Friday, December 19, 2014


Transmission

Kazakhs Get 'La Vida Loca' Instead Of National Anthem

A video that's been making the international rounds captures an embarrassing moment for Kazakh officials kicking off a recent ski event.

Organizers of the 6th Kostanay regional ski festival were visibly mortified when former Menudo poster boy Ricky Martin's 1999 chart-topper "Livin' La Vida Loca" blasted out of the speakers after the announcer declared solemnly: "Attention! The national anthem of the Republic of Kazakhstan."

Here's the video:



Naturally, few news outlets could avoid references to Sacha Baron Cohen's "Borat: Cultural Learnings Of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan" in presenting the anthem gaffe. Australia's "Herald Sun" left the least to the imagination with its "Ricky Martin Make Glorious Anthem Of Kazakhstan" headline.

The film, and Cohen's brutally primitive "Kazakhstan national anthem," infuriated the Kazakh establishment.

But in stark contrast to the huffing public hand-wringing engendered by the Cohen farce -- which even spawned plans for a celluloid riposte -- Kazakhstan's political upper crust appeared to take this incident in stride, according to "The Telegraph":

One of the first media organisations to report the anthem mix-up was Tengrinews, a private news agency linked to the Kazakh political elite.

-- Andy Heil
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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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