Oct 27, 2006

The unique Balinese Name


Balinese don't have first name and second name. That's the truth. Instead, we have a kind of numbering system. (I feel funny talking about this). Well, the Balinese name consist of two parts, the first part is number or the part that tells us what number is s/he in the family. What I mean, is the child the first born or the second, the third or the fourth? The next part of our name is our real name. As for the numbering, there are four types:

  • Putu, Wayan, Gede, Luh is for the first son or daughter.

  • Made, Nengah, Kadek is
    for the second child.

  • Komang, Nyoman is the third

  • Ketut is for the last child


If there is the fifth child, then s/he will be named like the first born. Ok, I know you are a bit confused. Let me give you an example. Let say, you meet a guy whose name is Putu Arnawa. You know that he is the first born in the family because of the word Putu. And Arnawa is the real name, to differenciate him with hundred thousands of Putus around Bali. So, it is easy, isn't it? One last thing, in this article, I talk about lower caste in the Bali society. In higher caste, there's additional names which tell us what caste is a person belong. I will talk more about it later

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