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Rayok literally means "small paradise" in Russian. By extension it came to mean a fairground peep show, as "The Fall" was one of the most popular topics for these. The show itself was performed with the help of a box with pictures viewed through magnifying lenses. The show was accompanied with lewd rhymed jokes.
The term "rayok" has also become applied to rhymed humorous "talk shows" without any peeping, a special kind of rhymed prose. The expression "to talk rayok" (говорить райком) means to speak in a rhymed, humorous way, to patter. Rayok, both show and talk forms, was an occupation of wandering artists called rayoshniks.
Its use as the title for a piece of music implies a scurrilous entertainment. The word rayok was used in the titles of the following works:
- Rayok, a song by Modest Mussorgsky, also known as "The Peep-Show".
- Anti-formalist Rayok, a cantata by Dmitri Shostakovich, also known as Little Paradise, The Peep-show, The Gods and A Learner's Manual.
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