Hong Kong Sevens

Will the Borat 'mankini' be banned from this year's Hong Kong Sevens?

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 02 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 02 February, 2008, 12:00am

It is hard to stand out in a costume at the Hong Kong Sevens, but last year the group dressed as Borat were definitely the most eye-catching - especially when they donned his fluoro 'mankini' (right) on the Saturday.

The Sevens has always been as much about the party in the stands as the rugby on the field, and standing out as loudly and proudly as possible is a big part of the challenge for fans who fill the stadium.

And there isn't a much better way to attract cheers and perhaps a few free beers than if a group of big, hairy, perhaps slightly overweight men don the favoured swimming attire of the boorish creation of British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen for the movie Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.

At last year's Hong Kong Sevens, security guards struggled valiantly to have the tribe of Borats wear shorts over their tiny pieces of fluoro cloth, which left little - and frequently nothing - to the imagination.

And it seems there were other Borats at Sevens tournaments around the world, including Wellington, New Zealand, where the police announced a zero-tolerance policy towards the mankini.

A police officer on New Zealand television appealed to fans to have 'a sense of decency', especially because there would be children at the Wellington event this weekend. Those who turned up with the mankini would be refused entry. The Hong Kong Rugby Union did not return calls to discover whether a similar decency law would be introduced for this year's tournament, which is on the last weekend of next month.

But given the movie was made almost two years ago, fashion in Hong Kong will undoubtably have turned elsewhere. And one can only hope it's not towards Tang Wei's racy lingerie in this year's Ang Lee hit Lust, Caution.