When in doubt just in case you find yourself not knowing the etiquette learn how to say ‘ma’af sekali’ (very sorry).
1. Body language: it is rude to point with the index finger. Use, instead, your thumb and always your right hand (left is seen as impure). The head is seen as sacred, so avoid patting children’s heads, and refrain from displaying the bottoms of your feet (also seen as impure). Talking with your hands on your hips is a sign of contempt, anger or aggression.
2. Hospitality: handshaking is customary for greetings (again, use only the right hand). A common method when greeting in passing is to press your palm to your friend’s palm in front of your chests, fingers point upwards.
3. Visitors: always welcome with refreshments, but refrain from eating or drinking until host says ‘silakan’ (please begin). When eating with hands, first wash hands, then use right hand only. Sandals and shoes may be left outside the entrance the home.
4. What to Wear: When visiting rural villages, skimpy attire is not considered appropriate.
5. Bargaining: in a Balinese market, haggling over price is not considered impolite, but be pleasant. Bali is not one of those places where making an agitated display of negotiations is considered part of the process. Smile, and insist on the price you want to pay, and if they refuse your price, smile, say ‘thank you’ (terima kasi) and walk away.
6. Public affection: touching between members of the same sex is seen as friendship affection, but affection between members of the opposite sex is seldom seen in public.
1. For BOTH men and women, when entering a temple, wear a sarong around the waist.
2. Please ask permission before taking pictures.
3. Please avoid pointing the soles of the feet towards the shrines if sitting on the ground.
Names tell a story
Basically, the Balinese only have four first names:
-First child: Wayan or Putu
-Second child: Made or Kadek
-Third child: Nyoman or Koman
-Fourth child: Ketut
-Fifth child: Start over with Wayan or Putu, and so on….
Balinese Social Structure
Balinese follow the caste system, and there are four castes in Balinese society. Intermarriage between castes is prohibited.
BRAHMANA – priests, scholars
KSATRYA – warriors, nobility
WEISYA – merchants
SUDRA – farmers, laborers (primary population)
What are some handy
Words to know
Good morning: Selamat pagi
Good mid-day: Selamat siang
Good evening: Selamat malam
Good-bye: Selamat tinggal (if you’re leaving)/Selamat jalan (someone is leaving you)
Yes: Ya No: Tidak
Thank you: Terima kasi
You’re welcome: Kembali or sama-sama
How are you?: Apa kabar?
What is this / that?: Apa?
Very good: Baik juga!
Please: Silakan Careful: Hati-hati!
One more: Satu lagi Finished: Habis
Bill, please: Minta bon
Excuse me: Permisi or ma’af
Doesn’t matter: Tidak apa-apa (Note: letter ‘c’ pronounced as ‘ch’)
Do you speak English: Bisa bicara Bahasa Inggris?
I don’t speak Indonesian: Saya tidak bisa bicara bahasa Indonesia.
I don’t understand: Saya tidak mengerti.
Where are you from?: Dari mana?
I am from America: Saya dari Amerika.
How long have you been in Bali?: Sudah lama di Bali sini?
I have been in Bali for…: Saya sudah di Bali…..
What is your name?: Siapa nama anda?
My name is….: Nama saya……..
What time is it?: Jam berapa?
Where are you going?: Ke mana? Turn left / right / straight / stop: Belok kiri / belok kanan / terus / stop
Where is the bathroom?: Di mana kamar kecil? Where…?: Di mana? kantor pos = post office kantor polisi = police station toko = shop bank = bank kamar saya = my room WC (way-say) = toilet kamar mandi = bathroom Currency / Exchange Rate: $1 US dollar = 8,675 IDR (Indonesian Rupiah)
Can you help me?: Bisa bantu saya?
I want…: Saya mau…
I want this: Saya mau ini.
I would like: Saya minta
I don’t want it: Saya tidak mau
Do you have?: Ada?
I like: Saya suka
How much / many?: Berapa?
How much?: Berapa harga?
Too expensive: Terlalu mahal
1 = satu
2 = dua
3 = tiga
4 = empat
5 = lima
6 = enam
7 = tujuh
8 = delapan
9 = sembilan
10 = sepuluh
11 = sebelas
12 = dua belas
13 = tiga belas
18 = delapan belas
20 = dua puluh
21 = dua puluh satu
22 = dua puluh dua
30 = tiga puluh
57 = lima puluh tujuh
100 = seratus
104 = seratus empat
135 = seratus tiga puluh lima
200 = dua ratus
1000 = seribu
2500 = dua ribu lima ratus
10 000 = sepuluh ribu
15 576 = lima belas ribu lima ratus tujuh puluh enam
1 000 000 = satu juta
3 500 000 = tiga juta lima ratus ribu