The Balinese Name

In 2014, I had written an article about Balinese Naming system. But the article was written in Indonesian language. This time, I want to write in English. Hopefully will be enlighten you all. 🙂
The story begin when I had a chance to visited Singaraja, in northern of Bali island, to a home of Pak Komang. One of thousands of Balinese’s Komang. 🙂
At that days, I just realized that it must be lot of Balinese who had similar name. At least at the front of their name. For example Ni Wayan XYZ, I Ketut XYZ, or Ni Komang XYZ. Among several ethnics of Indonesia, Balinese name is some name that is easily unique to recognize. At least in my opinion.
When I had a chance to speak with Kadek, Pak Komang’s oldest daughter, in a breakfast I ask my curiosity to her. About how the Balinese forming their name. She said, actually the Balinese name is simple. It was a mark of child birth queue.
For the first kids, the children named “Wayan” (Wah-yan), “Putu” (Poo-too), and “Gede” (Gde). Wayan and Putu is male or female name. But Gede use only for male.
The second kids in Balinese family named “Made” (Mah-de) or “Kadek” (Kah-dek). These two names given to either male or female. What about the third kids?
The third kids named “Nyoman” (Nyoh-man) or “Komang” (Koh-mang), which is Komang has a dear calling such as “Koming” (Koh-ming) or “Omang” (Oh-mang). This two name also could be given to both male or female. The same rule also included for the fourth kids, which is named “Ketut” (Keh-toot).
Kadek also said that there is name “Nengah” (Ne-ngaah) which is used to the fifth kids.
“then what about the sixth kids?” I ask to Kadek.
Kadek laughing, and explain, “Balinese family have no kids too much.”
Followed by my laugh.
But Kadek explain again, if the Balinese family has the six and so on kids, the naming system back to Wayan, Made, Nyoman, and Ketut.
Is it naming rule only for Balinese Hindus? From the telling of Pak Komang’s wife, there are also Balinese Muslim who used this naming system. Since they were actually indigenous of Bali island. So there are name like Wayan Muhammad, and other name in similar combination.
Also, to differentiate between male and female name, we could see from their very first (Balinese) name, i.e “I” (e) or “Ni” (nee). “I” is for male, and “Ni” is for female.
This description also written by Elizabeth Gilberth in her book Eat, Pray, Love. You also could gather several information that more valid than mine. Matur Suksma. Thanks for reading. 🙂 [Afif E.]

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