The Chinese language is perfectly suited to puns because it has many homophones. Numerous popular sayings and even customs, as well as jokes, rely on wordplay here, but the Chinese government decided to ban puns and wordplays for fear of “cultural and linguistic chaos.”
Russia came with a series of anti-emo laws to outlaw “rebellious kids with pierced lips, ridiculous haircuts, and too much eye shadow” because the Russian government considered the Emo culture a “dangerous teen trend.”
If you want to visit Milan, make sure to smile all the time. The Italian metropolis has imposed a ban on frowning. The city states that it is a legal requirement to smile at all times, except during funerals or hospital visits. Grouches who dare to break this regulation can face a fine.
In 1948, Japan passed a law that banned dancing at public venues. Citizens were only permitted to dance until midnight at properly licensed clubs. This ban was originally introduced as a means to cut out prostitution, which was linked to dancing establishments.
Walking in public with ice cream in your pocket
Definitely one of the weirdest things that has been banned in America…walking in public with ice cream in your pocket is illegal in New York. Interestingly, this bizarre rule applies only on Sundays.
Renowned for its world-famous cuisine, France decided that local elementary schools would be better off without ketchup. The only exception when students can eat ketchup in school is when French fries are served.
In 2004, Singapore, a city-state in Southeast Asia, imposed a strict ban on chewing gum imports. There is also a fine for spitting a gum out on the street. Singapore is also famous for its unusual laws against litter, graffiti, jaywalking, spitting, expelling “mucus from the nose,” and urinating anywhere but in a toilet.
The Australians may not be the most conservative nation in the world, but it still caused a huge controversy when the country’s government banned adult publications and films featuring women with small breasts.
Winnie the Pooh
Tuszyn, a little town in Central Poland, decided to ban the iconic, honey-loving character from its playgrounds. Local authorities argued that Pooh is “half-naked” and of “dubious sexuality,” which is wholly inappropriate for little children.
In 1979, Sweden became the first country in the world to ban physical punishment of children. Yes, that means not even parents are allowed to spank their own children in this European country. Since then, more than 30 other countries have passed similar laws.
The fast food giant has been running its restaurants in most countries of the world. However, there are actually several places where McDonald’s has been banned by local authorities, including countries such as New Zealand, Bermuda, Kazakhstan, or Monte Negro.
In 2011, the Malaysian government banned the color yellow in clothing because it was the color of a group of opposition activists who called for then Malaysian prime minister to resign.
Reincarnation without Consent
One of the most bizarre things banned in China, reincarnation without consent was prohibited as an attempt of the Chinese government to keep Buddhist monks from Tibet under control, particularly to diminish the Dalai Lama’s influence in the region.
Dying in the Houses of Parliament
One of the most famous and silliest of Great Britain’s law says it’s illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament, the seat of the British Parliament in Central London. We can only speculate what punishment for this particular offence would be.
In Burundi, a little country in Central Africa, people used to vent their fear and frustration over violent ethnic conflicts by running. However, in March 2014, the country’s president decreed that such a practice was to be banned. He feared it was being used as a cover for subversion.
In the 1980’s, the infamous Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu went a little overboard and called for a ban on the popular word game Scrabble. He described it as “overly intellectual” and a “subversive evil.”
Customs officials in Turkmenistan reportedly refused to allow the importation of black vehicles. They did not give a reason for the decision, but they advised importers to buy white vehicles instead because it’s considered a lucky color in this Central Asian country.
In 2010, Iran banned ponytails, mullets, long, gelled hair as well as tattoos, sunbed treatments, body modifications, and plucked eyebrows for men, explaining that all of these western fads were un-Islamic.
The popular American actress Claire Danes was banned from entering Manila, the capital of the Philippines, in the late 1990’s after she gave several interviews in which she described conditions in the city, where she was filming a movie, in less-than-favorable terms. The city also instituted a ban on all movies starring Danes.
The idea of time travelling became very popular in China recently, but obviously, the local government did not share the excitement. For fear of distorting certain historical events, things, and people, the country decided to ban this concept, explaining that “producers and writers are treating the serious history in a frivolous way, which should by no means be encouraged anymore.”
In 2011, after the success of Tunisian protesters’ revolt against their government earlier that year, anonymous Chinese counterparts began to call for their own “Jasmine Revolution,” organizing weekly pro-democracy demonstrations around the country. The response of the Chinese government was quick and uncompromising – the jasmine flower was banned in the country.
There are many crazy bans North Korea has issued, including the ban on wearing blue jeans. Why blues jeans? Because the blue denim symbolizes the country’s arch enemy, the US.
Kinder Surprise, an Italian chocolate egg with a surprise toy embedded inside, is a popular treat in many parts of the world. But not in the US where this sweet was banned to prevent little kids from swallowing the tiny toys hidden inside the egg.
Several countries have lists of names that cannot be given to babies. In Denmark, for example, it is illegal to name your baby Monkey or Anus while in France, nobody can be named Nutella, Strawberry or Mini Cooper.
Making an Ugly Face at a Dog
In some areas of the US state of Oklahoma, people who make “ugly faces” at dogs may be fined and or even jailed.