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Home » Guides, History

Balinese Names  

by on Thursday, 8 September 2011One Comment | 1,066 views

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.

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