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What It's Like To Be Young In Kazakhstan

RFE/RL's Kazakh Service has launched a photo competition asking its readers to send in photos that capture the spirit of Kazakh youth. From wedding parties to souped-up cars to snake dances, the photos are a compelling portrait of a post-Soviet generation. (18 PHOTOS)

Students wait nervously before the start of a major high school exam. The results determine which university the students will attend.
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Students wait nervously before the start of a major high school exam. The results determine which university the students will attend.

Playing chess in the park.
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Playing chess in the park.

Before getting married, many Kazakh couples do a photo shoot. They will use a photo for their wedding invitation.
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Before getting married, many Kazakh couples do a photo shoot. They will use a photo for their wedding invitation.

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Moving from a small town to a big city.
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Moving from a small town to a big city.

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A birthday celebration in a Soviet-themed restaurant.
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A birthday celebration in a Soviet-themed restaurant.

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A newly married couple prepares to release a pair of doves, which is seen as a symbol of a happy life.
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A newly married couple prepares to release a pair of doves, which is seen as a symbol of a happy life.

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A bride wearing a traditional Kazakh wedding outfit.
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A bride wearing a traditional Kazakh wedding outfit.

A Kazakh soldier
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A Kazakh soldier

A snake dance in the southern city of Taraz. Kazakhstan has snakes, but not this big.
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A snake dance in the southern city of Taraz. Kazakhstan has snakes, but not this big.

A family birthday celebration
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A family birthday celebration

Breaking in an untrained horse, a very traditional Kazakh pursuit.
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Breaking in an untrained horse, a very traditional Kazakh pursuit.

A couple on an Altybaqan, a traditional Kazakh swing.
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A couple on an Altybaqan, a traditional Kazakh swing.

Kazakhstan is no exception to the rest of the world: Young men like their cars fast and flashy.
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Kazakhstan is no exception to the rest of the world: Young men like their cars fast and flashy.

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