How many countries changed their names full and why?

It is the Stories Behind Countries Changing Their Names. Countries often change their names. These name changes can show how a country’s identity, politics, or culture is changing. Here we will see, actually, how many countries changed their names. According to the history, only 7 countries changed their names full. Let’s see the list of 7 countries that decided to change their names. This article will talk about countries that changed their names and why they did it.

North Macedonia’s Name Change : The Republic of Macedonia to North Macedonia

In 2019, the Republic of Macedonia changed its name to North Macedonia. They did this because Greece didn’t like them using the name “Macedonia”. This name change helped North Macedonia join NATO.

Reason for Name Change:

Greece has a region named Macedonia, and there were concerns over historical and territorial claims associated with the name. The renaming was a part of the Prespa Agreement, which, among other things, cleared the way for North Macedonia’s NATO and potential EU membership.

Sri Lanka’s Name Change: Cylon to Srilanka

In 1972, Ceylon became Sri Lanka. “Sri Lanka” means “beautiful land” in their language. The country wanted a name that was more connected to their history and culture.

Reason for Name Change:

The island nation changed its name from “Ceylon” to “Sri Lanka” to shed colonial associations and embrace its native heritage. “Sri Lanka” translates to “resplendent land” in Sinhalese. The name change was a move to reflect the country’s multicultural identity, distancing itself from the British colonial era when it was known as Ceylon.

Myanmar’s Name Change: Burma to Myanmar

In 1989, Burma changed its name to Myanmar. Some people didn’t like this change. They thought the country’s leaders did it to keep control. Some countries, like the USA, still call it Burma.

Reason for Name Change:

The change was perceived by many as an attempt by the military regime to gain greater legitimacy. However, the junta argued that “Myanmar” was more inclusive of the country’s various ethnic groups than “Burma,” a name derived from the majority Bamar ethnic group.

Congo’s Name Change: Zaire to Democratic Republic of the Congo

In 1997, Zaire changed its name to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They wanted to show that they were moving away from a past with bad leaders.

Reason for Name Change:

The country’s transition from “Zaire” to “The Democratic Republic of the Congo” was a move to distance itself from the dictatorship of Mobutu Sese Seko. After Mobutu’s regime was ousted, the new leadership wanted a fresh start, free from associations with the former dictator’s excesses and authoritarian rule.

Thailand’s Name Change : SIAM to Thailand

Before 1939, Thailand was called Siam. They changed their name to show their pride and freedom. “Thailand” means “Land of the Free”.

Reason for Name Change:

The nation changed its name from “Siam” to “Thailand” to assert national identity. The name “Thailand” translates to “Land of the Free.” At a time of increasing colonial pressures in Southeast Asia, this change was a strong assertion of the country’s independence and pride in its national heritage.

CZECHOSLOVAKIA to Czech Republic & Slovakia

In 1993, Czechoslovakia split into two countries: the Czech Republic and Slovakia. They did this because the two groups of people wanted to be separate.

Reason for Name Change:

After the end of Communist rule, there was a growing desire among Czechs and Slovaks for greater autonomy. The “Velvet Divorce,” as it’s often called, was a peaceful split, resulting in two independent nations.

Bangladesh’s Name Change : East Pakistan to Bangladesh

In 1971, East Pakistan fought a war and became its own country called Bangladesh. They wanted a name that showed their own culture and language.

Reason for Name Change:

Cultural, linguistic, and political differences between the two regions, combined with economic disparities and political disenfranchisement, culminated in a brutal war. Following its victory, East Pakistan adopted the name “Bangladesh,” which means “Land of the Bengalis.”

Thinking of a Name Change: India

Now, some people think India might change its name to “Bharat”. The leaders in India are talking about this idea.

The Backstory Behind India’s Potential Name Change

India’s consideration of changing its official title from “India, that is Bharat” to simply “Bharat” is rooted in cultural, historical, and nationalistic sentiments. Here’s a glimpse behind the scenes:

Cultural and Historical Significance:

The name “Bharat” has ancient roots, mentioned in both the Puranas and the Mahabharata, two significant ancient Indian texts. Changing the official name to “Bharat” is seen by some as a move to embrace and celebrate this rich historical tapestry.

Nationalistic Sentiments:

There’s a belief among certain sections that the name “India” is a colonial legacy, reminiscent of the British Raj. By emphasizing “Bharat,” the country would be moving away from colonial undertones and asserting its indigenous identity.

Unified Identity:

Some proponents of the change argue that the term “Bharat” provides a more unified sense of identity, encompassing the diverse cultures, languages, and traditions of the nation under one indigenous term.

Political Motivations:

As with any significant proposal, political motivations can’t be ignored. The current Narendra Modi-led government has often emphasized cultural roots and nationalistic pride. By floating the idea of a name change, they might be aiming to rally their base and promote their vision of national identity.


In essence, while the discussions around the potential name change are ongoing, the motivations behind it are a blend of historical reverence, national pride, and political strategy.

In the end, when countries change their names, it’s a big deal. It tells us about the country’s history, people, and what they hope for in the future.

It is to be noted that “In the forthcoming special Parliament session under the leadership of Narendra Modi’s administration, there’s potential discussion about amending India’s official title from “India, that is Bharat” to just “Bharat.” This proposal is gathering pace and is set for deliberation between September 18-22.”

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