After complaints from Eurovision fans, the EBU have issued a memo to all commentators that they must start using their countries proper names. Apparently, sick of so many countries now singing in English, the fans want to get a bit of their countries identity back.
The whole situation started with a letter last year to Sietse Bakker, from a group of Dutch fans. The essence of the complaint was that they were sick of being called Holland, and want to make sure their country is referred to as The Netherlands, at all times. Sietse, a native Dutch man agreed, saying that “For years I felt it was wrong that commentators used Holland to refer to my country, but as Event Supervisor couldn’t do anything about it. My role was neutral, and I wanted to avoid any appearance of bias. Now that I no longer have that role, it was time to make the suggestion. Jon Ola Sand immediately agreed.”
Holland, as most Europeans know, only refers to two Dutch provinces. The whole country of The Netherlands is much larger and consists of 12 provinces.
A memo was issued to all EBU members, and it was agreed that Greece would now be referred to as Hellas. Albania jumped on the bandwagon and is insisting on being referred to as Shqiperia. Several commentators complained when told they must now call Poland, Rzeczpospolita Polska. Graham Norton is meeting with BBC heads today as he questioned as to whether he could get his tongue around that one.
The full list of what each country is to be called can be found in this memo.
Do you think this will give countries their identity back, or do you feel it will become too confusing?