Indonesian Children’s Names

Indonesian names portray various cultures in the archipelago. Naming customs are also different among ethnic groups. Generally, Indonesian people do not have family name, with the exception of some ethnic groups such as Batak or Mollucan. So, Indonesians who have two or more names, all of them are usually given names. Names are usually derived from words in regional language or Sanskrit. As Indonesia has the highest Muslim population in the world, it is also quite common to see people with Muslim/Arabic names.

Indonesian names can be divided into four types:

  • A single name, such as Soekarno (the first president of Indonesia)

  • Two or more names without family name, such as Muhammad Hatta (the first vice president of Indonesia)

  • Two or more names with family name, such as Mochtar Lubis (journalist) and Abdul Haris Nasution (Indonesian army general)

  • Two or more names with patronymic, such as Megawati Soekarnoputri (the fifth president of Indonesia) – Soekarnoputri means daughter of Soekarno.

Today, Indonesians usually have two or more names. All of them are given names without family names. Generally, they are called using first names, unless they opt otherwise. Lacks of family names are clearly shown in Indonesian phonebooks. Names are listed according to first names, not family names.

These are some common Indonesian names:


  • Adi

  • Ahmad

  • Ari

  • Bambang

  • Muhammad

  • Names initaiated with “su”  are very popular such as Soekarno, Soeharto, or Susilo. Su meand good in Sanskrit


  • Mega

  • Putri

  • Ayu

  • Meutia

  • Fatimah

  • Indah



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