Bali,  Blog,  Indonesia

Om Swastyastu

Om Swastyastu

Om Swastyastu

Om Swastyastu: Okay I have been in Bali on and off for a year now and I have managed to pick and say a few words but really it’s about time I had some lessons. So this week I have plunged myself into learning some useful words a week.

To make things a little harder we are learning Balinese as opposed to Indonesia Bahasa. Well, we spend most of our time in Bali, so why not?

The added bonus is we get to learn more about the culture of Bali. Now some people have said don’t’ do it, it’s too complicated. There are 3 levels of speaking to people but we are having a go anyway!

The 3 ways to address people in Balinese according to the social order:

1: Royalty and Priests – you would Om Swastyastu to greet them – hands in prayer position.

  1. Formal language:  Swastyastu

  2. Lowest and amongst friends: Just nod your head and smile  or if you know the person well, just ” Raise your eyebrows and smile”

To say: How are you ? or directly translated as What News? – NAPI GATRA?

I’m good  –  BECIK or TIYANG BECIK    

SUKSMA  –  Thank you

MEWALI  – Your welcome

2. TIYANG PAMIT – I  am going now  ( to return home)

PAMIT – (with a nod I am going)

3. TIYANG MULIH –  goodbye in (lower language)

NGGIH – okay (pronounced N GEE)

So TIYANG means I

BAPAK – male –  YOU

IBUk – female – YOU (soft k)

Rahajeng semeng – Good morning

Rahajeng wengi – Good evening

Rahajeng rauh! – welcome

There are 4 caste levels in Bali:

  1. Monarch and group of Priests
  2. Families of the Kings – names like Cokorda
  3. Merchants and tradesmen – Pande, Sang
  4. Common people – biggest population – I – male and NI -female

You probably know that where you born in your family there is a set name you receive:

Firstborn child: Putu or Wayan 

Second born: Made or Kadek 

Third born: Nyoman or Komang

Fourth born: Ketut  ( and then it’s repeated over again for 5,6 or more children) So my Bali name is Made or Kadek. To tell if they are male or female and “I”  is put in front for Male and “NI” for female.

That’s probably enough for one week. Enjoying learning new things… it’s fun!


To read more about my life in Bali read:

or view my postcards  or find out about Mala Mantra Maker

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