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The pantun (pronounced "pun-tone") is believed to be uniquely Malay in origin. It is the most popular Malay traditional poetry genre and is still very much alive today, playing important roles at traditional events like weddings and other formal functions, especially in Malaysia and Indonesia. Many old-age pantuns are learned by heart and can be fluently quoted by the Malays.
For the purpose of this discussion, let us focus on the four-line pantuns.
(a) The lines of the pantun must rhyme in alternate line position and on the last word, i.e., the last word of Line 1 must rhyme with the last word of Line 3; the last word of Line 2 must rhyme with the last word of Line 4. The rhyme is described as a-b-a-b.
(b) Each line must be made-up of 8 to 12 word parts (or syllables), the best being 9 or 10. The number of words is immaterial.
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