Kazakhstan’s been resisting and rejecting Sacha Baron Cohen’s satirical depiction of the country since Borat was merely a supporting character on Da Ali G Show. Now, following the release of “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm“, the board of tourism is throwing up its hands and leaning into the free press. Baron Cohen portrays the country as dirty and anti semitic, but in the age of COVID any publicity is good publicity.
It’s a place you may have heard of, that’s nicer than you ever imagined. Where you can find endless steppe, sand, and epic mountain peaks just a short drive from a modern metropolis. Where garlicky Kazakh horse sausage meets spicy Uighur noodles. Where shopping malls have sandy beaches and glass spheres dot the horizon. Where people are so friendly, you might just end up at a Kazakh toi (a traditional wedding) after a few salams (hello!). How can you describe a place this surprising in just two words?
As a wise man one said, “Very nice!” To enjoy more stunning scenes from Asia’s best-kept secret, subscribe to our channel and stay tuned!
The capital is Nursultan (formerly Astana, Aqmola, and Tselinograd), in the north-central part of the country. Kazakhstan, formerly a constituent (union) republic of the U.S.S.R., declared independence on December 16, 1991. Kazakhstan’s great mineral resources and arable lands have long aroused the envy of outsiders, and the resulting exploitation has generated environmental and political problems.
Kazakhs speak a Turkic language of the Northwest or Kipchak (Qipchaq) group. Russian, an official language, functions widely alongside Kazakh, which is the state language. Russian is the most widely understood language in the country.
Susan Saunders 10/27/20