The Internet is a great thing, but only if one uses one’s brain, which seems to be problematic for some people…

The BBC reports that, while on the medalist podium during the Amir of Kuwait International Shooting Grand Prix, Kazakh gold medalist Maria Dmitrienko had to suffer through the spoof Kazakh national anthem from Sacha Baron Cohen‘s movie Borat, which praises Kazakhstan for its superior potassium exports and for having the cleanest prostitutes in the region.  (You can find the words here.)  The competition “brains” has apparently downloaded the wrong thing from the Internet.

Not content with one gaffe, the Kuwaitis had reportedly also gotten the Serbian anthem wrong.

The Kazakhs, rightfully indignant, demanded – and got – an apology and a restaging of the gold medal ceremony, this time with the real Kazakh anthem.

Just so no one accuses me of being too hard on the Kuwaitis, here’s a list (partial, I suspect) of similar foot-in-mouth situations, helpfully supplied by the BBC:

  • Instead of singing “we love your mountains” in his attempt at the Croatian anthem, an English opera singer sings “my penis is a mountain”
  • Swiss TV runs obsolete “Deutschland uber alles” subtitles over the German national anthem  {blogger’s note: the music, which is from the second movement of Haydn’s Emperor Quartet, remains the same, but the words have been changed to Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit [Unity and Law and Freedom].  An ever-so-slight modification, tactfully instituted after 1945…}
  • Grenada plays Taiwan’s anthem at a ceremony inaugurating a China-funded stadium
  • Saudis play Syrian anthem for Lebanese football team
  • Belgian party leader Yves Leterme sings French anthem when asked to sing the Belgian anthem

Mon Dieu, where do they get these people?

Kudos to Maria Dmitrienko for her forbearance and restraint: more than admirable in a gold medalist in, ahem, shooting…

About Michael J. Kubat

I'm a grumpy Czech-born clinical social worker who is vitally interested in the survival in the United States as a viable democracy and a beacon of hope for the rest of the world.
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