The Czech Republic wants more people to refer to it as ‘Czechia’.
While it isn’t common, it isn’t unheard of for a country to change its name. It may take some getting used to for locals and foreigners but after some time, it becomes the new normal. Thailand was once Siam, Myanmar was Burma, the Netherlands went by Holland and Iran was called Persia.
Sometimes, the new name is so similar, no one notices when it officially changes. In 2022, The Republic of Iceland became ‘Iceland’ while this year Micronesia became the ‘Federated States of Micronesia’.
The Czech Republic will join other countries who have shortened or simplified their names and has asked more people to refer to it as ‘Czechia’.
Both the Czech Republic and the shortened Czechia have been officially recognized names since 2016. If the move is approved by parliament, the country would keep its full name but make the official short geographic name ‘Czechia’. Similar to how The French Republic’s official short geographic name is France.
The Czech Republic would be used for government documents, embassy business and legal correspondence while Czechia, would be used in more casual, practical circumstances.
The country wishes to use Czechia in things like newspapers, literary works, company brands and sports teams, where a shorter name is more practical.
This will technically be a return to its previous name, as in the 1990s, it was known as Czechia when it was still part of Czechoslovakia. When the country split from Slovakia in 1992, it took on the name the Czech Republic.
Regardless of what name it goes by, the country remains a gem of Europe that is often missed by the larger tourist crowds. Those who decide to visit its capital Prague, or other cities like Brno and Liberec, will be treated to charming historical architecture, lush mountainsides and fewer crowds than other tourist hot spots.