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Seven Countries That Recently Changed Their Names And Why

There are countries in the world that have undergone change of names for various reasons.

These changes might be due to political dynamics, cultural identity, territorial scope, and alterations in governance.

The modifications are often aimed at reshaping national narratives, asserting autonomy, or updating global perceptions.

Below are countries around the world that have recently altered their names and the circumstances surrounding them

Holland to the Netherlands

The Dutch government in 2020, announced its change of the Dutch from Holland to Netherlands in favor of its official name, “the Netherlands,” as part of a broader effort to modernize its global image.

Swaziland to Eswatini

In April 2018, King Mswati III of Swaziland announced during celebrations for the 50th anniversary of Swazi independence that he was renaming the country “the Kingdom of eSwatini”.

The unexpected change to the name eSwatini, meaning “land of the Swazis,” was officially adopted by King Mswati, who had been referring to Swaziland as eSwatini for many years prior.

The King announced that the country was frequently mistaken for the European nation of Switzerland. “Whenever we go abroad, people refer to us as Switzerland,” he said.

Turkey To Turkiye 

On June 2, 2022, the United Nations declared that Türkiye would be the official reference for the country previously known as Turkey.

The decision was widely interpreted as Ankara’s strategic effort to rebrand the country and distance it from the avian namesake and any perceived negative connotations attached to it.

In a memo about the name change in 2021, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, “Türkiye is the best representation and expression of the Turkish people’s culture, civilization, and values.”

The Republic of Macedonia to North Macedonia

The Republic of Macedonia previously recognised as Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia officially changed its name to the Republic of North Macedonia.

Unlike some other country name changes driven by cultural or historical factors, this transformation was primarily motivated by political considerations.

Following its declaration of independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, the country chose to adopt the name Macedonia.

However, this decision strained relations significantly with neighboring Greece, which also has a region known as Macedonia.

Czech Republic to Czechia

The country decided to change its name to Czechia for marketing motives.

In 2016, the Czech government officially adopted the name Czechia and recommended its use to promote a shorter version in international contexts.

The decision to propose the new name Czechia stemmed from concerns that “Czech Republic” was often perceived as too long and cumbersome, causing confusion and misunderstandings. Czechia was seen as a more user-friendly and modern alternative.

Cape Verde to Cabo Verde

In 2013, Cape Verde formally transitioned to Cabo Verde, a move advocated by the Minister of Culture, Mario Lucio de Sousa.

He highlighted the logistical challenges of frequent translations in diplomatic communications and tourism materials.

Intending to achieve a cohesive global identity, Cabo Verde officially requested the adoption of its new name in all United Nations languages, except for the longer form, Republica de Cabo Verde.

Cabo Verde aims to establish its identity through unique offerings, such as organic wines cultivated from volcanic soils.

Ceylon to Sri Lanka

In 1972, the island nation of Ceylon rebranded itself as Sri Lanka, drawing from the Sinhalese language, and declared itself a republic.

This change aimed to better represent the country’s multicultural identity and distance itself from its colonial history under British rule.

Although Sri Lanka officially changed its name from Ceylon upon gaining independence from British rule in 1972, it wasn’t until 2011 that the country formally removed the colonial name Ceylon from government use.

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