These Tourists Were Arrested for Wearing Mankinis in Homage to ‘Borat’ — and Then Something Miraculous Happened

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Eleven years ago, a movie burst into public consciousness, simultaneously titillating and horrifying the American public. It was called Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of KazakhstanBorat, for short — and it was created by one-man meme-generator and actor Sacha Baron Cohen.

Between its risqué shenanigans (who can forget the nude hotel fight?) and bare-faced lampooning of American culture (remember the whole idiot-patriot cowboys bit?), the film, which toed a thin line between documentary and fiction, captured the American zeitgeist.

We had never quite seen anything like it before.

Borat quickly became the source of the year’s greatest memes.

Remember when people walked around saying “niiice,” and “sexy times” and “vagine?” Remember all the placards with photos of Borat, supporting America’s “war of terror?”

But then, something strange happened. They did a complete 180. Apparently, Borat was so popular, it attracted more tourists to visit the country. In April 2016, Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov even told politicians that after the film’s release “the number of visas issued by Kazakhstan grew tenfold.” He added, “I am grateful to ‘Borat’ for helping attract tourists to Kazakhstan.” Niiice…

Borat was not only an international juggernaut, it also sparked a fashion revolution.

The infamous Borat mankini, that lime-green sartorial atrocity Baron Cohen wore in the film, was suddenly everywhere. Men were walking around, pale skin out, body hair flowing freely in the wind.

One artist did a painting of Donald Trump in the glorious one-piece, and The Huffington Post struggled at length for a suitable name to call it, although we personally like “The Persistence Of Memory You Can’t Unremember” best.

Now, a little over 11 years to the day the film first came out, a new generation is embracing Borat’s most lasting cultural legacy.

Last week, a group of Czech tourists were reportedly detained in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan for “minor hooliganism.”

Wearing lime green mankinis and black wigs as they tried to take a photo in front of the “I Love Astana” sign, of course! Niiice…

The men had been trying to pay homage to Borat in the most Borat way possible.

But Kazakhstani officials, however, were not amused. They detained the men and fined them 22,500 tenge ($68) for their pseudo-obscene act.

All seemed very hopeless, and not “niiice” until a very familiar person stepped in.

Sacha Baron Cohen!!! He offered to pay for the men’s fashion “don’t” in a Facebook post: “To my Czech mates who were arrested. Send me your details and proof that it was you, and I’ll pay your fine.”

Very not “NIIICE.” In fact, why would you detain tourists for harmless fun, especially considering Kazakhstan is prime Borat country. Just sayin’.

C’mon, people, it’s Borat, it never gets out of style. NIIICE….