Going for a quick jog around the block, spending downtime playing games, or having a night out on the town are all normal everyday things we don’t think twice about doing. But in some countries, activities just like these have actually been banned.
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1. Westernized Haircuts (Iran)
Islamic authorities have a history of placing bans on things that imitate Western culture, and now Iran has banned western haircuts. Styles like a ponytail or mullet aren’t allowed to be worn, with the belief that having them in public will promote homosexuality and devil worshipping.
2. Scrabble (Romania)
Once upon a time in Romania, the country’s first president, Nicolae Ceausescu, banned Scrabble believing it was a ’subversive evil’. Put up in the 80s, the ban is no longer in place, however, and the country is now home to a Scrabble Federation and regularly hosts tournaments for players.
3. Gaming Consoles (China)
For 14 years, China had banned gaming consoles from being sold because they believed this would stop youths from wasting their time. However, the ban was lifted in 2014, with no reports on how long the suspension will be in place.
4. Jogging (Burundi)
While we’re told we should get off the couch, get outside and do some exercise, people in Burundi are being told the exact opposite, where jogging is banned. In March 2014, President Pierre Nkurunziza decreed the practice unacceptable, believing its practice would be used as a cover for planning criminal activities.
5. Yellow Clothing (Malaysia)
In the 2011, the Malaysian government decided to put up a ban preventing anyone from wearing yellow-colored clothing. The ban was put in place due to the fact the color was a symbol for a certain activist group.
6. Blue Jeans (North Korea)
North Korea has a tendency to impose restrictions on daily life, and one of these includes not being allowed to wear blue jeans. Wear black or white jeans if you want, but don’t even think about throwing on a blue pair because they are seen as symbol of the enemy: the United States.
7. Dancing in a Nightclub (Japan)
When you head out to a nightclub, it’s usually so you can get a little crazy on the dance floor. But in Tokyo, a place that, ironically, is renowned for its massive nightlife, it was actually illegal to dance the night away. You could only lose yourself in the music at places that had a special dancing license, but that ban has now been lifted just in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
8. Running Out of Gas (Germany)
If you’re planning on taking a drive along the Autobahn in Germany, you better make sure your gas tank is nice and full, because running of out fuel on this motorway is illegal. If you thought you could solve this problem by just walking down to the nearest petrol station, you’re out of luck again, because walking on the Autobahn is also not allowed.
9. Chewing Gum (Singapore)
While there wasn’t exactly a ban prohibiting chewing gum, the ban on importing or selling the sticky substance in Singapore made it basically impossible for locals to get their hands on any. The ban was put up back in 1992, but there is an exception for those who need to chew for medical reasons.
10. Red Bull (France)
Thankfully for all the caffeine-depended people in France, the ban on Red Bull has since been lifted. Back in 2008, however, the sale of the energy drink was halted over concerns about the chemical taurine which was used in the drink’s recipe. Since lifting the ban, the drink has been selling a reformulated version that doesn’t contain the organic acid.
Next time you’re having a rage because your PlayStation or Xbox decided to freeze on you or because your mate is dragging you along for a run, think about how lucky you are are to have the freedom to even be able to do these things.
Can you think of any other everyday things that have been banned around the world? Let us know in the comments section below!