When visiting a country that you’ve never visited before, you must learn about its laws. For what might be acceptable and inoffensive in your own country could get you charged with an enormous fine or land you in prison in another. So, be careful and study the laws of the place you want to visit to prevent any legal troubles.
Better do your research on Google and learn about the weirdest legal prohibitions from around the world before you fulfill your dream of becoming a globetrotter. To that end, here are eight of the most bizarre bans around the world that you should know.
Chewing Gums are Prohibited in Singapore
Singapore is considered to be among the cleanest countries in the world. The island city-state has strict laws against littering, graffiti, urinating and spitting in public. But, perhaps, the most well-known law in Singapore that supports their cleanliness campaign is the ban on chewing gum.
In 1992, the ban on chewing gum was introduced by the late Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. According to the founding father of modern Singapore, chewing gum being thrown everywhere is not a good sign of a prosperous nation. Thus, he imposed the prohibition of the sales of chewing gum, and whoever is caught has to pay a $500 fine.
In 2004, the strict law on chewing gum was relaxed. There’s now an exception for the dental or therapeutic use of chewing gum, which one can buy from a registered pharmacist or a doctor.
Rome Prohibits Owning a Goldfish in a Bowl
Do you own a goldfish in a bowl? Well, you can’t do that in Rome. According to city councilors in the Italian capital, keeping a fish in a bowl is animal cruelty. Moreover, animal rights activists in the city said that goldfish are social creatures and do have feelings.
You can’t also own a dog in Rome and not take them for a walk every day. Failure to comply with this animal rights law can get you fined around $600.
China Bans Time Travel Movies and Shows
You shouldn’t dream of living in China if you love sci-fi films and television shows about time travel. The State Administration for Radio, Film & Television in China said that movies and TV shows that talk about time travel are “disrespecting history” and “promoting superstition.” Now, it’s time to sympathize with all the sci-fi fanatics in China.
Playing Scrabble Was Once Illegal in Romania
In the 1980s, the communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu of Romania made Scrabble illegal. He said that this board game is a “subversive evil” and “overly intellectual.” Well, it’s undeniable that losing in a game of Scrabble sometimes reminds you how illiterate or unintellectual you are. But it seemed that the Romanian President was so serious about it.
Thankfully, the ban on playing Scrabble has been lifted. Now, you can play this classic board game with your friends or join in competitions with no worries. If you want to play Scrabble, please check out this Tomato timer for better time management.
Winnie the Pooh Outlawed in Poland
Councilors in Tuszyn, a small town in Poland, have imposed a ban on everything that has Winnie the Pooh in it. They claimed that this famed cartoon character is inappropriately dressed and of “dubious sexuality,” which can be a negative influence on kids.
This ban means that children are not allowed to use lunch boxes, backpacks, clothes, and anything which contains an image of Winnie the Pooh in public.
You’re Not Allowed to Die in Svalbard, Norway
A ban on dying is indeed a fascinating yet ridiculous idea. But, in Svalbard, Norway, there exists a law that prohibits citizens from kicking the bucket due to the problem of burying the dead bodies under the permanently frozen ground. It means that you should go elsewhere to die.
According to government officials, dead bodies can’t decompose in frozen ground, and this may cause diseases to spread. If a person is dying or should die there, he/she (or his/her remains ) will be sent to the mainland. Cremation of the bodies, on the other hand, requires the approval of the state.
Samoa Prohibits Forgetting Your Wife’s Birthday
For sure, it’s unbecoming for a husband to forget the birthday of his wife. But the government of Samoa takes this otherwise husband-and-wife problem to the next level. In case you forget your wife’s birthday, the court can charge you with a fine, which will be given to your wife.
France Outlaws Kissing at Railway Stations
The prohibition on kissing at railway stations was introduced in France in 1910. Authorities received complaints from railway managers that lovers kissing at railway platforms delay the going of the trains. So, they install designated kissing zones where you can have a public display of affection with your loved one.
It’s crucial to do some research on the laws of the countries that you want to visit. It’s because there are some strange legal prohibitions in some countries that can land you in jail or cause you to pay a fine. Better to avoid any legal trouble so that you can enjoy your trip to such places.