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Motorcycle and Identity  

by on Monday, 1 September 20086 Comments | 7,045 views

Motorcycle or motorbike in Bali is not just the most popular means of transportation, but also become a part of identity for its rider especially in the rural areas. These phenomenons happen due to the popularity of the motorcycle combines with the way of Balinese introduce themselves.

Motorcycle in Bali

Balinese usually introduce themselves with their birth order name. 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.

Yamaha Mio

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

This lack of information in specifying the right “Wayan” or “Made” is usually tackled by adding the information of what kind of motorcycle the right “Wayan” or “Made” rides on. The conversation usually goes like this:
A: Did you meet Made yesterday?
B: Which Made?
A: Made, the one who ride red Mio (a brand of motorcycle)
B: Yes, He talked a lot about you.

Red Yamaha Mio

Why the information on motorcycle is used to specify someone? Most of family member in a Balinese family has his or her own motorcycle. In some families as soon as the family member enters junior high school, he or she will be given a motorcycle but most families give motorcycle to their family member as soon as he or she enters High School. When a family member get his or her own motorcycle he or she will use it most of the time, even to cover a short distance, so the motorcycle will become a part of his or her own appearance in the public and it is convenience for the public to affiliated the person and his or her motorcycle.

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