Only 4 first names in Bali, true or false ?
If you already been, or planning to come to Bali, you will probably notice that a lot of Balinese people have the same first name.
Actually, you just have to retain 4 names and that’s all ! :) No matter your gender, job or physical appearance , Balinese from the Sudra caste (majority in Bali) have all one of these 4 names : Wayan, Made, Nyoman or Ketut.
It depends upon what ?
Simply it depends of the child’s position in the family.
In a very simple way : if you’re the first of your sibling, you will be name Wayan, meaning “the oldest”. Made,“the second”,Nyoman (“New one” or “ youngest” )if you’re the third one ,and finally, Ketut (“ The end”) if you’re the fourth one.
You may have ask yourself, what about if there is a 5th or 6th childs .
Don’t worry, balinese people have the solution, after the 4th one you just start all over again.
Nothing simpler ! So, the fifth one will be named Wayan Balik, Balik meaning “ return”. However, others first name can be used if there is repetition in the family , such as Putu , Gede or Kadek.
How to deal with this custom ?
The attribution of a “ personalized name” is given to the child during his first months. In the Indonesian culture, but mostly in Bali , the choice of the name has a real sense. Balinese people believe in the influence of the name on the child’s personality. Therefore, they avoid bad connotations… and depending of the physical appearance,character, even, or desired qualities, only after the third month this special name is given. So don’t be surprised if you cross a child by the name of Dharma , meaning “good”, or Santi (Peaceful) and Dharmi ( Kindness).
One of the great thing of this system is that it makes it easier to remember people’s name. Forget all the embarrassing situation in which you’re looking for his or her name. Come in Bali, everything is easier :)
You want to learn more about Balinese’s caste and firstname ?