You may have heard about many strange bans, What if you were not allowed to connect with friends on Facebook? Or, What if you were penalized for chewing gum in public? Or If you are not allowed to get your Agents of Mayhem fix post-midnight? Would you bang your head against a wall? What if that too was banned? What if you can’t dance in Public? The world we are describing is not some strange imagination construct. These are actual laws in some countries around the world. Here are 13 Strange Bans that make no sense:
1. Facebook in Pakistan
This tops the strange bans list. In 2010, Pakistan blocked Facebook in response to public opposition over a Facebook competition. The competition that asks people to share drawings of Prophet Muhammad. The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority has also banned YouTube, Wikipedia, and Flickr.
2. Noisy Footwear in Italy
Cacophonous footwear is prohibited in the Italian town of Capri. The Italians love their peace and quiet and anything that impedes this is thoroughly fined. Building sand castles and saving a spot on the beaches with a towel is the other things banned in Italy. Isn’t this strange bans?
3. Public Dancing in Kuwait
Dancing in public is strictly prohibited in Kuwait. The nation has rules pertaining to concert behavior where, forget head-banging, any movement beyond clapping of hands and swaying is prohibited.
4. Cross-Dressing in Australia
An old law dictates that men can’t dress as women in public. They are specifically forbidden from wearing strapless gowns in public. Men can be fined if they fancy going to a ball dressed as Cinderella.
5. The Satanic Verses in India
Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses triggered a violent reaction from Muslims in India where they accused the writer of blasphemy. In 1989, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran issued a fatwa calling for Rushdie’s murder.
6. Online Gaming in South Korea
In an attemt to control adolescents’ addiction to video games, South Korea has blocked access to websites after midnight. Termed as the “Cinderella law”, gamers below the age of 16 were denied access to various gaming websites. This rule, however, did not extend to games available on social networking sites or mobiles.
7. Dying in the House of Parliament in Britain
It is illegal to pass away in the Houses of Parliament in Britain. This bizarre rule comes with a caveat that prohibits dying within the walls of the Houses for it automatically entitles the deceased to a state funeral. Isn’t it one of the strange bans?
8. Alcohol And Cigarette Advertisements in India
Since the late 1990s, advertising alcohol and cigarettes has been prohibited in India. Surrogate advertising is used instead and these brands are advertised covertly as other products. Companies in the past have tried to advertise surrogate products using the brand name of their alcohol but only to receive flak from the Indian government.
9. Winnie The Pooh in Poland
The cuddly bear was banned from a Polish playground for being “inappropriately dressed” and having “dubious sexuality”. The local authorities of the Polish town Tuszyn decreed that the half-naked fictional bear could not become a mascot for the children’s park. And since then it is banned.
10. Blue Jeans in North Korea
Blue jeans are banned in North Korea because the colour is associated with the United States. Black jeans, however, are fine. In addition, the tyrant regime of Kim Jong-un has added piercings to the ban of ‘Western’ things. How would you rate this in list of strange bans?
11. Chewing Gum in Singapore
The ban on the import and sale of chewing gum makes it impossible for locals to get any. As an exception, however, people with a medical prescription can purchase “therapeutic” gum from pharmacists and dentists.
12. Lip-Synching in Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan’s former President Saparmurat Niyazov banned lip-synching in 2005 to protect the nation’s “true culture”. Well, the ban only extended to cultural events organised by the state and on television channels. He also banned several other “unnecessary” things such as the opera, ballet, and car radios.
13. Movies Related to Time Travel in China
In 2015, the Chinese government decided to ban every movie and television show on time travel for two main reasons. First, they feared a growing distortion of historical events. The idea of going back to ancient times, and changing the course of events didn’t sit well with authorities. Second, they feared that their own people will develop a disrespect for the Chinese history given these films’ and shows’ odd plot twists, made-up myths, and ideals of reincarnation.