Balinese parents’ naming process?

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In Bali, children’s names are based on birth order, with four names for the first four children and the addition of “Balik” for additional children. Exceptions exist for high social status or occupation. Nicknames are also common. This system helps Balinese understand someone’s background and position in society. Bali is an Indonesian island known for its expensive coffee and gained independence in 1949.

In the West, parents often choose their children’s names based on the meaning of the name or in memory of another family member. In other parts of the world, it doesn’t always work out this way. For example, Balinese parents choose their children’s names based on their birth order. There are essentially four names in Bali based on the order in which a child is born. The eldest son is Wayan, the second is Made, the third is Nyoman and the fourth son is named Ketut. These names are given regardless of whether the child is a boy or a girl. Gender is expressed with the prefix “I” for “Mr.” and “Ni” for “Mrs.” And if a family has more than four children, the names are repeated with the addition of “Balik”, which means “another”. Hence a fifth son is named Wayan Balik, which means “Another Wayan”. However, there are exceptions to the rule. Members of specific castes or prominent families may have different names denoting their high social status. People with certain occupations, such as blacksmiths, are given distinctive names. And many Balinese adopt nicknames aside from their birth names. These nicknames can describe a physical attribute of the person or can be a Sanskrit name of religious significance. This traditional naming system is practical and purposeful for the Balinese. When introduced to someone for the first time, Balinese are able to understand the individual’s background as well as her position in society.

More information about Bali:

Bali is an Indonesian island with a population of around four million.
Originally colonized by the Dutch and occupied by the Japanese during World War II, Bali gained its independence in 1949.
Bali is home to the world’s most expensive coffee, made from partially digested civet coffee beans.

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