Indonesian Culture

Naming

  • Naming traditions differ depending on the region the person is from. For example, Balinese children are typically named according to the order they were born in. For example, the eldest male is named “Wayan” and the second male child is usually “Made”.
  • It is common for Indonesians (especially the Javanese) to only have one name by which they are both formally and casually addressed. The use of surnames can be uncommon.
  • It is common for a husband and wife to have different surnames. However, often women will adopt their husband’s surname but not to legally change it. Yet, sometimes men may take the wife’s surname.
  • Another common naming tradition is to have two or more names without adopting a family name (e.g. Joel Renaldi).
  • Sometimes people will invent a family name in order to mitigate issues when moving to or often visiting other countries.
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