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10 Countries That Changed Their Names

Numerous nations have changed their names for a variety of reasons, from political or cultural to historical forgetting. Let us examine ten nations that have formally changed their names in the past.

Burma > Myanmar changed in 1989

Reason for changing: The change was made to remove the traces of colonization post-independence.

Ceylon > Sri Lanka changed in 1972

Reason for changing: The change was driven by the aim to erase colonial traces from the nation.

Czech Republic > Czechia changed in 2016

Reason for changing: The change was made to make it easier for companies and sports teams to utilize its name on products and gear. 

Democratic Kampuchea > Cambodia changed in 1976

Reason for changing: The change was made because the changing leader and political allegiance.

Holland > Netherlands changed in 2020

Reason for changing: The change was made to draw attention to other regions of the country and promote tourism beyond the popular provinces of North Holland and South Holland.

Persia > Iran changed in 1935

Reason for changing: The change was made to erase the Western influences the term "Iran" was chosen for its connection to the Aryan race, representing all ethnicities within the nation.

Rhodesia > Zimbabwe changed in 1980

Reason for changing:The term "Rhodesia" - derived from the surname of Cecil Rhodes, the primary instigator of British colonization of the territory - was perceived by African nationalists as inappropriate because of its colonial origin and connotations.

Turkey > Turkiye changed in 2022

Reason for changing: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that Türkiye best represents and expresses the culture, civilization, and values of the Turkish nation.

Siam > Thailand changed in 1948

Reason for changing: Thailand was chosen to represent the nation as a more contemporary and independent nation. The name “Thailand” means “Land for the Thais” which gave a new sense of belonging to the citizens.

Swaziland > Kingdom of eSwatini changed in 2018

Reason for changing:King Mswatti III officially changed the name to celebrate its freedom from Britain. The name eSwatini was chosen to create a firmer sense of belonging in the heart of its citizens.

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