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Kazakhstan recently launched a tourism campaign featuring a well-known catchphrase from the mockumentary film series Borat.
The Borat movies star English actor Sacha Baron Cohen as the eponymous Borat Sagdiyev, a fictitious journalist from Kazakhstan who travels to America and pokes fun at his home country.
After the first film’s release in 2006, the government of Kazakhstan strongly disapproved of the movie for its derogatory jokes and banned it for its offensive portrayal of the country. However, when its sequel was released earlier this year, the Kazakhstan tourism board decided to adopt Borat’s catchphrase “Very nice!” to promote the country.
The tourism campaign includes four videos that show tourists exploring Kazakhstan’s landscapes, trying out local delicacies, and marveling at its architecture, markets, and culture. At the end of each 12-second ad, the tourists say Borat’s catchphrase.
According to Kairat Sadvakassov, the deputy chairman of the tourism board of Kazakhstan, the new slogan perfectly describes the country’s tourism potential. He said that contrary to the jokes in Borat, Kazakhstan’s food, environment, and people are actually very nice. He encouraged people to visit Kazakhstan in 2021 and beyond so they can personally experience what the country can offer.
In a statement, Baron Cohen said that the country is actually beautiful, modern, and proud, unlike how it is depicted in his movies. He explained that he featured Kazakhstan in his films because it was a country that almost no Americans knew anything about, which allowed him to create a fictional world.