President’s Day has come and gone, and aside from getting off from school (JK, we go to Villanova) and some killer sales, we in the USA don’t really do much to celebrate it. The same cannot be said about other countries across the pond, however. For this edition of WTF Wednesday, here’s a look at how some of the world’s most infamous dictators celebrate – yes – themselves.
In 2008, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed a decree to make his birthday a national holiday. While the holiday is actually meant to celebrate the founding of the nation’s capital city, the citizens of Kasakhstan along with Nazarbayev use it as an excuse to throw lavish celebrations. In 2008, THE Whitney Houston (RIP) performed, and in 2010 the 3 day birthday bender kicked off with the opening of an indoor theme park, complete with a monorail, human pin-ball, and a log flume.
Turkmenistan dictator Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov abolished the holiday celebrating his predecessor’s birthday and requested that his birthday not be celebrated as a holiday – but GB still knows how to get down. In 2011, he performed a love song that he had written himself – the guitar he played during the performance has since been preserved as a “national treasure.” Take that, Nicolas Cage!
3. North Korea
What list of dictators would be complete without North Korea’s Kim Jong Un? Although his birthday is not an official national holiday yet, he certainly went all out with his celebration this year by sending every North Korean child under the age of 10 a kilogram of candy. The real celebration happened on his father’s birthday (which is a national holiday) with the testing of a nuclear bomb. I have a feeling that probably put any birthday candle to shame.