The recent use of ‘President of Bharat’ in an official G20 summit dinner invitation has sparked speculations about a potential name change for India to ‘Bharat.’ While this development has drawn criticism from opposition parties, it’s not uncommon for countries to undergo name changes. Let’s explore some examples from around the world.
1. Turkiye – Formerly Turkey:
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared the official name change to Turkiye to better represent the nation’s culture and civilization globally.
2. Czechia – Formerly Czech Republic:
In April 2016, the Czech Republic streamlined its name to Czechia for simplicity, facilitating recognition in sports and international marketing.
3. Eswatini – Formerly Swaziland:
Swaziland became Eswatini to eliminate confusion with Switzerland and embrace its indigenous heritage.
4. The Netherlands – Formerly Holland:
In January 2020, The Netherlands shifted focus from Holland for promotional purposes, projecting itself as open, inventive, and inclusive.
5. Republic of North Macedonia – Formerly Macedonia:
To join NATO and distinguish from Greece’s region named Macedonia, it became the Republic of North Macedonia in February 2019.
6. Sri Lanka – Formerly Ceylon:
Sri Lanka discarded the colonial name Ceylon in 2011, asserting its independence from historical remnants of Portuguese and British rule.
7. Ireland – Formerly Irish Free State:
In 1937, Ireland adopted the name ‘Ireland’ and officially became a republic.
8. Republic of Cabo Verde – Formerly Cape Verde:
In 2013, Cape Verde adopted the full Portuguese spelling, ‘Republic of Cabo Verde,’ honoring its official language.
9. Thailand – Formerly Siam:
Siam transitioned to Thailand in 1939, briefly reverting to Siam between 1946 and 1948, and officially becoming the Kingdom of Thailand.
10. Myanmar – Formerly Burma:
In 1989, Myanmar replaced Burma as the official name, reflecting linguistic accuracy despite ongoing global usage of the older name.
Cambodia underwent various name changes over the years, reflecting its complex history, including the Khmer Republic, Democratic Kampuchea, State of Cambodia, and Kingdom of Cambodia.
12. Democratic Republic of Congo:
The Democratic Republic of Congo experienced multiple name changes, evolving from Congo Free State to Belgian Congo, Congo-Leopoldville, Republic of Congo, Republic of Zaire, and finally, the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1997.
13. Iran – Formerly Persia:
Iran transitioned from Persia to Iran in 1935, changing how the country and its citizens were identified, sparking debates among Iranians.