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The Mankini Mistake

The Mankini Mistake

The news has spread pretty fast about six men in Astana, Kazakhstan. They were caught wearing mankinis from Sacha Baron Cohen's hit film Borat and were arrested for their troubles. The actor has stepped in and offered to pay the fines the men received, believed to be £51.

“To my Czech mates who were arrested. Send me your details and proof that it was you, and I'll pay your fine,” he wrote on Facebook.

The Stag Company has warned against stag groups wearing the mankini, especially if they are travelling to an Eastern European country. This is not just because they might get cold!

The mankini if you don’t know is a tiny green garment that covers up only the important bits of a man. It was made famous in the 2006 film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. While it appears to the naked eye (pardon the pun) to be the male version of the bikini, most view as an eyesore at best and disgusting at worse.

For Kazakh’s the mankini is a polarizing piece of clothing. It, of course, is linked to the film Borat and as such the character of Borat. To most, his character was an outrageous person based on the most base stereotypes. In Kazakhstan, he has been viewed as a very bad representation of people from the country by some.

There are those who have seen the benefits to Sacha Baron Cohen’s character. He brought attention to a country which was hidden from most, many not even knowing the Kazakhstan existed. Even some of the nation’s politicians publicly thanked Cohen in 2012 for his effect on boosting the Kazakhstan tourism industry.

While we understand that dressing up is an integral part of any stag group there should be some discretion. Some outfits can be in bad taste and when wearing an outfit, you should always keep in mind the consequences of any choice you make.

In the case of Borat’s mankini we would say it should be fine in the UK, if you don’t mind freezing! This is because the UK has widely seen the film and understands the comic context behind it. In eastern Europe however, where the film is more known for filling paper columns with negativity we would advise not to wear the mankini.

No matter what you wear for a stag do, make sure that you are always doing it with a sense of humour, not malice, and always respect the country you are visiting if your stag weekend is abroad.


Joshua writes with the scent of sea air and unwashed dreadlocks in his nostrils thanks to working from Brighton. He enjoys watching pretentious foreign films and trashy TV.

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