Coca-Cola’s Secret Ingredient in Tajikistan: Sycophancy
Coca-Cola’s representative office in Tajikistan has, as a marketing gimmick, begun to sell soda bottles printed with recognizably local names on the side.
To advertise the drive, the company has erected billboards around the city showing typical examples of what the Coca-Cola bottles will look like. In a remarkable coincidence, many of the names chosen to grace the hoardings happen to be same as those of President Emomali Rahmon’s numerous offspring.
There is a Rustam, for the the mayor of Dushanbe, Rustam Emomali. And then an Ozoda, for Ozoda Rahmon, chief of staff in the presidential administration. And also Zarina, Parvina and Tahmina.
For safe measure, there were other names in the mix, like Alisher and Hurshed, but many Tajiks have already made up their mind that Coca-Cola is playing politics and seeking to curry the favor of the elite.
The president has another three daughters — Rukhshona, Farzona, Firuza — and a son, Somon, but EurasiaNet.org could not immediately confirm if they got the Coca-Cola treatment too. In any event, Rustam Emomali and Ozoda Rahmon are by far the most important pair to please.
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