Rules and laws are considered a necessity for the smooth functioning of a region. These are made for the ease and safety of the citizens. However, it is not always true. Sometimes, people are made to put with laws that might not make sense at first glance. No matter how disturbing they may seem to be, when there is a ban on some of the silliest things or actions, the people have no way but to follow.
If you think that your 6 pm curfews are a ridiculous rule, brace yourselves, because some countries actually outshone our parents and presented people with some strange laws and bans they were stuck with for ages.
Here is a list of 10 strangest things that have been banned around the world by the government itself…
1. Milan, Italy has imposed a ban on frowning!
Failed a test? Angry at your sibling for eating your chocolate? In the city of Milan in Italy, you can do anything in these scenarios but frown. It is illegal to frown, and an individual is expected to smile on all occasions. The only exception to this rule is if one is at a funeral or visiting someone at a hospital. (no more worrying about your parent’s reactions to bad grades folks!!!)
2. When in Singapore, be careful not to carry any chewing gum, let alone having one and spitting it on the streets.
The sale of chewing gum has been banned in Singapore since 2004. Only medical chewing gum is allowed, and pharmacists must have licenses for it and be penalized if they are found without licenses. Any person found in possession of chewing gum or found spitting gum on the roads can be fined up to 1000 dollars and can even face imprisonment! A second-time violation would lead to a double fine and third-time violators would have to pay a huge fine, along with community service, cleaning pavements while wearing a bib that says –“I am a litterer”. (And I thought only my mom hated chewing gum).
The city of Capri seems to be against the comfort of citizens. This ban was imposed as the noise of flip flops is considered indecent. However, this ban was put in place in the village of Cinque Terre as well. This was done to prevent tourists from hiking in their flip flops. Several tourists have been rescued after attempting to hike in their flip flops.
The grim reaper, with his scythe and his beloved companion death, can come calling for you anywhere, but it’s not allowed to come for you in the Parliament of England. In fact, dying in any royal place in England is forbidden for commoners. Commoners appearing to be sickly are quickly carried out of the area. This law was passed as the individuals dying in the parliament house, or any other royal grounds would be entitled to a state funeral.
5. . Restrictions on vacuuming timings and changing light bulbs
Australia has imposed a ban on vacuuming the house from 10 pm to 7 pm on weekdays and from 10 pm to 9 am on weekends. It is also illegal for anyone who is not an electrician to change a light bulb. Also, touching live electric wires and dying by an electric shock can attract a fine of up to 200 dollars; however, how this fine would be collected is a little unclear.
6. Ban on wrestling bears:
Ever had the irresistible urge to wrestle a bear? Well, you might want to keep those emotions under check as it is illegal for anyone to wrestle a bear in the state of Alabama, USA. A popular sport in the state, wrestling bears, was once prevalent. The sports organizers would earn huge profits from the game. However, the state’s senate passed the law against the sport with a huge majority in 1996.
China has banned gaming consoles owing to the diverting concentration of the youth. Not only consoles but many games, including ‘foreign elements’ like English words and English songs, were also banned. However, this law was scrapped in 2015, as it proved to be ineffective. These gaming consoles were imported from Taiwan and Hong Kong and openly sold in the grey markets across many Chinese cities during the ban.
8. Saudi Arabia has a ban on Valentine’s Day.
Saudi Arabia had a ban on Valentine’s Day for a long time. Anything red sold or possessed on the day was considered illegal. People were not even allowed to dress in red and were asked to change their clothes if they happened to be wearing red outfits in public. This day was banned on the pretext of it being a Christian occasion and is considered ‘un-Islamic’. People would buy or place orders for valentine’s day gifts in advance, leading to huge profits earned by shopkeepers who would sell these things at exorbitant prices. However, the country celebrated its first valentine’s day in 2019.
Malaysia has a ban imposed on yellow clothing. Anything ranging from a yellow cap to a t-shirt to yellow socks is considered a symbol of rebellion against the government. In 2016, hordes of people gathered on the streets of the capital city of Kuala Lumpur to demand the resignation of the Malaysian president. Since then, this colour has become a symbol of resistance against the government and can be why one lands in prison.
10. France has a ban on ketchup.
In 2011france imposed a ban on free sale of tomato ketchup, mayonnaise and other similar condiments. This was done to serve 2 purposes; first, to protect the authentic Gallic cuisine of France. And second, to prevent the kids from consuming these fattening sauces daily. These condiments are only served with foods they are usually eaten with/supposed to be eaten with, for example, French fries.
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Author- Ayantika Dey
Updated by- Shreyasharma