Friday, 28 September 2018

Naming Tradition

How Do Balinese People Name Their Children?




Name is the beautiful gift from our parents. Parents will usually give their children beautiful and meaningful names. Some parents even give their children a name based on their cultural and religion tradition. That naming tradition is different from country to country. For example, Indonesians people usually named their children based by cultural tradition. As you know, Indonesia is a multicultural country that has many ethnic groups. Those ethnic groups have their own tradition to name their children. So, from one ethnic to another ethnic will have different and unique names. Based by those names we will know what ethnic group they belong to. This time, I would like to explain about naming tradition from my ethnic group, Bali.




Bali is one of Indonesia province and known as one of the best Indonesia attractions. Balinese people majority are Hinduism. Balinese name tradition is based on their belief, Hinduism. Hinduism has caste in their culture. Those castes are Brahmana, Ksatria, Wesya and Sudra. Balinese names are based by those castes.

The first caste is Brahmana. Brahmana is the highest caste in Hinduism. Usually the Brahmana caste includes academics, intellectuals, economists, aristocrats and lawyers. In Balinese names, people who have names Ida Bagus or Ida Ayu in their first names are from Brahmana caste. Ida Bagus is for male and Ida Ayu is for female. Ida Bagus Oka, a former governor of Bali is from Brahmana caste.

Ida Bagus Oka,a former Governor of Bali

The second caste is Ksatria. Different from Brahmana, Ksatria are the ruling and military elite. People who have names Gusti, Anak Agung, Tjokorda and Desak are from Ksatria caste. They usually add Ngurah for male and Ayu or Istri for female. The national Hero from Bali, I Gusti Ngurah Rai is from Ksatria Caste.


I Gusti Ngurah Rai, The National Hero from Bali

Furthermore, the third caste, Wesya is caste for merchant. Wesya usually use Ngakan, Kompyang, Sang or Si for their first names. Famous person who has named from this caste is Ngakan Gede Sugiartha Garjitha, a major general of National army.

Ngakan Gede Sugiartha Garjitha, a major general of National Army

The last caste is Sudra. People from Sudra caste usually are common people in Hinduism. In Bali, Sudra caste is the biggest population than any other caste. You may often hear names like Wayan, Putu, Gede, Luh, Made, Kadek, Nengah, Nyoman, Komang and Ketut. Those names are from Sudra caste. Usually they named their children based by their birth order of siblings. For the first child, they will add Wayan, Putu, Gede and Luh. Meanwhile, Made, Kadek and Nengah are for second child. Nyoman and Komang are for third child and Ketut is for fourth child. They only have four names for fourth child they have. If they have kids more than 4, the fifth child will have name like the first name order. To difference the gender, they will add "I" for male and "Ni" for female at their first name. For example, My name is Ni Made Andreiya Eliata and I Made Mangku Pastika, the Governor of Bali.

I Made Mangku Pastika, The Governor of Bali
Therefore, naming tradition is the way people to show their culture. From a name we will know what ethnic group a person belong to. For Example, If you meet a person with name Made, the first one which shows on your mind is Balinese ethnic. That name shows they belong to Balinese ethnic. This tradition is one of the hereditary culture that we should proud of. 

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