'The Czech Republic' Rebrands Itself To 'Czechia'
SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
Czechia, mate. The country now known as the Czech Republic has voted to change the name by which it's known. The Czech Republic is kind of long, a little formal, takes a lot of space to fit all those letters onto a product that's manufactured there, like Pilsner or Kelt beer, or on the jersey of the country's fabled ice hockey team. Made in China or made in Mexico is much more compact. The name Czech Republic was contrived in 1993 when Czechoslovakia, voted to split into two nations, Slovakia and The Czech Republic.
But Czech is an adjective, not a noun. So Czechia it is. National names have often been rebranded. As NPR's website points out, the French Republic is France and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is Luxembourg. NPR's Peter Kenyon suggested Czechs might want to consider Czech This Out or Czech Please. Tourism is important to the Czech Republic - excuse me, Czechia. The country has picturesque castles, charming Renaissance towns, wine, beer and a cosmopolitan capital in Prague. If Czechs want to attract even more tourists, why not just call the country Italy? Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.