JAVANESE & INDONESIAN NAMES
of Indonesian Literature, Fine Arts, TV & Movies
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Most Indonesian and Javanese names consist of three parts, all of which are the person's own name -- i.e. not shared with anybody else, such as their dads.
Both Javanese people and Indonesians call each other by first names.
This doesn't have anything to do with the degree of intimacy between them.
If the person is older than the speaker, or revered, or a stranger, the Indonesian 'Mr' that is synonymous with 'father' ('Bapak'/'Pak') precedes his first name - it functions as 'sir', too.
If a woman is married then others simply put on the title 'Mrs' right behind the first name without having to insert the husband's name; the same word is used to say 'Mrs' and 'mother': 'Ibu'/'Bu' - this is also the way to say 'Ma'am'.
So, married or not married, they call you You.
The difference is just this: you used to be plain You, and now, after your wedding, you are Mrs You.
We don't care a fig about what your husband's family name is, just like we never cared about your dad's.
In cases where the place to write it down is limited, such as in tax forms, name-tags, etc., the abbreviated part is always the last name -- You X.
The use of common last names shared by more than one person is a matter of personal preference.
Exceptions can be found within the Tionghoan (Chinese-Indonesian), Northern Sumateranese, Malukunese and other ethnicity's sociocultural systems that register one's name along one's clan's, which functions as an extended family name. Examples:
Javanese and Indonesian names that start with the syllable 'Kris_' originally and if applied correctly mean the proprietors of the names are Christians, and usually are of the Protestant denominations.
But since 1990's, because average Indonesians think that Christian names are 'cool' -- i.e. used by the Hollywood stars and people on the Billboard Top Ten -- they give names like 'Christine', 'Ruth', 'Naomi', 'Esther', 'Rachel' [Indonesians pronounce it 'rack-al'], 'Mark', 'Michael' [sometimes pronounced as 'me-chal'], 'Daniel', and such, often in English spelling but most of the time in Indonesian pronunciation, and nearly always regardless of the origins of the names and the fact that their kids are raised as Muslims.
The same happens to Roman Catholic names that are normally given to newborns of the faith as they are baptized, such as 'Sisca', 'Siska', 'Francisca', 'Fransiska' (the second and forth names are Indonesian spelling of the first and third -- all are used as names here), 'Agustin' (this is a female name to the Indonesians who use it), 'Agustinus', 'Nicholas', 'Nikolas', Margaretha, Margareta, etc. Those names are taken by Muslim parents to launch their kids into the world as, in the same mode of operation as the above.
Another typical Indonesian blunder: you will find millions of people whose names are exactly 'Benny', 'Charlie', 'Sammy', 'Eddie' (or 'Eddy'), 'Danny', 'Rudy', 'Ronny', 'Tommy', 'Teddy', 'Bob', 'Sonny', 'Ella', and so on, without having been registered on official biz with the State as 'Benjamin', 'Charles', 'Samuel', 'Edward', 'Daniel', 'Rudolph', 'Ronald', 'Thomas', 'Theodore', 'Robert', and so forth.
Caucasian nicknames are always taken as full names by Indonesians, and only God knows why.
'Charles' has been forever pronounced by Indonesians as 'Char-leSS' (stress the last two letters like them if you can). And many Indonesians take this name as their kids', too, or to be exact they named those kids 'Char-leSS'.
There are thousands of Indonesian kids born in 2002 that were named 'Osama'.
Downright unbelievable names have also been rampant among Indonesians, whose roots can be trekked back to 1965 -- the year the Indonesian Communist Party attempted a coup d'etat and failed very truly miserably (see History of Indonesia, or the history of Chinese-Indonesians).
The New Order Regime that rose from the occasion (they exterminated the said Indonesian Communists) just took every Chinese-Indonesian ('Tionghoan') as related to the Communists in China, or at least with the Communism of the People's Republic of China, or, indubitably, related to China, which was much of the same thing.
So the regime subjected them all to political repressions down to the release of laws to ban Chinese-sounding names and every Tionghoan was compelled to adopt an 'Indonesian name'.
As a result, archaic Javanese names that no urban Javanese born after 1950 ever used ('Kromo', 'Karto', 'Marto', etc.) and somersaulting hybrids of Chinese and Javanese names ('Martoliono', for example, from the Javanese 'Marto' plus the Chinese 'Li' and the Indonesian name-suffix '_ono' that signifies a male) have been everywhere.
Only in 1998, after the regime fell, the Chinese-Indonesian started to use their Chinese names again, and christened their babies in Chinese names.
Before 1998, shop-fronts like these would have been impossible to see anywhere in Java:
General Suharto's regime even went so far in 1990 as to force every commercial enterprise -- shops, service stations, art galleries, factories, etc., whether they were owned by Indonesian Indonesians or Chinese Indonesians or whosoever else -- to change their names into 'real Indonesian names'.
No foreign word whatsoever was okay to be fluttered, and no foreign grammar (Indonesian and Javanese grammar says you write the adjective after the noun) were allowed to show up on shop signs, let alone foreign scripts.
So the law sparked a sudden and overall birth of weird billboards over Javanese and Indonesian shops, especially nerve-wrecking to companies that had been well-known in their previous 'foreign' names.
The oldest and steadiest contemporary fine art gallery in Indonesia, which is in Jakarta and was named 'Edwin's Gallery' after its owner's and manager's first name, had to change into 'Edwin Galeri' -- and this new name is gramatically wrong as the Indonesian language is concerned (the correct one would have been 'Galeri Edwin'), and it is a major misspelling as far as English is the standard.
The manager couldn't do any better to attain both goals at once but to use this strangely-written name then, since its overseas clients and business partners mustn't be shocked by a drastic change of the name, while the Indonesian law had to be placated and it already was satisfied by a pseudo-Indonesian structure like that. (Click here for profile of this gallery, and Indonesian art galleries, artists, etc. -- I mean fine arts here, not handicrafts).
Probably 9 out of 10 Indonesian companies and shops have had even stranger names than that in 1990's because of the same law. Names that, in foreign lexicons, have meanings, became entirely meaningless when 'Indonesianized' as the law said they must get.
A record store in town, that was established in 1972 and named 'Pitstop', changed into 'Pisop' -- which doesn't mean anything in any language that we know around here. 'Rainbow Fashion' became 'Renbo'. Like Edwin's case, most of them tried to keep the old name without the name -- by writing them down in Indonesian pronunciation. That's really a nightmarish decade for linguists.
Only in 1998, too, this silly episode ended, and those places assumed their original 'foreign' names back since. Some of the establishments, though, still use the raped names until today. So in 2005 you'd still see weird names of Indonesian shops, factories, companies and service agencies. Those are relics of this episode of 1990's.
Another fact: Average Indonesians always mix Islam up with Arab and Persia in such a way that gives us the impression that they have absolutely no idea what they're talking about.
So the Islamic has always been mixed-up with the Persian and the Middle-Eastern.
Hence the ubiquity of names such as 'Reza Pahlevi', 'Moammar Khaddafy', and so on, along with the correct usage of Muslim names such as 'Muhammad', 'Ahmad', 'Ali', etc.
As far as these go, Middle-eastern and Persian political titles are also used as names by Indonesians, such as 'Syah' ('Shah'), 'Khan', 'Khadi', and so on.
The list of Javanese & Indonesian names is at the next page.