Tsiattista is a lively, impromptu oral poetry performed in Greek Cypriot dialect whereby one poet-singer attempts to outdo another with clever verses of rhyming couplets often performed to the accompaniment of the violin or lute. Poets have a ready wit, rich vocabulary and active imagination and are able to respond to an opponent by improvising new couplets on specific themes within very strict time constraints. It has traditionally been performed by men at weddings, fairs and other public celebrations but recently women have begun performing.
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