Friday, October 27, 2006
Walesffact No.5: Borat is a Welsh
That's right, spudhands, his dad flogged shmutter down Cardiff market and he's as Welsh as a collier in a coracle using a leek to paddle up the Thames to point at the Tower of London and yell "!Welsh!".
Now then, what with the new Borat fillum, there's been some argie and plenty of bargie about his goodwill mission on behalf of the fine, Rorshach-blobby land of Kazakhstan, and much general curiosity about Central Asia.
No Good Boyo had the great pleasure of living in Uzbekistan for three years on a mission to persuade the melon-headed locals not to convert to Calvinist Methodism. I soon found out there was little danger of this, and settled down to an agreeable life of kebabs, pilau, endless sunshine, discreetly friendly begums and the diverting sideshow of virtuoso police brutality and the Taleban as neighbours.
A rigorous regime of defrauding the taxpayer and morning drinking had banished the memory from the mudflats of my mind, but top Brighton DJ, composer and ressurectionist Andrew Carroll reminded me that I'd written a short academic paper on the region some time ago, and so with a tip of the tall black hat in his geomatrically improbable direction I hereby present my other reader (arright, Gorilla mun?) with:
THE WELSH GUIDE TO HUNDERSTANDING CENTRAL ASIA.
Uzbeks are the Germans of Central Asia. There's lots of them, they spill over borders, they like hard work, lack much of a sense of humour, are very clean, think they should run the region, are plain and hefty to look at, sing the praises of stodgy food in vast quantities, and are cordially despised by their neighbours, whom they regard as a bunch of degenerate nomads and Russian- lickspittles.
The Kazakhs are the Americans of Central Asia. They like wide open spaces, big slabs of meat, crude oil, horses, whoopin' an' a- hollerin'. They are divided into three groups - The Great Horde in the East, which is dominant; the Little Horde in the West, which is innovative and has the natural resources; and the Middle Horde, which sits in the middle of wheat fields and gets jeered at by the rest. They think they should run Central Asia and don't give a monkey's knackers for any of their neighbours except the Russians, whose spit they lickle.
The Tajiks are the Irish of Central Asia. An ancient and cultured people, fond of singing and poetry, proud of their descent from the Persians. They inhabit a small, beautiful country, but are often more divided north against south than they are united. And God gave them a right bunch of bastards as neighbours. They have the strongest trend of religious fanaticism in the region, and are the only country to have had a proper civil war. They know that when they ran Central Asia sure it was grand, and that's good enough for them. There's also millions of them running another country - Afghanistan - and they think they're doing a good enough job of that. They consider their neighbours to be degenerate nomads, but agree with most of them on the urgent need to lick Russian spittle. Their neighbours think they have girly voices and lead the regional pederasty league.
The Kyrgyz are the Welsh of Central Asia. They're jolly, profoundly democratic, and inhabit a beautiful, mountainous country that no one visits and which has no natural resources at all except for some gold and clapped-out mining. They are divided north and south in lifestyle and geographical orientation, and are widely associated with sheep-related activities. They still practice droving, and have the worst cuisine in the world. Their southern valleys are home to heroin connoisseurs. They have never ruled anything, not even Kyrgyzstan, and don't really seem to care. They think their neighbours are soft and that they secretly wish they too were Kyrgyz. Their neighbours rarely think of them at all, except in a comic context, but if pushed will say they distrust them as sly and two-faced. Russian spittle-licking suits them just fine, and hey, Ivan, why don't you buy some of our lovely smack while you're here?
The Turkmen are the Albanians of Central Asia. A good-looking people with a strict code of honour and remarkable social grace. No one has any idea where they came from, and think it unwise to ask. Their language is full of lisping sounds. Their neighbours don't really take them seriously, but wouldn't push the point of actually telling them that to their face. They really like knives, and are to be found wherever there is trouble in the general region, such as Iraq, Lebanon and Turkey. There's no reason why their country couldn't be a going concern given its good location, abundant hydrocarbon resources and small industrious population. Sadly, they are run by a fucking lunatic. Their neighbours feel a little sorry for their having to cope with him, but not as sorry as they themselves feel about having to do the same. The Turkmen are not really aware that they have any neighbours, just potentially new camel parks full of poofs.
(Correction: Mr Carroll is a ressurectionist, not a vivisectionist, as previously reported. Apologies to all concerned, and thanks to Burke, Hare and Thomas Solicitors for pointing that out.)