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Traditional Tatar Holiday Marked In Kazakh City

SEMEY, Kazakhstan -- The traditional Tatar holiday of Sabantuy was celebrated in the northeastern Kazakh city of Semey (formerly Semipalatinsk) on June 1, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reported.

Sabantuy traditionally is celebrated by Tatar farmers to mark the end of the spring farming season.

Semey has a large ethnic-Tatar population.

Russian Ambassador to Kazakhstan Mikhail Bocharnikov, Executive Committee Chairman of the World Tatar Congress Rinat Zakirov, Tatarstan's representative in Kazakhstan Ildus Tarkhanov, Tatar Cultural Center Chairman in Xinjiang, China, Ayzel Malik, and Tatar diaspora representatives from many Kazakh and Russian cities took part in the festivities.

The holiday comes in the wake of the 10th International Festival of Tatar Culture and the conference "Turko-Tatars in the Modern World: Past, Present, and Further Development" held in Semey last week.