Title image: Borat (film character), a man of controversial. Taken by.
Everyone knows about stereotypes and clichés. We know about them in regards to gender, races or nations to just mention a few example topics. Often we are not even aware of the fact that we are trapped by them in our routine and probably even worse once we travel. This effect is increases if it is a country or nation one does not know a lot about.
Being faced with stereotypes and the common assumptions they include can be an offensive experience for the person being categorized. We create in our lives categories to maneuver more easily through all the information and stimuli that we face every day. Although it can be helpful to work with stereotypes, we often forget too easily how it feels to be the judged person.
Akbota Tasmagambetova, a student from Kazakhstan knows this feeling well “I am not Borat” she says referring to the controversial 2006 film that featured Sacha Baron Cohen. Tasmagambetova’s friend Kamilya Kanat, from the International College of Language in Almaty, agrees with her “Yes, we are not Borat!” The two students are upsetby this stereotyped version of their country and culture.