Visitors to last Saturday’s “Around the World Embassy Tour,” part of the annual Passport DC festival, came away with a lot of free food and tchotchkes from the more than 50 diplomatic missions hosting open houses in the city. Perhaps no embassy was as generous with its swag as the Embassy of Kazakhstan, which distributed bags, calendars, and a full-color, hardbound guidebook telling readers everything there is to know about the ninth largest country in the world.
And there was indeed some surprising information inside. In its music section, listed among Kazakhstan’s pop stars, is someone named “Billy Sexcrime.” That’s a fictional character from Borat, never seen but mentioned by Sacha Baron Cohen in an in-character 2006 interview with Entertainment Weekly promoting the movie.
It’s unclear how a Borat character snuck into a Kazakhstan embassy publication, whether due to an in-house mistake or prank by a third party. When contacted, the Embassy of Kazakhstan declined to comment.
It’s not the first time the Central Asian nation has been subjected to Borat-related spoofing in official settings. There was the time when, during the medals ceremony of an international shooting competition in Kuwait, officials mistakenly played Borat’s vulgar “national anthem of Kazakhstan,” instead of the real thing, with lyrics extolling the cleanliness of its prostitutes and richness of its potassium deposits (“All other countries have inferior potassium”). Coincidentally, Joint Custody co-owner Gene Melkithesian spotted that the embassy’s guidebook also notes “Kazakhstan is not only rich in traditions. The country’s land has all the chemical elements of the periodic table.”