Friday, July 18, 2014

Balinese Names

Balinese Hindu community is divided based on the caste. And each caste has its own name order so that people will know in which caste a person belong to; Brahmana, Ksatria, Waisya, or the lowest caste, Sudra.

Actually the caste system originally indicates people based on the job they do. Brahmana is the title for people whose job is related to religion activities just like priests. In the meantime, Ksatriya refers to a group of people who are responsible in government system. And Waisya is a group of traders and famers while maid and slaves belongs to the lowest caste, Sudra.

But somehow, in Bali this system based on the job changed to be a social class. If you have heard people’s name begin with Ida Bagus, I Gusti, Anak Agung, Tjokorda, it can be guaranteed that this people belong to high social class (maybe Brahmana, Ksatriya, or Waisya). And Balinese people will speak with this noble people with the most polite language

But, they will use something like informal language when speaking with Sudra people. Wayan, Made, Nyoman, Ketut are the order name of Balinese people who belong to Sudra. Wayan for the first child is derived from word ‘Wayahan’ means the most matured. Made is a name for second child derived from ‘Madya’ means in the middle. And Nyoman is the name for the third child derived from word ‘uman’ means ‘the remainder’. While Ketut derived from the word ‘kitut’ means tail is the name given to the fourth child. I (for boys) and Ni (for girls) is the article putting in the beginning of a name. Just like Javanese, Balinese names usually don’t have family name.

Ni Ketut Tantri, a famous Scotland writer decided to use Balinese name as her pen name.

However, due to the social development and family planning program, Ketut is now in the edge of extinct. And many Balinese parents now eliminate Balinese name in their children’s name for sake of modernity. In addition, some people decided not to use their noble title and change it with a simple Sudra name as pen names. Putu Wijaya is a famous Balinese artist who left his noble title.

Birth order name is a well known and unique characteristic of Balinese name. The birth order name is given to a baby at the instant of its birth, according to whether it is the first, second, third, fourth, etc., member of a sibling set. There is some local and status-group variation in usage here, but the most common system is to use Wayan for the first child, Made (or Nengah) for the second, Nyoman for the third, and Ketut for the fourth, beginning the cycle over again with Wayan for the fifth, Made for the sixth, and so on.

These birth order names are the most frequently used to address for children and for young men and women who have not yet produced offspring. Vocatively, they are usually used simply, that is, without the addition of the personal name: “Wayan, give me the hoe,” and so forth. Referentially, they may be supplemented by the personal name, especially when no other way is convenient to get across which of the dozens of Wayans or Mades in the hamlet is meant: “No, not Wayan Rugrug, Wayan Kepig,” and so on.

Parents address their own children and childless siblings address one another almost exclusively by these names, rather than by either personal name. For persons who have had children, however, they are never used either inside the family or out, teknonyms being employed instead.

Balinese often introduces himself simply, as “Wayan” or “Made” without any addition of his personal name. This nature gives many difficulties to the foreigners when trying to find the right “Wayan” or “Made”, in the other day, among tens of thousands other “Wayan” and “Made” in the island.

Due to the ferocious campaign of family planning by the Indonesian government, Balinese, nowadays, usually have one or two children, so the name “Nyoman” which is used for the third child is now rare and the name “Ketut” which is used for the fourth child in a family is now in the edge of extinction.

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