I could try to come up with an April Fool’s joke for this first post of the month, but I can’t improve on real life. Kazahkstan’s trap shooter Maria Dmienko won gold in the Arab Games held in Kuwait last week. At the medal ceremony, instead of hearing “My Kazakhstan” which begins:

Sky of golden sun,
Steppe of golden seed,
Legend of courage –
Take a look at my country!
From the antiquity
Our heroic glory emerged,
They did not give up their pride
My Kazakh people are strong!

My country, my country,
As your flower I will be planted,
As your song I will stream, my country!
My native land – Kazakhstan!

She heard:
Kazakhstan greatest country in the world.
All other countries are run by little girls.
Kazakhstan number one exporter of potassium.
Other countries have inferior potassium.
Kazakhstan home of Tinshein swimming pool.
It’s length thirty meter and width six meter.
Filtration system a marvel to behold.
It remove 80 percent of human solid waste.

That is, of course, the spoof version written by Sacha Baron Cohen for the movie “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.”

It’s funny to us (although we wouldn’t think it was funny if it happened to us), but Kazakhstanis already hate the song and the movie, which portrays their country as anti-Semitic and backwards. There was considerable protest and Kuwait has since apologized. Apparently, the event company hired for the ceremony downloaded and played the wrong song my mistake. My guess is, they are will not be working in the Arabian Peninsula again anytime soon.

On a lighter note, Kazakhstanis have already displayed the ability to play the wrong national anthem all by themselves, as you can see in this news story and video from a regional skiing competition in the region of Kostany: