Spend any amount of time on Bali, and you’re bound to meet plenty of friendly local people and make a ton of new friends. The first thing you’ll probably notice when you start chatting to the locals is that everyone seems to share the same names, the most popular being WAYAN, MADE, NYOMAN, and KETUT. However, unlike many other cultures, the Balinese do not have shared family names, so it can be quite tricky trying to determine one Wayan from another. Although this may seem confusing at first, the Balinese naming system does actually have an order that helps you place people in their family and society.
In general, Balinese people name their children depending on the order they are born, and the names are the same for both males and females. The firstborn child is named WAYAN, PUTU or GEDE, the second is named MADE or KADEK, the third child goes by NYOMAN or KOMANG, and the fourth is named KETUT. If a family has more than four children, the cycle repeats itself, and the next ‘Wayan’ may be called Wayan Balik, which loosely translates to ‘another Wayan’.