Note to Self: Don’t Make Horse Penis Jokes in Kyrgyzstan
A Scottish gold miner may have been arrested for mocking a traditional Kyrgyz dish on Facebook.
When Michael Mcfeat saw his colleagues lined up for horse sausage during a holiday celebration in Kyrgyzstan last week, the Scottish gold miner thought only one thing: That traditional nomadic dish looks like horse penis.
But instead of keeping that thought to himself, Mcfeat posted a picture of the queue on Facebook and noted that his colleagues were excited for chuchuk, which he called their “special delicacy, the horses penis.”
Turns out his coworkers weren’t so amused. (For the record, the horse sausage is not actually made out of horse penis.)
The comment sparked a temporary strike at the mine, which is run by Toronto-based Centerra Gold. And on Sunday authorities arrested Mcfeat, who could reportedly face up to five years in prison under racial discrimination laws for mocking a Kyrgyz tradition. An Interior Ministry spokesman confirmed to Agence France-Presse that he was arrested after posting the photo online.
Mcfeat deleted the picture and issued an apology on Facebook, saying he never intended to mock his colleagues’ traditions. “I would like to take the opportunity to sincerely appologise [sic] for the comment I made on here about the kygyz [sic] people and horses penis,” he wrote.
Some of his Facebook friends offered messages of support, while others seemed confused by what on earth he was talking about.
“My guess is he’s taken a pic of some work dudes doing something, & captioned it rather inappropriately!! & what with micks more than unique sense of humour, it’s not been well received! either that or he’s just winding us up as he’s bored & wants someone to talk to!! either way, poor wee lamb!!” one user wrote.
Back home in the United Kingdom, Mcfeat’s family also doesn’t understand how comparing the Kyrgyz delicacy to genitalia could be interpreted as discrimination.
“He said it was a lovely meal, with the local delicacy, horse sausage meat, but he put ‘horse penis,'” Mcfeat’s father, John Mcfeat, said. “All we can do is wait, and the Foreign Office will hopefully try and explain that there was no malice in what Michael put, there was nothing derogatory meant by what he posted.”
On Monday, the circumstances of Mcfeat’s arrest — and his fate — remained unclear. The BBC’s Central Asian service reported that he may have been detained due to improper documentation, not his flop of a joke.
Photo credit: VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images