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Wednesday, August 18

Marine Drive
Marine Drive in Mumbai
:from Mumbai Photo Blog

Mumbai or Bombay? The UN is Confused
The UN has now decided to publish two manuals to standardize names across the world. The names of countries, cities, hills and rivers have been changing so frequently that postal services, search and rescue workers, tourists and public transport companies are struggling to cope.

Some of the most high profile name changes are those of Bombay to Mumbai and Peking to Beijing, and there are many more across Africa and India where local names are being re-adopted to throw off colonial associations. The problem has been made worse by the collapse of the former Soviet Union, where large numbers of countries in central Asia are changing the names of their cities in order to revert to pre-Communist times.

The former Yugoslav republic, which now calls itself Macedonia, found itself close to war with neighboring Greece over its new name because Greece feared an attempt at annexation of its northern province, also called Macedonia.

In Gulf War I, wrong places were reportedly bombed because Western defense forces were not up to date with the changes in names.

Wikipedia on the Calcutta/Kolkota Name Confusion
| Guardian article