Tsiattista (poetic duelling)
Tsiattista - Poetic Duelling Included on the UNESCO Intangible World Heritage List
An integral part of the annual Festival of the Flood (Kataklysmos) is the competitions of improvised/impromptu poetic duelling known as 'Tsiattista', whereby two 'opponents' try to outwit one another with their words.
The witty and amusing verses of rhyming couplets are often performed to the accompaniment of traditional violin or lute in ‘jousts’ and in heavy Cypriot slang.
The most common metrical form is the iambic fifteen-syllable verse in a rhyming couplet, although a poet may use eight-syllable, six-syllable or even nine-syllable verses.
You can watch examples of these battles of words via the enriched content of the Larnaka Virtual Museums, which includes videos of Tsiattista from Kataklysmos 1986 and 2009 on the virtual video screens of the Larnaka Historic Archives Museum.