Only four names in Bali!

Only four names in Bali!, Yell “WAYAN!” on a crowded street and observed how many people looking at you!

Regarding the names, the local culture in Bali is unique. Indeed, traditional Balinese parents have to name their children based on birth order. The firstborn is “Wayan”, second is “Made”, the third is “Nyoman”, and fourth is “Ketut” for both men and women. When the family has more than 4 kids, the same names start again, thus the fifth one will be called Wayan and so on. However, Balinese people do not have family names, so it can be hard to determine one Wayan from another.

To make thinks easily and to have a more personal name, most of the Balinese give to their babies a second or third Hindu name that has a spiritual meaning. For example Dewi mean goddess and Setiawan mean faithful. Nicknames are also a current habit in Bali, they can be based on physical attributes such as Nyoman Lantang (tall Nyoman) or Made Gemuk (fat Wayan). They also can be based on character traits like Ketut Santi (peaceful Ketut).

There are many ways to call a local friend you have just to ask for the second name or the nickname!