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More on Balinese Name  

by on Tuesday, 3 April 2007No Comment | 3,419 views

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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