Tourists Arrested In Kazakhstan Capital For Wearing Borat ‘Mankinis’ In Public
We have Borat to thank for many things: exposing intolerance, lots of laughs, and, of course, the humble mankini.
The skimpy swimsuits were made famous after Sasha Baron Cohen's fictional Kazakh TV presenter Borat Sagdiyev sported one in the 2006 film Borat! Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, or, y'know, just Borat for short.
However, Kazakhstan itself has found Borat's contribution to fashion less funny as six Czech tourists were arrested in the country for wearing nothing but mankinis in public.
The tourists had posed for photos dressed as Borat in front of the 'I love Astana' monument in Kazakhstan's capital city of Astana last week.
Despite the Czechs braving the snow to take the pics, officials didn't see the joke, with local reports confirming that the six had been arrested, reports the BBC.
Local police spokeswoman Sofya Kylyshbekova confirmed that the six were arrested for appearing 'obscene in a public place' and given a very nice fine of 22,500 KZT (£51/$67).
The news caused some controversy between social media users in Kazakhstan, who didn't all agree on the tourists' controversial clothing, or lack of it.
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Some Kazakhs praised the police for arresting them, while others just made light of the Czechs' garish green garments.
"I wonder how would the Czech authorities react if our citizens did the same in their country," the journalist Assem Mirjekeeva asked on Facebook.
"I don't think they would have reacted," someone called Vitaliy Shuptar replied. "It is because our police are so sensitive."
"This is teasing, they should have been jailed," one person wrote on Instagram, while another said: "Should have had a criminal charge for insulting the honour of the nation."
The Kazakh capital Astana. Credit: PA
If the negative reaction seems a bit extreme, it might help to explain that Borat remains a controversial figure in the Central Asian country.
Kazakh officials felt that Baron Cohen's film, which follows Borat to the United States as he makes a documentary, portrayed the country as racist, sexist and backward.
That led them to ban the film from cinemas and sale on DVD, with the Kazakh government even threatening to sue Baron Cohen.
Officials later lightened up on Borat - in 2012 the Kazakh foreign minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov publicly thanked the film for attracting more tourism to the country.
Seeing as the tourists may not have even visited Astana without Borat, maybe they are now thinking, "Kazakhstan, I am not attracted to you anymore... NOT."
Featured Image Credit: PA