If you have ever visited Bali, you might have noticed that a lot of locals share a similar name, this is due to Balinese-Hindu religion.

The Balinese naming system is a very special phenomenon and might be confusing at first. Let us explain!

In general, Balinese people name their children depending on the order they are born, and the names are almost the same for both males and females. This system helps you place people in their family and society:

Firstborn: Wayan, Gede, Putu or Ni Luh
Secondborn: Made, Kadek or Nengah
Third born: Nyoman or Komang
Fourth born: Ketut
Ketut means “little banana” or “the outer edge of the banana bunch”. This child is considered the “bonus” kid. If a family has more than four children, the cycle repeats itself.
The initials in front of a Balinese name indicate gender and caste :
– “I” for man and “Ni” for a girl for a regular Balinese citizen
– “Pande” from a blacksmith family
– “Ida Bagus” from a Brahman (respectable) family
– “Anak Agung” from a noble family

However, you might run into people with names that don’t fit into any of these categories. This is probably because they go by their nickname. Most Balinese people also give their children a second or third Hindu name that has a positive meaning.

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