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Borduria: Is a Soviet aligned/ Eastern bloc country?

#1 · Posted: 4 Nov 2023 11:57
I saw on Wikipedia that Borduria is a Soviet aligned / Eastern bloc country. Is it true?
#2 · Posted: 4 Nov 2023 15:32
It's not really ever specified what the politics of the regime(s) in power are, in either Syldavia or Borduria, so I would be wary of making a definitive statement, beyond that the regimes of the two countries tend to be in opposition to each other...
As has been discussed several times over the years, in various threads in different contexts (use the forum search function, and put in terms like Borduria and politics or eastern bloc and you will see) Hergé plays with the political background of the two nations as a canvas for his stories, but - probably deliberately - is never specific as to what the situation is.
So in Ottokar, the impression one gets is that Borduria is fascistic - the "Müsstler" name being derived from "Mussolini" and "Hitler", and that would have resonance for the readers at the time at which the story first appeared.
However, in the space-race/ emerging cold war era of the Moon books, the Bordurians (and indeed possibly the Syldavians too) seem to represent the Eastern Bloc. The decor and vehicles are very much of the countries in the communist/ Soviet sphere of influence at the time.

That it is difficult to tell which side of the divide the participants are, reflects the same thesis that Hergé seems to be espousing at the end of Picaros, when Alcazar overthrows Tapioca: the names change, but little is done to change the status quo - Borduria is against Syldavia, Syldavia is against Borduria, but the actual label that you put on the politics doesn't essentially matter.

The English translation is perhaps a little more emphatic in this regard, as it works in a good joke that isn't in the French.
The leader of Borduria after Müsstler is named "Plekszy-Gladz" in French, which is a play on the word "plexiglas", but doesn't actually relate (as far as can be told) to the character or politics of the man.
In English he becomes "Kurvi-Tasch", which is a pun on "curvy 'tasch", making a reference to the luxuriant moustache of the leader, and linking nicely to the use of the circumflex ("^") in the Bordurian language - the moustache is also perhaps a reference to the equally bushy moustache of Stalin.
Additionaly, the name change facilitates his followers to be called "Taschists" - either from the name of the leader, or in reference to his (mous)tache, which then gives also has the benefit of sounding like "facist", which reinforces it as a political-sounding name.
So you get a sort of portmanteau effect - a politician who evokes both socialist and facistic associations.
#3 · Posted: 10 Nov 2023 21:29
It seems post war that Syldavia is a non-aligned republic like Yugoslavia, while Borduria is closer to one of the Warsaw Pact countries.
Michael Farr reckoned Szohôd looks like a Communist era city in one of his books on Tintin.

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