Borduria

Borduria is a fictional country in the comic strip series "The Adventures of Tintin" by Hergé. It is located in the Balkans and has a rivalry with the fictional neighbouring country of Syldavia. Borduria is depicted in "King Ottokar's Sceptre" and "The Calculus Affair", and is referred to in "Tintin and the Picaros". In the latter two comic books it is depicted as a stereotypical Stalinist Eastern bloc country.

Appearances in "Tintin" books

In "King Ottokar's Sceptre", Tintin reads a Syldavian tourist pamphlet that reveals the early history of Syldavia and its relationship with Borduria. In 1195, Borduria annexed neighbouring Syldavia and was under its rule until 1275, when Baron Almaszout drove the Bordurians away and established himself as King Ottokar I. In the later "Tintin" stories, this ancient rivalry continues with the Bordurians continually trying to invade or undermine Syldavia.

"King Ottokar's Sceptre" (written in 1939 by Hergé) depicts an unsuccessful Bordurian attempt at staging a "coup d'état" against Syldavia, trying to remove the king and invade the country with the support from Bordurian sympathizers within Syldavia.

In "The Calculus Affair" (1956), Borduria is depicted as a stereotypical Eastern Bloc country complete with its own secret police (ZEP) (led by Colonel Sponsz) and a Stalinist military dictator called Kurvi-Tasch who promotes a "Taschist" ideology. A statue of Kurvi-Tasch appears in front of a government building, in which he wears a moustache similar to Stalin's and gives a Nazi-like salute. The Bordurian military of this period is depicted as technologically inept — unable to stop a stolen tank commandeered by Tintin and his companions as a result of defective mines and anti-tank guns.

In "Tintin and the Picaros" (1976), the South American banana republic of San Theodoros, ruled by General Tapioca, has formed an alliance with the Bordurian government, which has sent him military advisors, including Colonel Sponsz. In an unpublished page drawn by Hergé for this book, a bust of Kurvi-Tasch can even be seen in the office of a San Theodorean colonel. Eventually, Tapioca is deposed by Tintin's friend General Alcazar, and Sponsz is exiled.

ymbols

In "The Calculus Affair", Marshal Kurvi-Tasch's mustache is used as Borduria's national symbol, appearing on the state flag, in its architecture, on the body fenders of Bordurian cars (such as Tintin's getaway car in "The Calculus Affair"), and even as a diacritical mark over vowels. Policemen and officials wear red armbands with the mustache symbol in the centre of a white circle. It is similar to that worn by the various organisations in Germany under the Nazi regime . Even the Hotel Zsnorr in Szohôd where Tintin stays refers to the mustache ("snor" is Dutch for 'mustache', and is also an English pun on the word "snore"). In "Tintin and the Picaros", the Taschist moustache logo can be seen in the decorations on San Theodorean buildings. A common Bordurian oath is "By the Whiskers of Kurvi-Tasch!"

In "King Ottokar's Sceptre", the Bordurian flag is black, with a red circle and two black triangles. In "The Calculus Affair", it is red, and features the Kurvi-Tasch mustache logo.

Culture

Like Syldavia, Borduria has or has had Islam as one of its religions: in "The Calculus Affair", a minaret is visible behind the modernist buildings surrounding the statue of Kurvi-Tasch. The other architecture features typical Yugoslavian-like older buildings and modern Communist buildings.

Language

The "Tintin" books depict the country's language, Bordurian, only in fragments. Like Syldavian, the language seems to be based on the Dutch Brussels dialect Marols, such as "mänhir" for "mister" (cf. Dutch "mijnheer").

Sources

Tintin albums featuring Borduria:
* "Le Sceptre d'Ottokar" ("King Ottokar's Sceptre", 1939)
* "L'Affaire Tournesol" ("The Calculus Affair", 1956)
* Colonel Sponsz of Borduria features in "Tintin et les Picaros" ("Tintin and the Picaros", 1976)

ee also

*Brutopia
*Syldavia


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