A Kazakhstan beauty Queen has said she thinks her fellow Kazakhs should not take offence at the antics of Sacha Baron Cohen's Borat character.

Gauhkar Rakhmetalieva, who is this year's Miss Kazakhstan at the Miss Universe pageant in Mexico City, was inevitably asked about the film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan by reporters.

The film shows the main character, Borat, as a cultural emissary from Kazakhstan displaying bigoted views. Figures from the Kazakhstan government have previously expressed their outrage at its open mocking of Kazakh society.

Ms Rakhmetalieva offered an alternative opinion. She said: "In the end we have to understand that it was only a joke.

"The advantage is that now our country is world famous. As people are looking toward us, we have the opportunity to show how we really are: a modern country with infrastructure and a very developed culture."

A film is now being made to publicise the delights which the central Asian state has to offer visitors.

Baron Cohen has successfully used the characters of Borat and Ali G to disarm members of the public into revealing their own bigoted views.

Critics say the film also portrayed Kazakhstan as a backward rural country whose citizens holds racist, homophobic and anti-semitic views. But the film also pokes fun at Americans and was wildly successful at the box office.

28/05/2007 15:33:27