Kazakhstan - not only corruption, farmers and Borat
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Kazakhstan rarely makes it into the news. Most people's knowledge of the country rests on a corrupt post-soviet record, a tyrannical dictator, and last but not least, the 2006 box office hit, Borat. But as the following videos demonstrate, Kazhaks have a fantastic sense of both humour and rhythm. Read more and watch the clips...
Kazakhstan rarely makes it into the news. Most people's knowledge of the country rests on a corrupt post-soviet record, a tyrannical dictator, and last but not least, the 2006 box office hit, Borat. But as the following videos demonstrate, Kazhaks have a fantastic sense of both humour and rhythm.
French president Nicolas Sarkozy is in the country today signing lucrative contracts on behalf of France's oil giants. Human rights associations however are worried that the merry occasion will send the wrong message about a country that has a history of human rights abuses and democratic failings.
As is often pointed out by the international community, Kazakhstan is far from a fair democracy. The country's most recent election, which extended President Nursultan Nazerbayev's unbroken rule since the fall of the Soviet Union, was widely criticised for falling short of international democratic standards. Since then, the country's parliament has approved an amendment which allows Nazerbayev to seek as many terms as he wishes.
Not only does the country suffer a bad rap in politics, but its reputation as a people is also unflattering - something not helped by Sasha Baron Cohen's 2006 "mockumentary", Borat. Despite this backward depiction however, young Kazakhs are in fact keeping track of their Western counterparts. So much so, that they've already adopted the modern Parisian dance movement tecktonik - and are even posting videos of themselves doing it online.
Tupac, alive and well... in Kazakhstan
Video posted by "Copyrighthater".
Far from Sasha Baron Cohen's portrayal of a poor, humourless people, the Kazakhs prove their funny side in this parody of American rapper Tupac Shakur's 1998 hit "Changes". Posted on YouTube just over a month ago, the clip has already received over 200,000 hits.
Kazakhs dancing tecktonik
In the capital, Astana. Video posted by "Lyakatek".
A "school of tecktonik" has even been opened in the country. Video posted by "KZTecktonikDancer".