Students in Turkmenistan depend on themselves to rise above coursework that focuses on worshipping the country's leader.
Turkmenistan, my beloved motherland,
my beloved homeland!
You are always with me
in my thoughts and in my heart.
For the slightest evil against you
let my hand be lost.
For the slightest slander about you
let my tongue be lost.
At the moment of my betrayal
to my motherland, to her sacred banner,
to Saparmurat Turkmenbashi let my breath stop.
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Mariya Rasner is a Prague-based journalist
for RFE/RL's Turkmen service.