games on horseback are popular at Kazakhstani festivals.

Borat says: The “2003 Tulyakev Reforms” are responsible for such freedoms as women being allowed to ride on the inside of a bus.
Vassilenko says: Kazakhstan’s biggest governmental change in recent history was its independence in 1991. Women have had the right to vote in Kazakhstan since 1924.

Borat says: Kazakhstan’s space program launches chimpanzees and toddlers into orbit.
Vassilenko says: Kazakhstan participates in the International Space Station program, and hosts the station’s docking site in its steppes.

Borat says: Kazakhstan’s embassy spokesman Roman Vassilenko is an “Uzbek imposter.”
Vassilenko says: Vassilenko is a proud patriot of Kazakhstan. His country is home to many migrant workers from its northern neighbor Uzbekistan.

Borat says: Borat has no connection with comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, and would support Kazakhstan if it decided to sue him.
Vassilenko says: Another spokesman for Kazakhstan once said his government “reserved the right” to legal action against Cohen. No specific threat of a lawsuit was made or intended.

Borat says: Gays in Kazakhstan once had to wear blue hats, and are executed by hanging.
Vassilenko says: Homophobia is a social ill in America.