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Balinese customs

Why Balinese don't have surnames

As a resident of Indonesia for 8 years, I found this to be a unique custom in Indonesian culture.  Many of the former presidents of Indonesia had only one name. Ex. Soekarno, Soeharto.
I reflected on the nature of surnames and realized it's actually not that great of an idea.  Surnames are a way of dividing people into those that are 'in' and those that are 'out'.  I guess they're intended to identify those in the family from those outside the family.
My favorite explanation is that in Indonesia, everyone is treated as family, so there's no need to nitpick over surnames.  If I smile, most Indonesians will smile back.  Indonesians address strangers as "Brother", "Sister", "Father" and "Mother".  The forms of address for "Sir" and "Madam" are literally "Father" and "Mother", respectively.  Indonesians are extremely inclusive and tolerant of people. Doors to most traditional homes are open to any and all visitors.  I've never needed to plead for help when I needed it. Somehow, someone would always offer directions if I was lost, food if I looked hungry or a place to stay if I was homeless for the night. 
In the west, it's a big drama to house a visitor in your home, but in Indonesia it seems perfectly natural to share your home, your dinner table, or your vehicle to someone who needs it.  Crime is low, innocence is high, and our children play and overnight in their friends' homes and we often overnight in our friends' homes.
I've had a few motorbike accidents and in each case, as if by magic, every bystander would rush over and huddle over me to
  • get me on my feet
  • push my downed motorbike out of the way of traffic
  • return my keys, wallet or whatever had been dropped
That's my theory of why Indonesians don't have surnames.
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