Balinese Names and the Confusion for First Time Travellers

When you first travel to Bali and meet the friendly Balinese people it can be very confusing in some respects and mainly concerning their names. It will seem that every second person has the same name! There are a tremendous amount of Wayans and Mades in Bali. Unlike in western countries where individual names are commonplace, the people of Bali stick to a protocol for naming their children.

Of course you will not find this protocol in the other islands of Indonesia except in the Hindu parts of Lombok. Actually it’s quite intriguing and a delightful way of naming your children but I couldn’t imagine the confusion if the family comprised of a baker’s dozen.

Basically the naming protocol is as follows:

Wayan, Putu, Gede for 1st born male child

Wayan, Putu, Iluh for 1st born female child

Made, Kadek for 2nd born male child

Made, Kadek, Nengah for 2nd born female child.

Nyoman, Komang for 3rd born male and female children

Ketut for 4th born male or female children.

The 5th born reverts back to the list for 1st born children. Last names are also given names.

Seems quite simple. I guess this makes me a Made or Kadek!