What’s in a Bali Name? Lots, Says Minister

NUSA DUA ~ The growing trend to use foreign placenames in Bali threatens to weaken community links with tradition and mask geographical history, according to Home Affairs Minister Mardiayanto.

The minister’s statement was released at the Southeast Asian Survey Congress at Nusa Dua on Tuesday.

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, local names often reflect the culture and history of a location and these could be lost when foreign names were used instead.

The statement did not mention specific placenames in Bali. But delegates at the conference understood reference was being made to such places as the popular Dreamland Beach on the Bukit, Marlboro Street linking West Denpasar with North Kuta and West Japan Teacart Muar.

The use of foreign names, and also nicknames given to places by tourists, threatened to kill off local placenames and deprive young people of local cultural roots, said the ministry.

Minister Mardiayanto said Indonesia was a culturally rich nation whose traditional placenames reflected a location’s history and legends.

“The traditional name of a place is important to its historical identity and to the identity of the Indonesian people,” he said.

“Traditional placenames help build the spirit of nationalism and love of one’s country.

“It is very important to maintain the traditional geographical names of places.”

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