It is based on my experience during teaching at a national plus private school in Tangerang, Banten. I’ve been there for more than one year and I learn many things including personal names. I teach in its elementary school and find many interesting things, particularly names. I think, more than 90% of students at my school are Chinese descendants, but they are same like other Indonesian kids, because we are essentially Indonesian despite of Mandarin and Chinese cultural aspects (including Di Zi Gui) added as part of school curriculum as my school concept is Tri-Lingual national plus school.
About names, after little observation for a while (just based on my little naughty mind), I found three ways on their naming systems. I do not talk about their surnames, just their given names. The first one is surely Chinese names, but it’s only minority of students, the second is Western/Christian names and the third one is Pali/Sanskrit-based Buddhist names. Many of them combined with western, chinese, Indonesian-sounding or Javanese/Sundanese surnames. I was so shocked when I find three ‘Jocelyn’ in one class, or ‘Wynona’, ‘Brian’, ‘Michael’, ‘Michelle’, ‘Nicholas’, ‘Gracia’, ‘Cheryll’, ‘Grace’, ‘Janice’, ‘Jovita’, ‘Celine’, ‘Steven’, ‘Joshua’, ‘Joshia’, ‘Vincent’ and many more names among the students. The commonest names among my school students names are ‘Jocelyn’ (with all spelling variants), ‘Michael’, ‘Brian’, ‘Nicholas’ and….wait, let me do some more little survey in the future. Hehehehehe..from grade 1 to 6, then. (Some ‘real’ Christian names are also prominent such as Maria, Margaretha, Fransiskus, Anastasius etc).
It makes me dizzy sometimes, as there are so many Jocelyn and Michael in one school, even in one class…so, I differentiate them by calling such as Jocelyn A…or B, or I call one student with her given name and another with her middle name. That’s solution! Hehehehe..
Western names are the commonest also among the students, whether they’re christian or not. But I find so many students have Buddhist names, either partially or fully. Let me check the Buddhist names used among my school students (only in elementary school and still not all…)
Silananda, Virya, Wiriyaka, Annyadhitta, Paramitha, Sachitta, Maitri, Metta, Mettadevi, Devi, Dhammananda, Dharma, Arya, Putta, Khattiyananda, Khattiyani, and I found one student bears ‘Avalokita’ as his surname. The commonest ones are Virya and Metta if I’m not mistaken. That’s my fun analysis but important to knowing naming trends particularly in this era among the students who’re mostly Chinese descendants. Unique and Interesting for me.
Let me try to count how many Jocelyn or Michael from all students at my school.
Give the best name for your babies as name is also your prayer.