If you're used to smoothly switching back and forth between "Holland" and "the Netherlands" when speaking about the land of windmills, tulips, and Gouda, train your tongue now for a more minimalist approach. That's because the Dutch government has decided to ditch the first name and stick with the latter, a rebranding move it hopes will simplify and boost its image around the world, the Guardian reports. The initiative, which will officially be launched sometime before the end of 2019, will affect the central government, tourism collateral, and businesses that have signed on. "The Netherlands" will now also be the name used for the nation's soccer team, as well as when the country takes part in next year's Olympics in Tokyo and in the Eurovision international singing competition.
The World Atlas notes that the Netherlands, long informally known as Holland, is actually part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which encompasses not only the northwestern European country, but also the Caribbean island nations of Aruba, Curacao, and Sint Maarten. Britannica explains that "Holland" comes from one of the original provinces in the European part of the kingdom, a province now divided into North Holland and South Holland. "We want to present the Netherlands as an open, inventive, and inclusive country," a Ministry of Foreign Affairs rep says. "We've modernized our approach" and come up with an "image of the Netherlands that we want to present to the rest of the world in a substantive and unambiguous manner." (Read more Netherlands stories.)