Everyone is buzzing about Borat ... Letterman, Leno, Bob & Sheri (those of you who live in Charlotte). He's all over the 'net ... and I s'pose sooner or later I should say something about him. While I think he's hysterically funny, and that Sascha Baron Cohen has the accent down pat, on the other hand, I think it's pretty sad that from here on out, people will associate my daughters' birth country with a nutjob. Why did Sascha Baron Cohen have to make a big joke out of a Real Country? Why couldn't it have been a fake country like Blagovadistan or something like that? There are thousands of kids in this country (not to mention other countries, like Spain, England, Netherlands) who were adopted from Kazakhstan. In spite of this, very few people know where Kazakhstan is, much less that there really exists a country called Kazakhstan. Now everyone knows about it (thanks to Borat) and thinks it is a backwards, Ugly Babushka, incestuous, drinking, sex-crazed country. They think that Kazakhs use horses to pull their cars, that they make out with their sisters, and only have one thing on their mind: bonking Pamela Anderson. I saw a clip from Letterman the other night, when Borat was talking about his wife. "She's dead!" he said. "High five! <laugh laugh> She was boring! At first she was exciting, but after a few years, when she turned fifteen ..." Well, I won't go into what else was said, it's not appropriate for a family journal.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. There are so many different people in Kazakhstan. Eurasian, Russian, German, Korean, and a beautiful mix of all of these. Some of the women I have seen there are stunning. Drop dead gorgeous. Sure, there are older, overweight people (aren't there everywhere?) but don't think that is all there is. Even the older ladies I met (Aida's mother for one) took great care of the way they look, with fancy hairstyles and clothes you would find in Vogue.
Sure, there are some aspects of Kazakhstan that are backwards. Technology hasn't really caught up to the rest of the world, but they are trying! Even in the 3 years from when we first went in 2001 to 2004 when we got Melanie, things has progressed in a big way. It won't be long. You can't shake off the shackles of a Soviet regime overnight. Give them time, and theywill be a world power. You can bet on it.
So ... help me spread the word. Sure, Borat is funny ... we were laughing like crazy watching him on Letterman. But he is a HUGE caricature. Probably like a RedNeck here in the states. Don't you think some people think we are all RedNecks and live in trailers and carry guns in our pickup trucks with the Confederate flag plastered over the back? Kazakhstan is NOT Borat.
(My favorite radio talk show just came on -- I'm listening to it streaming on the computer -- and they have declared it to be "Borat Day". Ugh.)