Monday, May 7, 2012

Kazakhstan on the Map Through Borat

Nadene Goldfoot
Sasha Baron Cohen is an English Jewish comedian who was just interviewed on NBC's morning show, TODAY by Matt Lauer, who was cracking up.  He had created a character named Borat, subtitled as Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan in 2006.  He plays the part of a Kazakh TV talking head Borat who is dispatched to the United States to report on the greatest country in the world. He gets sidetracked in wanting to marry up with Pamela Anderson.  It is a riot.   A few months ago, this Kazakh journalist Borat and even another one of his characters, Cockney-Ebonics poser Ali G, would be retired.  His newest movie, The Dictator, is coming out in theaters on May 16th.  It's a takeoff of Qaddafi, basically.

I am pursuing my my interest in DNA of my family, and am on a chat discussion group about it.  Men are the most interesting to learn about as their DNA tells us better where we originated and how far back we can go.  Men's Ydna can be traced back 60,000 years ago and it has kept changing or mutating.  Women can be traced back 150,000 years ago and our dna rarely mutates.  I say that the reason for this is when we were created, G-d figured he did a great job and why tamper with perfection while men need to be kept in line and tuned up so much that they have to mutate much faster.

At any rate, one day I was contacted by a near-relative living in Kazakhstan who was not too happy with the publicity that our "Borat" had given to his country.  Actually, most of the Kazakhs have discovered that it has brought about a lot of tourism and are getting over the put-down that Borat delivered to them.

I found it incredible that I would have relatives there; albeit they are not first cousins, but somewhere along the branch of my tree.  Here I am, Jewish, and Kazakhstan is a country of 16,433,000 where 70.2% of the population are Sunni Muslim.  Their country is secular.

There are, in fact, 12,300 Jews or 0.2% of the population living in Kazakhstan.  They are Ashkenazi and speak Russian.  Stalin had moved Jews from the Soviet Union to Kazakhstan.  8,000 had fled to this large country during the Holocaust for survival.

Levi Yitzchak Schneerson was exiled there from Ukraine, Dneprpetrvsk where he had been chief rabbi. Lubavitcher Jews go there to pray at his grave.  There is no anti-Semitism, G-d willing, in Kazakhstan.


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