Bali - People names

If you have been to Bali or have interacted with Balinese people, you would have noticed that many Balinese have the same name. Most of you may already know the secret. But it made me go crazy at first. But now that I get the gist of it, I want to share it with the rest of the world. At Tulamben, the resort manager's name was Wayan. The driver who picked me up from airport was Koman. My dive guide was Koman, but his daughter was Wayan. The guy who picked Seleena and Jersey to join us for the dives was Madhe while the guy who drove us from Tulamben today is Gede. The owner at the homestay we chose is named Madhe, while the wife is Wayan!
Now, do you notice a bizzare pattern here? No!
But, do you see that most people have same names? Thanks God, Yes!
It is not a coincidence that all these people I came across have same names. But, it is intentional !
When we were having dinner at Koman's mum's place, he explains everything to us. The names are Gender Independent, which solves a big mystery. Then comes the norm for naming the kid. The first born "children" is named Wayan or Gede or Putu (I haven't met any Putu yet). Second "children" is named Madhe or Kadek Third born "children" is named Koman or Nyoman & fourth "children" is always Ketut.
We continued the rapid fire round with our questions.

So what about Fifth child ? Can you guess ?? The sequence repeats -- There comes Wayan ;)

So how do you address people in a group? What Koman say is, usually they have a calling name (Nick name), in each gang ! The friends decide the name to differentiate among themselves and use it.
What is your nick name ?
He is called 'Mojo' by his colleagues & 'Wayan' is seriously being nominated as 'Osama'.
How about surname ? Can you use that to distinguish?
Yes, but it might not be unique, coz for kids, parents chose a surname which they like.

Today when we were on the road, we saw a bunch of school kids and we smiled and waved at them. Then I heard Manu questioning himself. How does the teacher call for a single student in the class ??? How does she manage to do the roll-call ?


Divya Saurabh said...

LOL! Exactly what went through our minds on our first trip there. Starting with hi, hello, wayan, made, koman.. to err.. why are there so many wayans & mades.. and guess when we uncovered this confusing mystery!?! On the way back to the airport, the taxi driver explained! Phew! Thank God for that.. else I think I'd never be able to keep my sanity after that trip ;)

U_Kno_Who said...

Ha.. so am not the first one to feel so. I totally understand the relief when the realization dawned up on you :)

Pamitha said...

quite interesting...