Most baby names (Denmark): There are 24,000 approved government names that parents can choose from. If they want a different name, they have to apply for permission.
If you grew up in a progressive, free country then it might be strange to think that some other countries have banned items you may use every day. Most people reading this article probably have the freedom of choice, especially when it comes to every day, normal decisions.
However, countries like China, Iran and Malaysia have banned their people from watching certain things on television and even wearing certain colors. This is so strange… and wrong
Game consoles (China): In 2000, the Chinese government enacted a ban on gaming consoles to prevent the youth from wasting their time and not working.
Emo clothing (Russia): The country decided that emo clothing was a “natonal threat to stability” and banned the fashion. They wanted to bring down the high suicide rate among teens.
“Western” hair cuts (Iran): Styles such as mullets, ponytails and spikes were banned.
Valentine’s Day (Saudi Arabia): This ban included restrictions on anything and everything red from being sold on Valentine’s Day. This eventually led to a thriving black market on the holiday.
Video games (Greece): This was intended to prevent electronic gambling machines, although the law was written very broadly and led to the arrest of someone playing a video game in an internet cafe.
Reincarnation without prior consent (China): This sounds crazy, but this was China’s attempt to control the Tibetan Buddhists.
Fortified foods (Denmark): There is a fear in this country of consuming too many vitamins. It has led to the banning of many popular products, such as Ovaltine and certain cereals.
Scrabble (Romania): In the 1980s, President Nicolae Ceausescu banned this game, describing it as “overly intellectual” and a “subversive evil.”
Claire Danes (Manila): Claire Danes once referred to Manila as a city that was weird and smelling of cockroaches, so every film by the actress was removed from the city and the star was denied and future entry.
Avatar in 2D (China): They allowed the movie to be released in 3D, even though there weren’t many in the country. The government didn’t agree with the political undertones of the movie.
Furbies (NSA): This wasn’t a nationwide ban, but in 1999, the NSA was afraid the toys could be used to record classified information.
Yellow clothing (Malaysia): In 2011, the government decided that it was illegal to wear yellow, as it was the color of a certain group of activists.
Jasmine (China): The Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia inspired Chinese protestors, the government decided to ban the flower.
Haggis (USA): Traditional Scottish haggis are made with sheep’s lung, which is an illegal food product in the United States (and had been for 40 years).
Cell phones (Cuba): During Fidel Castro’s reign, only high ranking government officials were allowed to have cell phones.
Chewing gum (Singapore): Since 1992, the import and sale of gum has been illegal in the city in order to keep public places clean.
Mannequins (Iran): Not all mannequins are banned, but the female ones must be demurely dressed in a hijab.
Plastic bags (Bangladesh): In 2002, the country outlawed plastic bags. Soon to follow in their footsteps was France, Tanzania and Mexico.
Women drivers (Saudi Arabia): There is no written law that prevents women from driving, but they are not issued licenses.
Ketchup (France): In 2011, France banned the condiment from school cafeteria’s in order to preserve French cuisine.
McDonald’s (Bolivia): There is no law stating that there can’t be a McDonald’s, but no citizens ate at the restaurant during its stint in the country. It’s the only Latin American country without the chain.
Spanking (Sweden): Teachers can’t spank in schools, but neither can parents at home.
Baby walker (Canada): Studies showed that babies who were taught to walk in a walker have delayed motor development. They were then banned in 2004.
Time travel (China): Of course China banned time travel. Due to the “frivolous” treatement of history by TV shows and movies, Chinese censors have been cracking down on time travel in the media.
This probably seem strange to most people, but there are thousands of people in the world who have to live within these constraints.